Mishcon’s Hong Kong ally hires five-strong disputes team from leading independent firm

Disputes boutique Karas strengthened as Mishcon presses on with strategy of growing Asia private client capability

Kevin So Image courtesy of Mishcon de Reya

Mishcon de Reya’s Hong Kong associate firm Karas has boosted its dispute resolution and private wealth offering with the addition of a five-strong team from local rival Howse Williams.

The team is led by partner Kevin So, who Mishcon described as a litigator with ‘an outstanding track record in the Hong Kong disputes space, particularly in handling high-stakes contentious trust and international succession matters and various probate, family and mental health disputes'.

Dual-qualified in Hong Kong and England & Wales, So’s practice also spans disputes relating to shareholders and debt and insolvency matters, as well as regulatory investigations. He joined Howse Williams as a partner in 2019 from Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he was a counsel, before which he was at Clifford Chance.

Joining Karas with So are senior associates Geoffrey Lai and Veronica So and associates Jamie Chan and Tricia Yu.  

Karas managing partner, Jason Karas, said the team bring “extensive experience in complex dispute resolution, particularly in matters involving international contentious trusts and succession, as well as a like-minded approach to legal practice”.

He added that their arrival “significantly expands our existing capability and enhances for unique disputes proposition in Hong Kong. I look forward to working closely with Kevin and his team to bring to fruition with Mishcon our growth strategy and East meets West vision.” 

Mishcon announced its tie-up with Karas last September as it moved to expand in Asia ahead of its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange. The UK disputes powerhouse had first launched on the continent the previous year when it added two partners from local firm Withers KhattarWong to open an office in Singapore focused on private client work.

Mishcon’s executive chairperson, Kevin Gold, commented: "As we said when we announced our partnership with Karas, our vision is to grow our capabilities in Asia. Bringing Kevin and his team into the firm is a really important step towards realising this ambition." 

Karas’ disputes and investigations practice is led by Jason Karas and focuses on high value, complex issues including those arising from corporate collapses, audit and other professional negligence, shareholder disputes and commercial fraud. The arrival of So and his team brings the firm's headcount to more than 25 legal professionals, including six partners.

UK law firm HFW boosted its own disputes bench in Hong Kong recently, adding partner Karen Cheung from local independent Li & Partners last September to grow its private client work in the region. And earlier in the year, Linklaters made a double partner hire in the city with the arrival of M&A lawyer Xiaoxi Lin from Kirkland & Ellis and leveraged finance expert Alessandro Nolet from White & Case.



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