Office Openings 3/6/12

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 3:03 PM

New Akin Gump Office Opening in Hong Kong

Within the next few weeks, Akin Gump is planning to open a new office in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong firm will be headed by Gregory Puff, former M&A partner of Shearman & Sterling, and Andrew Abernethy, the Hong Kong partner of Norton Rose.

This new Hong Kong office is sure to strengthen the firm’s capital markets offering in China by focusing on pan-Asian mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and investment funds, while, like many US firms, also looking into developing a dispute resolution practice. The firm will also work with Asian trade and policy practices and look into opportunities in Russia where the firm already has a strong practice.

Katten Opens In Shanghai

Two weeks ago, Katten opened their first Asian office in Shanghai. Richard Daley, former mayor of Chicago who joined Katten as of counsel last June, went to Shanghai upon the opening of the office to enhance the firm’s local launch. The firm decided to bring him abroad considering his ties to China during his term as mayor.

Feng Xue, corporate partner and Asia-China Practice Head of Katten, will be relocating to Shanghai to head the new office. The firm plans to hire two counsels and one associate in Shanghai. Partner Geoff AuYeng will also be a representative of the Shanghai office, but will continue to work in Chicago. This new office’s focus will be on advising Chinese companies on outbound investment to the U.S. This will be the ninth office opening for Katten.

Ashurst Plans to Launch Beijing Office

Ashurst has made plans to launch a Beijing office with partner Patrick Phua from King & Wood Mallesons, who was head of the derivatives, structured finance and banking practices of their Beijing office. Ashurst is in the process of applying for a license for its Beijing office. Ashurst also has offices in Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

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