Dibbs merges with Hong Kong firm to boost China presence

Dibb Lupton Alsop is continuing to build up its international empire by merging with a Hong Kong firm.

It is merging with Lui & Carey Dibbs next week.

Dibbs' regional managing partner Stewart Crowther says the firm is looking for further merger targets in Hong Kong – and using it as a springboard to China.

News of the merger comes only weeks after the firm announced the formation of its European alliance D&P – which comprises a Brussels, Barcelona and Paris firm.

Lui & Carey, a broad-based commercial practice, has an excellent local reputation, according to rivals in Hong Kong.

It counts Procter & Gamble, Colliers Jardine, Credit Agricole Indosuez and Citibank among its clients.

Lui & Carey's decision to merge was partly prompted by the death of Peter Carey, one of the firm's founding partners, who was killed in a car crash last year while on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Carey's death spurred Mabel Lui, the other founding partner, into looking for a larger practice to tie to. Lui and the two remaining partners will move into Dibbs with five assistants.

“Mabel provides us with a wonderful broad-based practice on which we can grow specialities,” says Crowther.

Dibbs already has an alliance with Charltons, a Hong Kong firm which carries out mainly Chinese stock exchange listings work.

That relationship will remain but Crowther hopes Charltons will soon merge with Dibbs.

Dibbs managing partner Nigel Knowles says that Hong Kong will be the firm's main area for growth outside Europe. He adds that Dibbs also hopes to open a representative office in Shanghai. Dibbs' Hong Kong office has three partners and seven assistants.