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"Established in 1851, Deacons is Hong Kong’s premier independent law firm, providing an extensive range of legal services to local and international corporations with business inter..." read more
"Founded by Dr The Honourable P C Woo in 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War, P C Woo & Co is one of the longest-standing law firms in Hong Kong. It has more tha..." read more

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Overview

After several years of fluidity, Hong Kong’s legal market remained fairly stable in 2012 and 2013. The preceding years involved a series of lateral partner moves, with Hong Kong qualified partners departing Magic Circle firms for US competitors. This was largely in the corporate and corporate finance sector, as US firms sought to exploit the buoyancy in the Hong Kong capital markets and an expectation that M&A, including People’s Republic of China (PRC) outbound acquisitions, would grow. However, since 2011, Hong Kong’s capital markets have been far from lively, particularly on the equity side. Even so, US firms such as Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP are clearly developing a greater market share and are eating into the traditional hegemony of Magic Circle practices such as Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters.

At the end of 2012, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP made another huge splash by hiring celebrated litigator and financial institutions regulatory specialist Martin Rogers and his right-hand-man James Wadham from Clifford Chance. This precipitated a series of headline lateral moves in the financial institutions regulatory space, with Tim Mak leaving Herbert Smith Freehills for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. These moves illustrate a recognition that regulatory issues and investigations are now big business for firms on a global basis and also that this area provides a counter-balance to a lethargic corporate finance segment.

International firms are on the whole still committed to Hong Kong, in part because of the attraction of it as a location for PRC and other Asian companies to raise money. Enterprises that list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will often continue to access the capital markets, whether through equity or debt transactions. In addition, they will be party to M&A transactions, disputes and all manner of matters that will come under Hong Kong law. And so for this reason, Hong Kong’s legal profession should remain in rude health for many years to come. At the time of going to press, King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin LLP are set to merge in November 2013.

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  • Austria/Malta: Schoenherr advises Oesterreichische Volksbanken on sale of Volksbank Malta

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Österreichische Volksbanken-AG (OeVAG) on the sale of its fully-owned subsidiary Volksbank Malta Limited to Malta-based Mediterranean Bank plc. On 11 April 2014, OeVAG and Mediterranean Bank signed a Share Purchase Agreement for 100% of the shares in Volksbank Malta. Closing shall take place after the required approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received. read more...
  • Austria: Stefan Kuehteubl new head of Employment practice at Schoenherr

    Stefan Kuehteubl will join Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as a partner and the head of the firm's Employment practice as of July 2014. A highly-regarded employment law practitioner, Kuehteubl will be returning to Schoenherr, where he previously worked as a member of its employment team between 1999 and 2004. During the past ten years, he worked in a well-known Vienna-based employment law boutique, in which he was a partner since 2008. read more...
  • Proud to continue charitable donations in 2014

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  • New Swiss Law on Product Safety

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    In a recent landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court in the matter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL) & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors ., the Hon'ble Court has laid down an important principal of law to the effect that SARFAESI Action can be taken by an assignee/ successor in interest only if the original lender had SARFAESI power.
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    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 2,100 Crore.
  • Angel Buzalov from “Popov & Partners” has participated in “Legal Day 2014”of GBICC

    On 20.03.2014 was carried the first part of the annually organized forum "Legal Day" of German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber. Representatives of the leading legal companies in Bulgaria and industry representatives also took part in the event.
  • “Popov & Partners” took part in the consultations organized by the German-Bulgarian Industrial C

    On 24.03.2014 a meeting of the Advisory Board "Law" of the German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber (GBICC) was held. The event was attended by representatives of the business as well as lawyers from major law firms in Bulgaria, including the law firm "Popov & Partners."