Winston & Strawn’s Asia practice continues to shrink as its Asia managing partner, David Hall-Jones, has retired. The firm has not named his replacement.
Hong Kong-based Hall-Jones, who spent 30 years in private practice, left Winston & Strawn at the end of July after 10 years with the firm. He joined in 2008 as part of a three-partner team from Heller Ehrman to launch an Asia practice for the Chicago-based firm. Alongside Hall-Jones was former Heller Hong Kong office head Simon Luk, who now chairs Winston & Strawn’s Asia practice, and former partner Michael Phillips, who has since left the firm.
A disputes lawyer, Hall-Jones was also chairman of the firm’s litigation practice in Asia. That practice is now led by Hong Kong partner Steven Grimes, who relocated from the firm’s Chicago office in August.
“Steve’s close ties to the U.S. Litigation Practice will be valuable in helping to continue to grow our cross-border disputes practice,” the firm said in a statement.
Grimes rejoined Winston & Strawn in Chicago a year ago from Illinois-based car parts manufacturer Tenneco Inc., where served as chief compliance officer for two years. He was a partner with the firm between 2013 and 2015. Before entering private practice, Grimes was, for five years, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, where he prosecuted public officials, law enforcement officers and corporate executives for corruption.
Hall-Jones’ exit follows a string of losses for Winston & Strawn’s Asia practice. In 2017 alone, the firm lost seven partners in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Former Hong Kong corporate partner Mabel Lui left the firm for Withers alongside partners Polly Chu and Daniel Tang and three associates. Former Hong Kong partners Giovanni Marino and Charles Mo also quit last year for Osborne Clarke and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, respectively. In Shanghai, corporate partners Laura Luo left for King & Wood Mallesons, while former Asia employment head Matthew Durham returned to Simmons & Simmons.
The exodus followed the firm’s 2016 decision to close its Beijing and Taipei offices. Several lawyers, including former Taipei resident partner Horng-Dar Lin, left the firm. Also in 2016, former Shanghai managing partner Bertrand Theaud left to start his own practice.
Winston & Strawn now has 18 lawyers, including six partners, between Hong Kong and Shanghai. In addition to Luk and Grimes, energy partner Marco Pocci is also based in Hong Kong; corporate partner Brinton Scott resides in Shanghai. Arbitration partner Terence Wong and antitrust partner Jingwen Zhu split their time between the two offices. Washington, D.C.-based antitrust partner Stephen Harris regularly advises on China-related matters.