Punders opens up in HK

GERMAN FIRM Punder Volhard Weber & Axster has become the latest international firm to open a Hong Kong office.

Punders managing partner Thomas Gasteyer said the office would not initially be a joint venture with other firms in the Punder Group, the five-country international alliance of firms to which his practice belongs.

He said partners from the other Punder Group firms in Austria, Belgium, France and Switzerland were still deciding whether to take part in the new office.

The Hong Kong office will be headed by Jan Wrede, a partner from Punders' office in Dusseldorf.

He will be joined by an associate and assisted by a number of other partners dividing their time between Punders' Frankfurt, Munich and Hong Kong offices and the Punder Group's jointly-run Beijing office.

Gasteyer said: “We set up the new office because Hong Kong is the regional headquarters of our international clients in the Asia region.”

Meanwhile, Gasteyer said the Punder Group was still in talks with Dutch firm Loeff Claeys Verbeke over whether it would join the group.

Loeffs recently merged with Buruma Maris, the former Dutch member of the Punder Group.

Loeffs has a long-standing association with Allen & Overy.