CMS’s Hong Kong associate firm has recruited a group of seven insurance lawyers, led by partners Andrew Horton and Steven Wise, from British firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.

The team joins Shirley Lau & Co, which was launched by former Troutman Sanders corporate partner Shirley Lau and entered into an association with CMS in May, following a decision by the Am Law 100 firm to close its three offices in Asia.

London-based CMS, a network of firms around the world, will now be able to offer local law advice in Hong Kong. Both Horton and Wise are dual-qualified in Hong Kong and England and Wales.

Horton specializes in marine insurance and cross-border disputes. He joined RPC in Hong Kong in 2012 from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert as the latter prepared to merge with fellow British firm Clyde & Co, where he had previously practiced in the early 1990s. Horton had worked at Barlow Lyde since 2010, when he joined the firm from Reed Smith Richards Butler, the Asian unit of Reed Smith, where he worked for more than 15 years.

Wise specializes in shipping and international trade. RPC hired him in 2014 from Holman Fenwick Willan, where he spent more than a decade and made partner in 2008.

“The insurance market is becoming increasingly global in nature and Asia is playing an important part in that, so it is vital that we continue to build out the practice to meet the needs of our clients and take on new opportunities,“ said a statement from Ed Foss, the London-based head of the insurance and reinsurance practice at CMS.

CMS opened its Hong Kong office in 2016 via its German arm, CMS Hasche Sigle, with arbitration partner Nicolas Wiegand, who now serves as its local managing partner, and arbitration counsel Olga Boltenko. Earlier this month, Chinese firm Fangda Partners hired Boltenko as a partner in Hong Kong.