Withers launches in Hong Kong

Private client specialist Withers is to open in Hong Kong, focusing on cross-border legal and wealth planning.

Withers launches in Hong Kong” />Private client specialist Withers is to open in Hong Kong.

The firm’s new office will focus on the cross-border legal and wealth planning needs of entrepreneurs, families, businesses and their advisers throughout East Asia. It will advise on US and English tax law advice, international trust and commercial solutions.

Global managing director Margaret Robertson said: “At more than $8.4Tr, Asia-Pacific accounts for more than a fifth of the world’s privately held wealth, and with growth in the region forecast at 17 per cent over the next four years this is somewhere we need to be.”

The new base will be spearheaded by former London partner and UK tax and family office practitioner Samantha Bradley, and US tax partner Kurt Rademacher, who is transferring from the firm’s London office.

Hong Kong tax and commercial advice will also be available from March through an associated firm headed by US tax and Hong Kong lawyer Mary Ellen Hutton, who joins from the local office of US firm Bryan Cave.

The firm has also poached corporate lawyer Guy Facey from Zhonglun W&D, the first Chinese firm to launch in London, which he joined on 3 September last year from London firm KSB Law (The Lawyer, 13 August 2007), where he was a consultant and the head of the international department.
Facey will join Withers in London as a partner and relocate to Hong Kong in March. He will focus on cross-border corporate finance, particularly in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

Robertson said that the firm expects to make further hires in coming weeks.

Also joining the firm is chartered accountant Francis Lee joining from Walbrook Trustees in Hong Kong, who joins as executive director (Asia).

The team will be supported by Silvia On, a specialist in family offices and international structuring who joins from the Hong Kong office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was a senior consultant in personal financial services; and Nisha Chadha, an English-qualified wealth planning solicitor transferring from Withers’ London office.