Withers takes 12-strong team from Winston & Strawn in Hong Kong

Withers has bulked up its Hong Kong corporate practice by taking a three-partner team from Winston & Strawn, which has recently closed two offices in Asia.

The team joining Withers is led by Winston & Strawn’s Asia corporate head Mabel Lui and consists of corporate partners Polly Chu and Daniel Tang. They have joined the UK firm along with four associates, three paralegals and two support staff.

The three partners were part of a team that joined Winston & Strawn from DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office in 2014Lui headed the Asia corporate practice at DLA Piper at the time, and Tang was made up as a result of the move. Real estate-focused Chu was promoted to partner at Winston & Strawn a year later.

In Withers, Lui will serve as the head of the firm’s greater China commercial practice. The latest team hire has pushed the firm’s total number of partners in Hong Kong to 10.

According to Withers, it acts for 30 per cent of Hong Kong’s top 20 billionaires. The firm’s Hong Kong office was launched in 2008. In 2015, it deepened its Asia coverage by establishing a formal law alliance (FLA) with Singaporean firm KhattarWong.

The team’s move comes shortly after The Lawyer reported that Winston & Strawn has reduced its Asia footprint by closing in Beijing and Taipei.

The two office closures left the firm with only two bases in Asia  – Hong Kong and Shanghai. Its number of partners has been reduced from nine to six across the two offices following the most recent team departure.

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