Dewey’s Hong Kong team to join DLA Piper

Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Hong Kong team is set to join DLA Piper as the firm’s office in the city prepares to wind down.

Hong Kong managing partner and corporate lawyer Heng Loong Cheong has quit the embattled US firm alongside local partner Sheng Wu, who focuses on insurance.

Joyce Chan, the principal of Hong Kong-based Joyce Sze Ho Chan & Co – with which Dewey formed an association last year – is also set to join DLA Piper alongside associate Angela Cheung. However, the pair have not formalised the move because they are still in the process of notifying the Law Society of Hong Kong that the association is ending.

It is understood that Cheong and Wu have already handed in their resignation. Cheong is tied to Dewey for eight weeks while he works on the office’s wind-down, but is currently negotiating to reduce the period allocated for closing down the base from eight weeks to three weeks, enabling him to join DLA Piper sooner.

A team of support staff including secretaries are also set to follow the Dewey lawyers to DLA Piper.

The move follows DLA Piper’s hire of Silicon Valley-based Dewey corporate partner Paul Chen, who used to head Dewey’s Hong Kong office.

More than 100 partners have left Dewey since the start of 2012, with the latest high-profile exit seeing Washington DC chief and insurance partner Charles Landgraf, the last remaining member of the US firm’s so-called office of the chairman, join Arnold & Porter.

The firm has now effectively shut its New York headquarters (16 May 2012), while the Polish office exited this week to join Greenberg Traurig as the Italian team spun off to form a new firm (15 May 2012).

Dewey was not available for comment.