Dewey raids Orrick for Beijing capture

Dewey Ballantine has lured a partner away from its former merger partner Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Hugh Scogin will join Dewey’s five-lawyer office in Beijing as a corporate partner. He is the office’s second partner.

Scogin was a legacy Coudert Brothers partner who joined Orrick after the collapse of Coudert. Nine of Coudert’s 11 equity partners in China were admitted to Orrick’s partnership in September 2005.

Scogin said: “There’s enormous opportunity in China for major cross-border transactional work and Dewey is uniquely positioned to help execute on those opportunities. The firm already has established a track record in China in a relatively short span of time.” Dewey opened its Beijing office in 2004.

The planned tie-up between Dewey and Orrick, which was called off in January, would have created a 1,500-lawyer firm with a $1bn ($510m) turnover.

Dewey has been aggressively hiring since the merger talks with Orrick dissolved. In addition to Scogin, the firm has hired five lateral partners in the past two weeks alone, including two from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Europe.