U.S. law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is set to close its office in Hong Kong, with operations scheduled to be wound down by August 31, 2020.
Orrick tells ALB that the decision had been made a while ago, but the announcement was delayed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The firm's Hong Kong lease expires in June, and Orrick will secure temporary space to support its team and clients until the end of August.
The firm’s Hong Kong team now comprises of four partners and seven other lawyers and trainees, who advise on areas including investment funds, M&A and disputes.
After losing the entirety of its Hong Kong capital markets practice in 2017 to Morgan Lewis & Bockius, the firm sought to rebuild in Hong Kong with a focus on technology and innovation, but did not see the growth it was looking for. “While our practices in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei have thrived, we unfortunately have not been able to grow our team in Hong Kong in a way that aligns with our strategy globally and creates opportunities for cross-office collaboration,” Orrick says. Additionally, its litigation and arbitration head in Hong Kong, Charles Allen, also left to join U.K. firm RPC last June.
The firm, however, says that the closure will not affect its other offices in Greater China. Orrick recently advised Toyota Motor on its $400 million investment in autonomous driving company Pony.ai’s Series C round in this region, which is Toyota’s biggest investment in an autonomous driving company based in China.
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