Slaughters breaks from tradition with first Asia lateral hire

It’s seen as one of the more traditional firms in the City, but today Slaughter and May threw off its conservative cloak.

It’s taken two years to materialise , but the firm has unveiled a rare lateral hire – its first in Asia – that will gift it a US practice in Hong Kong.

Before making the radical move, the firm went through a lengthy risk assessment first. To start, Slaughters put its faith in a lawyer it has known for some time – Morrison & Foerster’s co-head of China capital markets John Moore.

It then tackled the dilemma of how to create a US law capability without stepping on the wrong toes. Practice partner Paul Olney tells us that Slaughters’ US buddies were kept informed of its every move.

“Our preferred model has been to team up with US firms, but that hasn’t been credible [in Hong Kong],” Olney said. To keep up with the competition the firm has had to break with tradition.

Carefully does it.

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