Simmons rebuilds Hong Kong team with new corporate star

Simmons & Simmons is putting its Hong Kong woes behind it and has made a key partner hire from Stephenson Harwood & Lo (SHL).

Corporate partner Allen Wong has joined Simmons’ Hong Kong office, working under office head and global head of corporate Damon Le Maitre-George.

Wong has particular experience in foreign direct investment and will work closely with the mainland China team. Simmons has a Shanghai office and is awaiting its licence to open in Beijing.

Simmons parachuted Le Maitre-George into Hong Kong last December after a raid by Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson decimated its practice. Since his arrival in Hong Kong, Le Maitre-George has vowed to rebuild the office.

“Allen is exactly the right person for us,” said Le Maitre-George. “I was never going to take the first people who came along. I was looking for top quality and people with the right culture to fit in here.”

Wong’s hire will be followed with another partner hire in the New Year, he added.

Wong’s departure will be a blow to SHL, which has hiked turnover and profit in the past two years on the back of Hong Kong, which has channelled a lot of corporate work back to the UK.