CMS opens office in Hong Kong
International law firm CMS has opened an office in Hong Kong.
Following years of previous activity by the CMS International Arbitration Group in Hong Kong and intense preparations, approval has been received from the Law Society of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong office will initially focus on dispute resolution and mergers and acquisitions.
“We see huge opportunities for the future throughout the entire South-East Asia region,” says said Hubertus Kolster, managing partner, CMS Germany. “The obvious success of our offices in Shanghai and Beijing, along with the success of our legal services in the region over many years, gives us every reason to be optimistic. Opening an office in Hong Kong is thus a natural development. Hong Kong itself and especially China and, of course, the entire Asia-Pacific region, have very dynamic economies and are a focal point for international investors.”
The firm has also been advising on the growing Chinese investments in other countries for a number of years now. Many of the strongest Chinese companies with promising international strategies for future growth are located in Hong Kong and the neighbouring province of Guangdong.
Cornelius Brandi, executive chairman of CMS, says: “We look for markets that offer the greatest business potential for us. Geographic expansion is often a part of our clients’ growth strategy. So, we move primarily into regions where we expect that there will be future opportunities for them.”
Nicolas Wiegand, a partner in the CMS international arbitration group and head of the Hong Kong office, says: “Setting up our own office in Hong Kong will allow us to provide effective local support to clients from Europe, China, the Asia-Pacific region and the US. As such, we are responding to growing business volumes and meeting the need for client proximity and cross-border advice.”
The services offered by the Hong Kong office will be gradually extended, according to Wiegand. CMS intends to establish a banking and finance practice in the office in 2017. Clients already have access to the full range of services across CMS in more than 60 offices worldwide.
Wiegand has been advising German, Chinese and international clients for many years in Hong Kong, as well as assisting companies from the region requiring support for their activities in Europe and beyond. He has particularly extensive experience with arbitration proceedings in or connected with Hong Kong, China, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.
Wiegand frequently acts as an arbitrator in the region, in addition to representing clients. He is a member of numerous arbitration panels, including the panel of arbitrators at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (HKIAC), the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) and the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). He delivers trainings on arbitration law for the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center.