Osborne Clarke has hired two Bird & Bird partners to help set up its Hong Kong office as part of the firm’s first foray into Asia.

TMT specialist Marcus Vass will partner with corporate lawyer John Koh, also from Bird & Bird, who is currently establishing a new law firm in Hong Kong. The date for the official launch of the new firm has not been yet been finalised.

Hong Kong rules state that international law firms have to enter into an association  with a domestic counterpart for three years before they can establish a local practice.

Vass, who will split his time between London and Hong Kong, advises international online retail companies, advertising agencies and local retail clients on telecoms, media and data protection issues.

“We welcome Marcus Vass to the UK partnership,” said Simon Beswick, chief executive of Osborne Clarke’s international organisation, in a statement. “His (Vass’) expertise in advising clients operating in the digital business market as well as other industries fits perfectly into our sector approach and will enable us to continue to give our clients creative business-focused advice.”

Osborne Clarke specialises in the media and technology sector, and counts Facebook, Dell, and Vodafone among its clients. The firm has been largely focused in Europe and some parts of the U.S. with 600 lawyers across 18 offices.