US firm Squire Sanders wins HK local status

Squire Sanders & Dempsey's Hong Kong office has gained local law status. Partners James Tsang and Antony Corel have passed the Hong Kong Bar Examination, allowing them to practise local law.

The office's foreign-firm status has been replaced by a local partnership formed under the Squire Sanders name.
Local law capability is essential to US firms seeking to compete on even terms with UK rivals in Hong Kong. Given the historical connection between the UK and its former colony, UK-qualified lawyers are automatically admitted to practise Hong Kong law. Tsang said that the US firms are gradually eroding this traditional advantage.
Tsang said that clients had also prompted the firm's decision to become localised. He said: “It was a little bit inconvenient when we had to get services from local law firms. Clients could live with it, but they'd prefer it if we could do the work in-house.”