King & Wood opens in HK as associate firm merges

China’s largest law firm King & Wood has launched a new office in Hong Kong, following the recent merger of its partner firm Fong & Ng with Arculli and Associates.

King & Wood opened its new office in Hong Kong last week, after the Hong Kong Law Society permitted its registration as a foreign firm.

The move comes just weeks after corporate-commercial firm Fong & Ng announced it had merged with technology specialist Arculli. The new firm takes on the title Arculli Fong & Ng.

King & Wood has in-creased its circle of friends as a result of the merger and reaffirmed its alliance with the newly merged firm.

As one of the first private law firms in China, King & Wood has had a close working relationship with Fong & Ng for the past three years.

Due to the tough restrictions imposed on the legal market by the Chinese Ministry of Justice, King & Wood and Fong & Ng have not been allowed to merge officially, but the two firms are interlinked.

King & Wood’s head of international trade Susan Ning said the firm was opening an office in Hong Kong despite its connection with Fong & Ng. “After the merger between Arculli and Fong & Ng we’ve formed an essential association relationship with the new firm,” she said. “Our new Hong Kong office is, however, separate from Fong & Ng, but the relationship will continue. We have three partners who will be based in the new office.”

Aside from its relationship with Arculli Fong & Ng, King & Wood also has a longstanding association with Canadian firm Goodmans. Arculli has operated in association with Sydney-based firm Gilbert + Tobin.

King & Wood is the largest law firm in China, with more than 400 lawyers and offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.