Simpson Thacher launches in Beijing with local talent

Simpson Thacher & Batlett has announced plans to launch on China’s mainland after raiding local law firm Fangda Partners for a new recruit.

The firm is set to apply to the Chinese Ministry of Justice for registration of a Beijing office, poaching Beijing-based M&A partner Shaolin Luo to establish its operations in the capital.

Luo has been recruited as a counsel in Beijing. Prior to joining Fangda, he was an associate in Shearman & Sterling’s Beijing office.

Simpson Thacher chairman Pete Ruegger said the appointment would develop the firm’s M&A capabilities in China.

In addition to hiring Luo, Simpson Thacher has also boosted its Asian presence by snaring Shearman & Sterling’s capital markets partner Leiming Chen who will join the Hong Kong office.

An IPO specialist, Chen is a dual-qualified lawyer who has advised on a number of high-profile trasactions.

Chen will advise both China-based clients as well as US clients looking to invest in China.

Simpson Thacher rarely makes lateral hires, preferring to grow organically. The firm has 26 lawyers practicing throughout Asia, including 17 in Hong Kong and nine in Tokyo.