Ashurst has kicked off its push into Asia with an association that will allow it to practise Hong Kong law.
Independent Hong Kong corporate lawyers Jackson Woo and Sabrina Fung have become de facto Ashurst partners. Under local rules a merger between Ashurst and the association will be allowed after three years.
Ashurst has also entered a non-exclusive alliance with mainland Chinese firm Guantao, which has 110 lawyers based across eight locations.
Outgoing Ashurst senior partner Geoffrey Green is set to launch the Hong Kong office in February next year along with London partner Robert Ogilvy Watson (The Lawyer, 4 August).
Green said: “We would want to get to maybe a couple of dozen lawyers in Hong Kong with reasonable speed.”
Ashurst has vowed to place Asia firmly at the heart of its future expansion strategy.