Weil Gotshal & Manges is to launch in Hong Kong after transferring a five-lawyer team from its Manhattan and Shanghai offices, the U.S. law firm announced Wednesday.
Senior corporate partner Akiko Mikumo, who sits on the firm's management committee, will take on the role of Asian managing partner and will also head up the new Hong Kong branch.
Mikumo, who headed the firm's U.S. practice in London between 1998 and 2002, will be joined in Hong Kong by corporate partner Peter Feist, who is currently based in New York, Shanghai capital markets partner David Meredith and two associates.
The move comes after Weil Gotshal earlier this year pulled the plug on its Brussels office, outlining plans to grow Asia to around 25 percent of its total practice, as first reported in Legal Week.
The firm has also applied for a license to open an office in Beijing and has earmarked India and Japan as future targets.
Weil Gotshal Chairman Stephen Dannhauser said: "Hong Kong will provide the platform for Weil Gotshal's expansion into other Asian markets, including India and Japan."