Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is shutting its offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, the firm revealed yesterday.
In an internal memo Cadwalader managing partner Patrick Quinn said the US firm would now focus on becoming “deeper and broader” in its core financial institutions, large corporates and funds practices.
“’This is a very natural direction for us to take,” said Quinn. “Cadwalader is a quintessential Wall Street law firm and has always been defined by our core client groups.”
The closure of its Beijing and Hong Kong offices is likely to result in the exit of four partners and around 25 staff.
In the statement Quinn stressed that Cadwalader was in a solid position financially. However the firm’s global revenue dropped by nearly 4 per cent last year from $481.5m to $463.5m (£320.6m), with average profit per equity partner (PEP) decreasing even further by 6.8 per cent from $2.21m to $2.1m.
The Hong Kong market in particular has been through a turbulent period in recent years with a number of firms pulling out while others, including Pillsbury, Taylor Wessing and CMS, have launched offices.
In contrast several local firms have grown significantly in recent years, as highlighted by this year’s China Elite report.
Notably Beijing-headquartered Han Kun has emerged as the fastest growing firm in the ranking after it tripled its annual turnover between 2013 and 2015.
Han Kun also more than doubled its revenue per lawyer (RPL) over the same period.
The Lawyer’s third annual China Elite report has collated three years of exclusive data to illustrate how fast leading Chinese firms have grown.
The report shows that the combined revenue of China’s top 30 highest-grossing firms increased by 55.5 per cent, from RMB12.95bn in 2013 to RMB20.16bn last year (£1.5bn to £2.3bn).
The total number of lawyers across these 30 firms jumped 36 per cent to 23,023 with many firms launching overseas offices or tying the knot with a global firm.
In fact, this year’s research has found that six leading Chinese firms doubled or more than doubled their revenue between 2013 and 2015.
The China Elite 2016 report can be purchased by contacting Richard Edwards on 0207 970 4667 or Richard.email@example.com.