Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe’s Hong Kong office has scooped a team of lawyers from Siao Wen and Leung in order to bolster its local law capability.

The San Francisco-based firm has taken the bulk of Siao Wen’s corporate securities, commercial and China practice. The 19-strong group comprises four partners –founding partner Carson Wen, Michael Phillips, Katherine U and Susan Yu – 15 associates and six trainee associates. The additions will bring the total number of lawyers in Heller Ehrman’s Hong Kong office to 28.

Paul Downs, co-chair of Heller Ehrman’s international practice, said the firm decided to grow its Hong Kong office because there was very strong interest from its clients to do business in Hong Kong and mainland China.

“The move is a response to our conclusion that, in order to prosper in the Hong Kong and [Chinese] market, it is necessary to have local law capability,” he said.

Downs also confirmed that the firm has put in an application to open an office in Beijing.