Sidley & Austin is finally opening up in Hong Kong after the local law society granted three lawyers licences to practise after a year-long delay.
The firm now plans to expand further in the region and has applied to the Chinese government for a licence to open in Shanghai. A response is expected "early this year". Sidleys' already has offices in Singapore and Japan.
The new office will deal with matters involving US and UK law, focusing on project finance, securitisations and corporate work.
Eugene Lu from Sidleys' Los Angeles office and Simon Meng, recruited from Freshfields last year, will join partner Roderick Macneil.
The firm is unconcerned about the South East Asian economies. John Edwards, Sidleys' managing partner in London, says: "We have a client base with extensive interests in the Far East, and China in particular. The current problems with the economy are just short term."