Orrick turns to Morgan Stanley and Proskauer for Greater China hires

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has tapped Morgan Stanley and Proskauer Rose for partner hires for its corporate practice in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Capital markets partnerMathew Lewis and M&A partner Seung Chong have joined the firm from Morgan Stanley and Proskauer Rose in Hong Kong respectively.

Lewis, qualified in New York and fluent in Mandarin, was previously the head of global capital markets, legal, for Morgan Stanley Asia and has experience advising on the US securities law aspects of regional and global listings.

During his time with the bank, Lewis worked on some of the largest IPOs in recent years, including those of AIA Group, Samsonite and Agricultural Bank of China.

He will be initially based in Hong Kong but will relocate to Orrick’s Beijing office in the coming months. He is not new to private practice, as he had spent 10 years at Linklaters’ Greater China offices from 1998.

It is understood that James Bidlake, who co-headed the legal team for the investment banking department in Asia with Lewis, is now the sole person in charge of the legal function – both M&A and capital markets – following Lewis’s departure from Morgan Stanley.

Chong has been a partner at Proskauer Rose’s Hong Kong office since April 2011, when he joined from White & Case. He is qualified to practise law in Hong Kong and England & Wales and focuses mainly on China-related M&A and private equity transactions. He has over 20 years of experience in Greater China and will continue to be based in Hong Kong.

“We have a long-term view on the Asia market, and these two practice areas are important parts of our growth in the region,” said Orrick Asia managing partner and China office leader Michelle Taylor.

“As part of firm’s strategy, we’ll develop further the issuer-based clients and Chinese client base and increase our offerings in corporate, capital markets, M&A, private equity and dispute resolution areas in Asia. Regardless of the market status at the moment, we’re always prepared to take a long-term view of the markets and to make strategic hires.”

Orrick has a strong Hong Kong IPO practice and is particularly well-built on the issuer-side. The firm advised on a total of 30 IPOs (20 as issuer’s counsel) in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2011, ranked second among US firms (21 May 2012).