Hong Kong
Established US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is launching a new outpost in Hong Kong over the next few weeks. It is looking to make Hong Kong its new Asia hub, after it opened an office in Beijing in 2007. Moving it seems, in the direction that most firms and companies are, International Managing Partner Rick Burdick comments that “it’s hard to have a China practice without being in Hong Kong, it’s the New York of Asia, possibly the world.” Burdick remarked that a decision was made following the realisation that the firm was “underweight in Asia.”

The firm will not focus on capital markets, but will be skewed towards its strengths in the energy resources area, M&A and investment fund formation, with a dispute resolution department to open down the road. It has recruited two partners to lead the new office, Gregory Puff, ex-Shearman & Sterling and Andrew Abernathy, ex-Norton Rose both specialists in their niche M&A practices but also with offerings in the private equity and joint venture fields.

Given that the firm has acquired a foreign registered law firm license from the Hong Kong Law Society, it has the greenlight to practice US, English and Hong Kong law.

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