Hong Kong’s Deacons hires WilmerHale’s Beijing head

Hong Kong’s largest independent firm Deacons has appointed senior private equity lawyer Robert Woll as a partner in its financial services group.

Woll joins Deacons in Hong Kong from WilmerHale’s Beijing base, where he was jointly in charge of the office also served as the firm’s China corporate practice chair. He is experienced in private equity fund formation and transactions in Asia, having practised in the region since 1997. Prior to joining WilmerHale in 2007, he was managing partner of Morrison & Foerster in Hong Kong.

Woll joins a financial services team team at Deacons that currently consists of seven partners and 35 other fee-earners.

“This is a great opportunity given the strength of Deacons’ platform, which fits well with my practice, and the central importance of Hong Kong in China’s ongoing financial sector reforms,” said Woll.

Deacons is Hong Kong’s largest independent law firm by lawyer headcount. It was in a 17-year association agreement with Deacons Australia until 2009, when the Australian firm joined the Norton Rose Group (23 June 2009 https://www.thelawyer.com/norton-rose-signs-tie-up-with-australias-deacons/1001147.article). It currently has over 200 lawyers including 51 partners in four offices: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Its main clients include Bank of China, MRT Corporation, DBS Bank, Jardine Group and Orix Corporation.

Beijing is WilmerHale’s only office in Asia. The firm’s Beijing office currently has two resident partners including partner in charge Lester Ross.