China’s Han Kun Law Offices has hired away corporate partner Paula Liu from Kirkland & Ellis.
Liu joins from the U.S. firm’s Shanghai office, where she was a partner focusing on China-related private equity deals and mergers and acquisitions. In 2016, she advised The Coca-Cola Co. on a $1.4 billion restructuring of its bottling unit in China; earlier in her career, she also acted for Spain’s Banco Santander S.A.’s investment in Bank of Shanghai Co. and represented FountainVest Partners on a renewable energy investment in China.
Liu joined Kirkland in early 2017 from Clifford Chance, where she had spent 11 years and was most recently counsel. She joined the Magic Circle firm’s Shanghai office in 2005 after earning a law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Her arrival at Han Kun follows that of former Clifford Chance financial regulatory partner Yang Tiecheng, who made the move in late 2017. Before that, the Beijing-based firm also recruited former White & Case China practice head Li Xiaoming.
Han Kun, which turns 15 years old next year, started out as a private equity and venture capital specialist firm and has been riding the wave of China’s internet boom; the firm ascended to prominence as many of its early clients, such as Tencent Holdings Ltd., became major players in the internet and technology space. In 2017, the 236-lawyer firm reported $85.8 million in gross revenue, up 26.2 percent from a year earlier; the firm, which had 40 equity partners last year, had $1.07 million in profit per equity partner.
In its latest partnership round, Kirkland named two Shanghai-based lawyers—Shuting Qi and Rongjing Zhao—both in the M&A and private equity practice.