Davis Polk picks up CC litigation heavyweights for Hong Kong push

Davis Polk is launching a Hong Kong litigation practice with the hire of Clifford Chance’s Asian litigation head Martin Rogers and partner James Wadham.

The US firm said the appointments would extend the firm’s litigation capability from the US to Asia, where it has not previously had a dispute resolution capacity.

Rogers has been a partner at Clifford Chance for 10 years and has worked in Asia for 22 years, while New Zealand-born Wadham joined Clifford Chance in 2001 and was made up in 2007.

The duo both work on complex litigation. Rogers focuses on financial services, including regulatory investigations and disputes, while Wadham’s practice encompasses commercial litigation including professional negligence.

Earlier this year Rogers was instructed jointly with Davis Polk Hong Kong corporate partner Bonnie Chan to counsel 23 investment banks on the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s consultation paper on sponsor regulation.

Davis Polk managing partner Thomas Reid said in a statement: “The benefits to our clients who are looking for world-class advice in Asia to meet their increasingly complex and global needs are tremendously exciting. We are now uniquely positioned to provide counsel across an even broader platform.”

Rogers and Wadham thanked Clifford Chance for their time at the firm but said they were excited about the new opportunities at Davis Polk.

The news follows this week’s announcement that Clifford Chance had teamed up with three former WongPartnership partners to form a formal law alliance (FLA) in Singapore focusing on litigation (11 December 2012). The alliance with Cavenagh Law will see the firm offer integrated services in the region under the banner ‘Clifford Chance Asia’.

In a statement Clifford Chance thanked the departing partners for their contribution. The firm said: “We have a very strong litigation and dispute resolution practice and the capability to deliver the highest level of service to our clients across all areas of litigation and dispute resolution, including banking & finance litigation and regulatory investigations. We have one of the largest litigation and dispute resolution teams in the region with over 70 legal professionals led by 13 partners.

“We fully intend to continue to grow our regional L&DR capability, reinforcing and enhancing our current strong market position. This was most recently witnessed by our announcement this week of approval for us to establish an FLA in Singapore thus allowing us to provide litigation services in Singapore.”