The three-partner Hong Kong-based firm has been instructed by Dragonair in connection with its six-month battle against Cathay Pacific Airways.
Dragonair is opposed to Cathay Pacific's application to the Air Transport Licensing Authority to fly four times a day to Shanghai, three times a day to Beijing and to operate a daily service to Xiamen. One of Dragonair's principal areas of business is flights to mainland China.
Dragonair's decision to replace its legal adviser comes just days before the final hearing in Hong Kong's High Court, scheduled for 11 March 2002.
A Clyde & Co spokesperson confirmed that the firm had been replaced by Lau Chan & Ko. He said that Dragonair was looking for a cheaper option and that it was unrelated to the quality of the firm's legal advice.
Dragonair is one of the leading regional carriers and serves 28 passenger destinations across Asia. Its largest shareholder, China National Aviation Company, is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Dragonair uses Johnson Stokes & Masters for its financing work.
Lau Chan & Ko was formed in 1951, a successor to Messrs Ts'o & Hodgson. Its senior partner Martin Hong is a Notary Public and China Appointed Attesting Officer. Lau Chan & Ko confirmed the appointment.