Ropes taps Weil’s City office for Hong Kong finance hire

Ropes & Gray has raided the London office of Weil Gotshal & Manges to boost its Hong Kong finance practice with the hire of partner Michael Nicklin.

Nicklin, who has been a partner at Weil since 2006, is expected to take up his role at Ropes next month, bringing the partner headcount in the firm’s Hong Kong office to five. He will be the first specialist finance partner for the US firm in the jurisdiction.

Ropes global finance co-head Byung Choi said: “Michael Nicklin is one of the finest finance lawyers around and we’re thrilled that he’ll be joining us as we enhance our offering to clients doing business in Asia.

“Michael’s experience and legal acumen will be tremendous assets to our global finance team.”

Weil London managing partner Mike Francies said of Nicklin’s departure: “He was a key part of our finance team and we wish him all the best in Hong Kong which will be a great new opportunity for him.”

Francies’ firm remains committed to building a strong City finance practice, on both the leveraged finance and bank borrowing sides.

He added: “The finance team, led by Jacky Kelly, includes some very strong lawyers but we have a strategy to build it out – it is a crucial part of what we do.”

The firm is already understood to be in negotiations with another City partner to replace Nicklin and intends to hire additional fee earners in the coming months.