Hill Dickinson secures licence for Hong Kong launch

Hill Dickinson has obtained the approval to launch an office in Hong Kong and enter into an association with a local firm.

Hill Dickinson first told The Lawyer about its Hong Kong ambition last July (27 July 2012), when it originally planned to set up a base in the city by the end of the 2012/13 financial year. Managing partner Peter Jackson today confirmed that the firm received the regulatory approval from the Law Society of Hong Kong for the launch last week.

Initially, the firm will move a shipping partner from London to lead the expansion, similar to the firm’s approach in Singapore, where it opened an office in 2009 with the relocation of London shipping partner Tony Goldsmith (12 January 2009).

Jackson also noted that the firm’s Hong Kong office would operate in association with a local Hong Kong firm, which is yet to be named as the commercial negotiation is still ongoing.

“We’ve done our due diligence on the market. The results suggest that there is still room for one more international shipping law firm, despite that there are already several established players,” said Jackson.

Hill Dickinson recently issued a £2.8m cash call to its partners to stabilise its balance sheet after a year of heavy investment, including the Hong Kong launch (7 August 2013). It will become the latest UK firm to move into Hong Kong, following Addleshaw Goddard which opened an office there in May (3 May 2013) and entered into an association with newly established local firm Stewien & Co last week (8 August 2013).