17 Aug 2020

Paul Hastings and Ince make partner hires in China

Corporate crime and investigations lawyer Haiyan Tang returns to Paul Hastings while Ince makes strategic Hong Kong addition


Haiyan Tang has re-joined US law firm Paul Hastings after leaving her in-house position as chief legal and compliance officer at CBC Group. 

Tang will initially re-join the firm’s San Diego office before relocating to Shanghai in the near future as part of the firm’s global push to strengthen its compliance and litigation capabilities.

Seth Zachary, chairman of Paul Hastings, said that experienced litigators such as Tang were needed to help clients navigate complex investigations and disputes emerging from the current global pandemic and new economic environment.

Commenting on her return to Paul Hastings, Tang said: “Building on my earlier experience at a major multinational pharmaceutical company, [my] chief legal and compliance officer experience, working as closely as possible with the business on risk management, will only enable me and the team to serve our clients that much better.” 

Prior to her year-long stint at CBC Group, Tang spent almost five years at Paul Hastings in Shanghai, being promoted to partner in 2015 a year after she joined the firm as counsel. 

She has previously worked at a number of recognised US law firms, including Kirkland & Ellis, O’Melveny & Myers, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Her scientific and legal skills will come in useful at a time when US-China trade tensions are particularly focused on intellectual property rights.

Elsewhere, dispute resolution partner Bonita Chan has joined Ince’s Hong Kong office from Miao & Co., which operates in association with Chinese firm Han Kun Law Offices. 

Paul Ho, Ince’s head of greater China, said he was “thrilled” that Chan was joining the firm, adding: “She brings a wealth of litigation and disputes experience to the team and will be invaluable in helping our clients understand the complex issues we are currently seeing developing in the region.”

Chan herself commented that she looked forward to using her “knowledge and leveraging our international client base to grow the practice.”

She leaves Miao & Co. after three-and-a-half years, having previously worked at US law firm K&L Gates and long-established independent firm Hastings & Co.

Both Paul Hastings and Ince have seen lateral growth in the Asian market this year, with the latter making three other senior lateral hires in the region over the past six months despite narrowly missing out on its revenue target for the past financial year

Although some international law firms have departed China and Hong Kong recently amid the ongoing uncertainty caused by China’s security law on the former British colony, others have invested in disputes talent, while Hong Kong’s foremost arbitration centre appointed a leading US arbitrator as a co-chair.

While the Asia Pacific region appears to have been the least impacted by the Covid-19 fuelled M&A slowdown, it is still anticipating a potential increase in pandemic-related disputes, in which both Paul Hastings and Ince will expect their counsel to be in demand.