Covington launches first Asia office

Covington launches first Asia officeUS law firm Covington & Burling has launched its first office in Asia today (23 July), with its former management chair Stuart Stock heading the team in Beijing.

Joining Stock, who served as chair for six years before stepping down in January, will be former Warner Bros Entertainment executive Ellen Eliasoph and Cao Yu, an ex-partner from Chinese firm Haiwen & Partners. Both will act as resident senior lawyers.

Covington’s current management chair Timothy Hester said the firm will draw on the firm’s strength in regulatory and policy matters to advise clients in areas from corporate M&A to environmental law to compliance matters.

“Covington has been advising its international clients on legal and business matters in Asia for decades,” said Hester. “But after study, we concluded that opening an office in China was the logical next step to serve our clients.”

Hester said media law will also be a focus of the group drawing on both Eliasoph and Cao’s experience in the area.

The news of Covington launching its sixth office to provide a regulatory service comes just days after Linklaters ramped up its regulatory practice in Asia.

The magic circle firm is parachuting Swedish partner Erik Söderlind to Hong Kong to become the firm’s first head of competition and antitrust in the region (TheLawyer.com, 21 July http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=133903).