As leading American law firms rapidly expand their Hong Kong practices, some of their British competitors are taking comfort in the notion that this too will pass.

“Not all of them will be in it for the long haul,” asserts Peter Charlton, Asia managing partner for Clifford Chance, of U.S. firms in Hong Kong. “It takes them a long time to decide to do something, but they’re very quick to cut when they don’t think they’re getting the return they want.”

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