Simpson Thacher raids Freshfields for Beijing launch

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has poached Freshfields partner to launch its new office in Beijing.

M&A partner, Douglas Markel, will head up the firm’s China practice, part of the firm’s Asian practice which includes offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Markel replaced Freshfields previous China head, Michael Moser, in February last year when Moser left to join O’Melveny & Myers.

Markel commented: “I am looking forward to the opportunity to help Simpson Thatcher further grow its China practice and deliver outstanding legal services to the firm’s clients in this dynamic market.”

The practice will focus on M&A, private equity and capital markets and will mean Simpson Thatcher Bartlett will have 45 lawyers working across Asia.

The firm hopes the new office and the presence of Markel will advance the firm’s M&A capabilities in Asia.