RPC prepares for launch of five-partner Hong Kong office

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) is set to launch in Hong Kong in August with a 40-member team led by five partners.

Four of the partners joined from Clyde & Co in April this year (4 April 2012). They are legacy Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) insurance and litigation partners David Smyth and Antony Sassi and shipping partners Andrew Horton and Gary Yin.

The fifth partner is Jason Carmichael, who focuses on corporate and M&A. He joins from local Hong Kong firm CdB and JC& Co, which he co-founded in 2009 after he left Clyde & Co’s Hong Kong office.

Aside from the five partners, the new office will consist of 16 associates and 19 support staff, most of them joining from either the legacy BLG Hong Kong team or CdB and JC& Co. The Hong Kong office will focus on a mix of insurance, litigation, shipping and corporate work.

It will be the City firm’s second office in Asia. Last October, it launched a Singapore base on the back of the hire of BLG’s insurance and reinsurance partner Mark Errington (27 October 2012).

RPC managing partner Jonathan Watmough noted in a statement: “Establishing a presence in Hong Kong marks the next step in the development of our practice in Asia, and gives us an excellent platform for further growth in the region following the opening of our Singapore office.”

A year after the merger between BLG and Clyde & Co, a total of seven legacy BLG Hong Kong partners have left the enlarged firm. The other three partners left Clyde & Co to join the Hong Kong offices of Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons respectively. Clyde & Co currently has eight partners in Hong Kong.