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US firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has raided Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong to give its China practice a litigation capability
Simmons senior associate Charles Allen has joined Sidley as a consultant together with two other lawyers who will join as associates. Allen and his team, which specialises in high-value commercial litigation and arbitration, started at Sidley's Hong Kong office last week. Initially the team will work closely with Sidley's corporate finance practice, although its aim is to develop a standalone litigation practice. The corporate finance team has five partners and a further 25 lawyers. Sidley has an impressive litigation capacity in the US and it is understood that the move to open a Hong Kong litigation practice was driven by existing clients. Allen said: "It's rare to be given the opportunity to develop a litigation practice for a major international law firm." Earlier this month, Sidley raided the Beijing office of Denton Wilde Sapte, taking partner Tang Zhengyu and several associates for its Shanghai office.