Shanghai-headquartered AllBright has become the latest Chinese firm to expand into Hong Kong.
AllBright has obtained regulatory approval from the Law Society of Hong Kong for its long-planned Hong Kong launch, which will be the firm’s first location outside of mainland China. Its Hong Kong office is set to open on 15 November and will enter into an association with local firm Stevenson Wong & Co.
AllBright’s Hong Kong office will be initially staffed by three partners relocating from the firm’s Shanghai and Shenzhen offices. They are IP partner Chen Naiwei and real estate partner Luo Jianrong, currently based in Shanghai, and corporate finance partner Du Xiaodong from Shenzhen. Chen will also take on the Hong Kong managing partner role.
AllBright’s association with Stevenson Wong & Co will give the Chinese firm’s lawyers and clients access to Hong Kong law capability. The Hong Kong firm has 32 lawyers, including 10 partners. Its head of corporate finance Hank Lo is leading the collaboration initiative.
“Hong Kong is an increasingly important international financial centre for our clients. Through Hong Kong, we aim to build up our cross-border investment and financing practices,” said Victor Wang, a partner of AllBright in Shanghai and a member of the firm’s management committee.
“Our association with Stevenson Wong & Co will give us Hong Kong law capacity from day one. We’re also hoping to hire experienced lawyers to expand our capability in the market, particularly in the arbitration and dispute resolution area,” said Wang.
“Hong Kong is the first step of our international expansion. The management committee is in the process of forming other plans to strengthen our international business practices and global network,” he added.
The Lawyer first reported on the firm’s intention of setting up an office in Hong Kong and entering into an association with a local firm in June in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 (17 June 2013). So far, 17 PRC firms have set up an office in Hong Kong. Most recently, Fangda and Jia Yuan have both opened an office in the city (6 September 2012).