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23 January 2017

Morgan Lewis loads up for Hong Kong launch with raid on Orrick

Nine Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partners have defected to US rival Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to help launch the firm's flagship office in Hong Kong.

By Kathryn Higgins

The Hong Kong office is Steptoe's fourth overseas

Orrick’s global head of capital markets Edwin Luk has up and left the firm to join rival Morgan Lewis as it prepares to expand its China practice into Hong Kong. Accompanying him will be six other Orrick partners currently based in Hong Kong as well as one each from the firm’s offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Together, the defectors have formed a new local firm in Hong Kong called Luk & Partners, with which Morgan Lewis will seek to associate after its application to become a registered foreign law firm in Hong Kong is accepted and its association application approved by regulators. Also joining Luk & Partners is Maurice Hoo, Orrick’s global co-head of M&A and private equity.

‘Just the right team’

Morgan Lewis’ raid on Orrick comes less than six months after the US firm executed the hire of five partners and 18 lawyers from the legacy Shanghai office of global megafirm Dentons to launch its own second office in mainland China. Morgan Lewis chair Jamie McKeon said of the latest hires: ‘We have long recognised the importance of Hong Kong as one of world’s principal financial centres, and we have been looking for just the right team there. Adding this cohesive corporate team of partners [from Orrick] furthers this commitment and continues our strategic and careful growth in China.’ The next step for Morgan Lewis will be to focus on growing and improving its existing global network of offices after launching in Hong Kong, she added.

Sources: The Lawyer; The American Lawyer

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