Freshfields hires new partner as Orrick HK exodus continues

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed corporate partner William Woo from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Hong Kong office.

Woo focuses on capital markets, private equity and M&A work. He joins Freshfields after a short stint in Orrick’s Hong Kong office where he was a partner. Prior to joining Orrick in May 2011, he practised as a partner in the Hong Kong offices of Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy.

Woo is the seventh corporate partner to leave Orrick’s Greater China team since the middle of last year. Beijing-based partners Allen Shyu and Thomas Man left for Troutman Sanders and Morrison Foerster, while Hong Kong partners Phoebus Chu, Mark Lee and David Cho also left to pursue other opportunities. Most recently, the firm’s senior partner for China, Christopher Stephens, left to join the Asian Development Bank as general counsel (27 November 2012).

Woo’s appointment is Freshfields’ first partner lateral hire in Hong Kong since late 2011, when the firm hired finance partner Howard Lam from magic circle rival Linklaters. It promoted four to partner in Hong Kong as part of the firm’s 2012 global promotion round (28 March 2012).

Following Woo’s move, Freshfields will have 16 partners in Hong Kong and Orrick will have 10.