ALSOP Wilkinson partner Paul Webster will join the firm's Hong Kong office

ALSOP Wilkinson partner Paul Webster will join the firm’s Hong Kong office from 1 December, adding his banking practice to the office’s shipping niche.

Webster, currently on sabbatical, is expected to focus on business development in the Far East.

He will work alongside resident partner Stewart Crowther, who assumed the role of office head following the departure earlier this month of managing partner Camille Jojo.

Jojo, who left with partner Claudio deBedin, four other lawyers, trainees and support staff, joined as managing partner of Barlow Lyde s Hong Kong team.

The move gave Barlow Lyde a company commercial and civil litigation/arbitration speciality and doubled office numbers.

“Paul Webster is a very senior London-based banking lawyer,” said Alsops’ business development director Stewart McRorie.

“He likes the Far East and he’s done a lot of research for business development there. He feels strongly that the commercial opportunities there are significant.”

McRorie said although the firm was “disappointed” by the exodus in Hong Kong, “we’re happier having a primary focus which is shipping than a general practice to which we could never devote the time.

“We would rather be a significant niche practice than an average general player.”