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VETERAN Hong Kong lawyer John Bellhouse is returning to London to work for US firm White & Case after 25 years with McKenna & Co.
As senior resident partner in Hong Kong, Bellhouse was instrumental to the Port and Airport Development Scheme, representing the Hong Kong government.
In London, McKennas' managing partner Robert Derry-Evans is keen to emphasise that the departure will not harm the firm's relationship with the Hong Kong authorities.
He says: "We were disappointed by John's decision to leave but we recognise that this is a career move. His term was coming to an end and he was due to transfer back to London. The firm's relations with the Government of Hong Kong remain excellent."
Bellhouse says: "It is obviously difficult to leave McKennas after nearly 25 years, but this is a marvellous opportunity to practise construction law with one of the few genuinely international law firms."
Bellhouse's role will be to expand White & Case's international construction practice in Hong Kong and to establish new litigation and arbitration work.
White & Case management committee chair James Hurlock says: "John's move is a further important step in integrating solicitors with recognised expertise into our practice, not only in London, but also in appropriate offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia."