Cooley is set to launch in Hong Kong after submitting an application with the Law Society to form a registered foreign law firm in the city.

The office will advise on local law through an association with Hong Kong practice Cai, Lee & Partners, which has been set up by former Skadden partner Will Cai and Cooley partner Pang Lee. Both the registered foreign law firm and the association with the new local firm are subject to Law Society approval.

In the US, Cooley specialises in advising on initial public offerings for tech and life sciences companies, and has been expanding its presence in Greater China since opening an office in Shanghai in 2011 and in Beijing last year. It also advises on financing, joint ventures and other strategic transactions.

“Given our proven success in capital markets in the United States, Asia and around the world, a physical presence in this leading centre for finance and innovation is a fundamental next step in our global growth strategy,” said Joe Conroy, Cooley’s chief executive officer.

Cai, who is qualified in the US and Hong Kong, will lead Cooley’s capital markets practice in the region. He represents Chinese issuers and global investment banks in US and Hong Kong capital markets transactions. He also advises private equity funds and multinationals on their investments in the Greater China region, as well as Chinese companies on cross-border M&A work. Since 2008, he has worked on more than 40 completed IPOs in the US and Hong Kong capital markets.

“Cooley’s unique platform, leading client base and collegial culture make this opportunity extremely attractive,” said Cai. “I am looking forward to playing a role in its continued investment and achievement across the Asia-Pacific region and globally.”

Lee is a Shanghai-based partner admitted in the US and Hong Kong who focuses on global private equity and venture capital fund formation matters.

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