Former Herbert Smith alliance partner Stibbe opens Hong Kong office

Former Herbert Smith alliance partner Stibbe is set to launch an office in Hong Kong with the aim of assisting Chinese clients with European investments.

The new office will be headed by corporate specialist Jan Bogaert, who is being promoted to partner from the firm’s Brussels office, and Alexander de Nerée, the founder and chairman of Hong-Kong based firm De Nerée Advocates.

It is expected that De Nerée Advocates will change its name to Stibbe Hong Kong as of September, while the Amsterdam law firm to which the firm was affiliated, DNTW Lawyers, will enter into a partnership with another law firm in Asia at an unconfirmed date.

Stibbe, a Benelux full-service firm with offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dubai, London and New York, will offer Belgian and Dutch legal advice in the areas of corporate, financial and tax to Chinese clients looking to invest in Europe. The office will also support the firm’s Benelux clients with their activities in Asia.

In a statement de Nerée said: “When I came to Hong Kong in 2005, advising foreign clients was still very much focused on the Western companies wanting to invest in China perspective. Now this has rapidly evolved and developed into advising Chinese companies wanting to invest or having investments outside China.”

Bogaert added: “Preparations for the office opening have started, and as soon as the last steps are in place, the office will open.”

Stibbe was an alliance partner with Herbert Smith for the best part of a decade but ended its union last November when it and fellow European alliance partner Gleiss Lutz voted against a merger (24 November 2011).