Cadwalader chief takes control of partnerless Beijing

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft managing partner Bob Link has scheduled an emergency visit to the Beijing office after office head Mark Roppel defected to Allen & Overy (A&O) last month (The, 28 August).

Following Roppel’s move to A&O’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, Cadwalader has been left with a five-associate team in the office and no partner representation.

Link will arrive on Monday, aiming to boost morale and underscore the US firm’s dedication to its China capabilities.

Link said: “The Olympics provided the world with just a glimpse of the tremendous opportunities presented by China, opportunities of which we have been aware since 2005 when we opened our Beijing office.

“Today, corporations and financial institutions doing business in China face new regulatory and legislative hurdles. Cadwalader’s Beijing, London, New York, and Washington attorneys are working together to help our clients understand and successfully navigate this changing landscape.

“These are exciting times and we are optimistic about the legal and business opportunities in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, restructuring, IP enforcement, taxation and regulation, and foreign investment in the Asian and international markets.”

After the firm laid off 96 associates in July, Cadwalader has seen two partner defections, including Roppel.

Last week (2 September), The Lawyer reported on environmental chair Andrew Perel moving to Steptoe & Johnson in New York.

Since the collapse of the subprime market, the US firm has made strides to diversify its practice, hiring Latham & Watkins co-chair of private equity Ron Hopkinson in February (The Lawyer, 11 February).