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Finding a good lawyer can be difficult for firms looking to expand their China practices. Competition for new hires in the relatively small market can be fierce. So DLA Piper was pleased as punch this week to poach Mallesons Stephen Jaques attorney Esther Leung for their Hong Kong office. “Esther is a quality operator and brings a skill set inHong Kong capital markets which we were very keen to strengthen, given the continued growth of Hong Kong as aworld financial center,” saidNick Seddon, the firm’s Asia managing director. Leung worked in Mallesons’ Hong Kong office and focused on cross -order M&A deals and IPOs. She adds to DLA Piper’s burgeoning China practice. The firm has more than 150 lawyers based in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Last month, DLA Piper added veteran Hong Kong commercial attorney Wei Liu to its office there. Liu also has experience with mainland China. The firm intends to continue the trend of lateral hires, Seddon said. Though recruiting is never easy for China offices, Seddon said DLA Piper has some advantages over other foreign law firms.
The Rush into China

Read our latest coverage on the scramble to get American law firms � and lawyers � into China.

“Thecompetition for talent is fierce in China � whether it be for locally qualified or U.S./UK qualified lawyers,” Seddon said. “Because DLA Piper grew throughout Asia during both the financial crisis and SARs, we are seen as committed to the regionlong-term where some competitors have come and gone or have only recently arrivedin an opportunistic move.”

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