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LONDON law firm Hill Taylor Dickinson has split with Hong Kong associated firm Hampton, Winter and Glynn after a five-year link.
The London firm is now setting up a separate office in the colony with the Hong Kong firm's four-lawyer shipping department.
The split came when Hampton, Winter reviewed its business strategy, according to Hill Taylor chair John Pople.
"They were basically going for a rethink of their future business and restructuring as a result of that," he says.
His firm became involved "at a late stage of the deliberations," he adds.
Pople says disassociation was a natural consequence of the Hong Kong firm's review and presented an opportunity for Hill Taylor.
"The shipping department will separate from the firm and will join Hill Taylor Dickinson," he says.
The two firms joined forces in 1990, following Hampton's earlier link with London firm Charles Russell which came to an end in the late 1980s.
At the time of the association with Hill Taylor, Hampton Winter was looking to develop its shipping practice and had hired two lawyers, one of whom had trained with Hill Taylor, to do so.
Pople says the two firms did not share either management or profits. However, they jointly shared practice development.
The new office will be headed by existing Hill Taylor Hong Kong-based partners Nicholas Mallard and Nigel Binnersley, who have resigned from Hampton, Winter.
They will be joined by two Chinese lawyers, one qualified in China and the other in Hong Kong.
Pople says the firm will set up the office to mirror its Piraeus office which was opened last year. "Greece helped us to take the decision on Hong Kong. It helped us to recognise we could do such things without sending people out there," he says.
He says that initially the firm will concentrate on shipping law but may branch out into other areas.