A group of lawyers has left Reed Smith Richards Butler in Hong Kong to set up an independent firm. Howse Williams Bowers, led by partners Chris Howse, Christopher Williams, and Kevin Bowers, will focus mainly on matters involving Hong Kong’s health care industry.

Apart from the founders, two other Reed Smith lawyers are joining the new firm as partners: David Kan and Bernard Murphy. Some 15 counsel and associates have also made the move from Reed Smith to Howse Williams.

Howse, a litigator who co-led Reed Smith’s Hong Kong professional indemnity and health care groups, first joined the former Richards Butler in London in 1975. In 1983, he moved to the U.K. firm’s Hong Kong office, which merged with Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith in 2008.

Bowers, who joined Richards Butler from Hong Kong’s Deacons in 2006, is also a litigator. He focuses primarily on commercial and insurance matters, and also has experience in media-related litigation.

Williams, who joined Richards Butler in 1986 and became a partner in 1994, focuses on corporate finance, direct investments, and mergers and acquisitions.

Their departures will leave Reed Smith Richards Butler with 27 partners according to its Web site. The firm has 85 Hong Kong lawyers in total.

Email: jseah@alm.com