Dechert Hong Kong Head Leaves for Zhong Lun

, The Asian Lawyer

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Former Dechert Hong Kong head Basil Hwang has left to join China’s Zhong Lun Law Firm.

Hwang will join Zhong Lun’s associate Hong Kong firm Boughton Peterson Yang Anderson as a partner after six years as managing partner of the Hong Kong office for Dechert. A specialist in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, Hwang represents Chinese corporations, financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds on overseas investments as well as private equity funds and multinationals on Asian acquisitions.

In an interview, Hwang said he wanted a bigger China-focused platform and noted that foreign firms are barred from practicing Chinese law. “U.S. firms have rather limited resources in Asia, and at a foreign firm, I wasn’t able to offer clients guidance on Chinese law,” he says.

Hwang launched Dechert’s Hong Kong office and associate firm Hwang & Co. in 2007. The Hong Kong Law Society requires foreign firms to participate in such associations for three years before practicing locally under their own names.

Before joining Dechert, Hwang had been a partner with Paul Hastings. Hwang also previously worked at O'Melveny & Myers, Clifford Chance and Allen & Gledhill.

Zhong Lun formed its association with Boughton Peterson in 2011 and currently has about 40 lawyers in Hong Kong, including 13 partners. Globally, Zhong Lun has about 800 lawyers in six Chinese offices and international offices in Tokyo, London, New York and Hong Kong.

Email: azhang@alm.com.

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