It’s nearly 14 years since Hong Kong (HK) returned to Chinese sovereignty, but so far there are only 20 Chinese firms have opened an office in the special administrative region.
Legacy King & Wood was the first to put down roots in HK back in 2005, but interest in the region is growing. Several leading Chinese firms, including Jingtian & Gongcheng, have expressed an interest in expanding into HK.
As a result competition between the expanding Chinese firms and their international counterparts is increasing. In 2012 Shanghai-based Fangda Partners turned to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation partner Peter Yuen to launch its HK office. It continues to hire partners and associates from international firms, including corporate partner Andrew Lui from Edwards Wildman Palmer and capital markets counsel Arnold Pang from Shearman & Sterling.
This is one trend that is likely to snowball.
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