Cleary prepares for Beijing office launch with Cravath partner hire

Cleary Gottlieb

Steen & Hamilton has poached Cravath Swaine & Moore senior securities and capital markets partner Clayton Johnson for its new Beijing office.

Johnson will join the firm on 12 November and will divide his time between Beijing and Hong Kong. Cleary is expected to launch its new Beijing office early next year.

Johnson will focus on developing the firm’s China practice as well as working on transactions for clients of the firm throughout Asia.

He was instrumental in establishing Cravath’s office in Hong Kong between 1994 to 2003 and also developed a leading capital markets practice in Asia, primarily representing major investors.

Cleary Gottlieb managing partner Mark Walker said he anticipated that Johnson would ultimately be based in Beijing full-time.

“Cleary Gottlieb made an early commitment to the Asia Pacific region 25 years ago when we established an office in Hong Kong,” he said. “Our Hong Kong and Beijing offices will work closely together to meet the needs of our clients in capital markets, private equity, M&A and other transactions taking place in China.”

Cleary Gottlieb announced plans to open its first office on China’s mainland last month.