Stikeman Elliot halts HK law capability

Canada’s Stikeman Elliot is forging ahead with plans to shear back it’s Hong Kong operation after announcing it will cease to practise local law.

The Lawyer can reveal that in an internal email sent to lawyers and staff, the firm said: “Take notice that Stikeman Elliott will cease the practice of law in Hong Kong effective from 29 February 2004.”

Managing principal Douglas Smith will be the firm’s Hong Kong representative. In a statement, Stikeman Elliot also says that it will serve existing clients from its Canadian and Sydney-based offices.

The Lawyer revealed last month that the firm was scaling back its five-lawyer operation to just a representative office. Just 12 months before, Stikeman Elliot had 12 lawyers practising out of the office.

Stikeman Elliot is one of a number of firms that have been hit by adverse economic conditions in the region, including Bryan Cave which is undertaking a full-scale review of its Far Eastern practice.