Kirkland gets green light for Hong Kong opening

Kirkland & Ellis has launched its first Asia presence by opening an office in Hong Kong after receiving final regulatory approval.

As first reported on www. (24 May), Kirkland private equity partner David Eich relocated from London to Hong Kong to head the new office, which is located in Hong Kong’s ICBC Tower in Citibank Plaza.

Initially Eich will be supported by senior associate Tai Hsia, who also relocates from Kirkland’s London office, and by partner Chuan Li, who will relocate from the firm’s Chicago headquarters.

Eich told The Lawyer: “In the next few years we expect to reach a critical mass of around 20 people in Hong Kong. We’ve already started looking to recruit, but have realised that the market out here is not big enough to get all the people that we need.

“In our view there’s actually a global market for these people and we’re literally looking all over the world for them.

“There are several other jurisdictions where it’s clear that we’d need to establish a presence in order to take full advantage of opportunities. These clearly include mainland China and Japan.”