A&O bulks up mainland China offering

Underscoring its current focus on mainland China, Allen & Overy (A&O) has moved to relocate four of its Hong Kong-based lawyers to Beijing while hiring a senior associate for its Shanghai office.

David Cox will join the magic circle firm as a senior banking associate in Shanghai from Australian firm Minter Ellison.

This pushes up A&O’s headcount in Shanghai to 41 lawyers, including local counsel. The firm made a similar move in June when it moved dispute resolution counsel Fai-Hung Cheung from Hong Kong to Shanghai.

At the same time, A&O parachuted four lawyers into its Beijing office, led by head of communications, media & technology (CMT) Will McAuliffe. He is joined by corporate counsel Rose Zhu and senior associate Jane Jiang and legal advisor Robert Cui in finance.

Mainland China was one jurisdiction that A&O committed to bulking up at the beginning of the year. Beijing managing partner Peter Thorp said the moves were particularly important to beef up the firm’s corporate capability in China.

Thorp added: “Our finance and regulatory capabilities will also increase significantly with an expanded team based at the centre of government here in Beijing. With a stronger presence, we will be able to further develop the relationships and know-how that are crucial to our work in advising our People’s Republic of China and international clients.”