Baker & McKenzie is losing four salaried partners and an assistant from its Hong Kong and Beijing offices.
It is understood that the five lawyers will now be joining US firm Perkins Coie, which has an association with Hong Kong firm So Keung Yip & Sin.
The departure of partner Jon Eichelberger will leave just one partner in Baker & McKenzie's Beijing office, while the other lawyers are leaving the firm's Hong Kong office.
Richard Weisman, managing partner at Baker & McKenzie's office in Hong Kong, confirms that five lawyers are leaving the firm, but he refuses to reveal their names.
He says that the lawyers will be leaving the firm in the new year, adding: “They would like to join a smaller firm.”
Weisman says: “The departure of four partners in an operation of 200 people will not significantly affect our ability to provide a service to our clients.”
A source says the departures are yet to be discussed at a management committee within Baker & McKenzie but he described the matter as “sensitive”.
Seattle-based Perkins Coie also has an office in Taiwan and is recognised for its corporate, M&A and property work.