Seyfarth Shaw is opening a new office in Hong Kong, further expanding the presence of its international employment law practice in the Asia-Pacific region.
Julia Gorham, who is departing from her position as the head of DLA Piper’s Asia employment practice in Hong Kong, will head up the new office.
Darren Gardner, chair of Seyfarth’s international practice, told Big Law Business that Gorham eventually will be joined by one other partner, likely a lateral, and approximately six associates. The firm then plans to scale that office to add a commercial corporate practice, he said.
Gardner could not provide an exact timeline for the Hong Kong office opening. He said Gorham is still wrapping up matters at DLA Piper. Before joining DLA Piper, Gorham was an in-house litigation counsel for J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong. She represents investment banking, financial services and technology companies in a broad range of employment matters.
Seyfarth, which ranked 58th on the American Lawyer’s 2016 list of firms by gross revenue, used the same strategy with its London office, Gardner said. Opened in 2011 with just one employment partner, it now employs ten attorneys covering international employment, corporate commercial, trademark, and immigration law.
“The model has worked particularly well,” he said.
The Hong Kong office will work closely with Seyfarth’s regional hubs in Shanghai and Australia, according to Gardner.“It’s setting the cornerstone for the evolution of the cross-border practice and providing additional resources for what we’re doing on a cross border basis in Asia,” he said.
Seyfarth’s announcement comes on the heels of the news that another AmLaw 100 firm, Morgan Lewis, is finally entering the Hong Kong market as well. The firm announced earlier this month that it applied to become a registered foreign law firm in Hong Kong, seeking approval to associate with Luk & Partners, a newly formed Chinese law firm.