U.K. firm Osborne Clarke has hired two Bird & Bird partners to open its first Asia office in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong-based Marcus Vass, head of Bird & Bird’s communications, media and technology group in China, will join as a partner and split time between the new office and London. He will be joined by Bird & Bird Hong Kong corporate partner John Koh, with Osborne Clarke London partner Adrian Bott also spending time in Hong Kong.
Both Vass and Koh are still currently with Bird & Bird. Neither firm would comment on their expected date of departure.
In Hong Kong, foreign firms are required to form an association with a local firm for three years before establishing their own local practice. To that end, Koh is currently registering a new firm in the city but the launch date is as yet unknown. Osborne Clarke’s Hong Kong team will initially focus on what it calls digital business practice, which includes media, technology, telecom and entertainment matters.
Bird & Bird Hong Kong partner Michelle Chan, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in May, will replace Vass as team lead once he leaves.
Globally, London-based Osborne Clarke has over 600 lawyers in 18 offices, mostly in Europe.