Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker has become the latest firm to open a second office in China after nabbing Jones Day’s partner-in-charge in Shanghai and hiring a real estate funds specialist from Morgan Stanley.

Former Jones Day partner Mitchell Dudek has been appointed chair of Paul Hastings’ new Shanghai office. Former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley’s real estate funds in Asia Gregory Wells has also joined the firm.

The new office will initially field eight lawyers, including corporate partner Tom Shoesmith, who has relocated from Paul Hastings’ San Francisco office, as resident Shanghai partner.

The office launch comes less than a year after Paul Hastings secured its first Hong Kong and Beijing presence through merging with local firm Koo & Partners. Paul Hastings gained its first foothold in the Asian market back in 1988, when it opened in Tokyo.

Shoesmith commented: “Shanghai is the leading financial centre in the People’s Republic of China, and will become a global financial centre. Our office will serve as a bridge for global companies looking to invest in the world’s largest market and will allow us to better serve both new and existing clients.”