The logo of law firm Ropes & Gray LLP is seen outside of their office in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

U.S. law firm Ropes & Gray is shutting down its business restructuring practice in Hong Kong, with its Asia restructuring group leader Daniel Anderson leaving the firm, a Ropes & Gray spokesperson said on Wednesday.

According to a report, Anderson is taking his practice to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. A Freshfields spokesperson declined to comment on Anderson or any plans to add restructuring partners in the region, saying the firm has “nothing to announce at this time.”

Anderson's departure marks the latest in a series of recent senior restructuring lawyer moves in Asia, as firms are seeing an increasing client demand for the practice.

Law firm leaders say Singapore, in particular, is emerging as a "restructuring hub" after it made large-scale reforms to its insolvency and restructuring legislation.

Anderson, a partner at Ropes & Gray since 2012, led its restructuring and special situations practice in Asia and was managing partner of its Hong Kong office. At least two additional attorneys in the restructuring group are longer listed on the firm's website.

“We decided earlier this year to wind down our business restructuring practice in Hong Kong in connection with a regular review of client needs within the region,” the Ropes & Gray spokesperson said in an email.

Ropes & Gray’s Hong Kong outpost will focus on its asset management, private equity, litigation and enforcement practices, and the firm plans to fill “more than half a dozen” positions in the region, the spokesperson said.

These practices are "core" to the firm's worldwide business and represent areas of "sustained growth" in Asia, the spokesperson said.

The firm currently lists six partners in its Hong Kong office; all focused on those practices.

DLA Piper Tuesday tapped Akin Gump’s Hong Kong restructuring practice leader to head its Asia Pacific practice, while Linklaters added a Hong Kong restructuring practice leader from Allen & Overy in October.

Norton Rose Fulbright and Milbank also added Asia restructuring leaders in Singapore in April.

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