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The Lawyer Asia
Law firms go local in Hong Kong

Pro-democracy protestors may have taken control of parts of Hong Kong but that has not stopped international law firms from pushing ahead with their strategic plans in the region.

US firms Debevoise & Plimpton and Kobre & Kim have both converted to local practices in the jurisdiction, meaning they can now offer local as well as international advice.

The reason for Debevoise’s move, according to Hong Kong managing partner Andrew Ostrognai in this week’s news story, was to enable the firm “to offer clients a wider level of service”.

For litigation firm Kobre & Kim, which is well known for aggressively pursuing financial institutions in the courts, the Hong Kong conversion was driven by the growing number of multi-jurisdictional disputes it works on.

While the Hong Kong legal market is one of the most developed in the Asia-Pacific region, several of the markets in Southeast Asia are still at a nascent stage. However, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) gearing up for regional economic integration next year that could be about to change.

In anticipation of the opportunities the new economic zone will create for firms operating in the region, The Lawyer is compiling its first-ever Southeast Asia Elite, an in-depth look at the top independent firms operating in the Asean countries.

To nominate a local firm that provides top-quality, standout service in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia or Laos please email associate editor Margaret Taylor on [email protected].