Hogan Lovells is closing its Ulaanbaatar office seven years after it first entered the Mongolian market via a local association in 2010.

The firm’s decision to exit Mongolia comes following a strategic review of the market. Hogan Lovells’ office managing partner in Ulaanbaatar Chris Melville will establish a new independent firm in the Mongolian capital with the existing team of 15 lawyers and staff. Hogan Lovells will form a co-operation relationship with the new firm in a bid to continue servicing its clients in the country.

“Following a review of the market and our investment priorities, we have taken the decision to close our Ulaanbaatar office,” said Hogan Lovells global CEO Steve Immelt.

Hogan Lovells gained an Ulaanbaatar presence when it entered a formal association with Mongolian outfit GTs Advocates in August 2010. It was also the first global firm to set up a permanent presence in Mongolia, and has operated there since 2011 advising on inbound corporate investment work and foreign investment in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors.

“Global and local markets and the strategic priorities of the firm have changed since then. I strongly believe that we have a good practice, an excellent team, and that there are opportunities that we can take advantage of operating from a different platform, including working with Hogan Lovells in the future. We are excited about the next chapter,” said Melville.

Melville was relocated from London to the Ulaanbaatar office in 2012, working with the then office managing partner Michael Aldrich.

A very small number of other international firms continue to have a presence in the country, including DLA Piper, which entered the Mongolian market via a local tie-up with C&G Partners in 2011, and Dentons – thanks to its merger with Chinese firm Dacheng, which set up an office in the city in 2013.