King & Wood Mallesons has hired away a corporate partner from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Beijing as the Chinese firm further develops a U.S. law practice.

Huang Ling, a U.S. lawyer, advises on mergers and acquisitions and private equity deals. In 2016, she advised China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. on a $3 billion acquisition of Citigroup’s stakes in China Guangfa bank.

Huang, who also served as Cleary’s chief representative in Beijing, joined Cleary in 2012 from Shearman & Sterling, where she was a partner. She first joined Shearman in 1997 and became a partner in 2009.

Cleary corporate partner Denise Shiu will take over the role of chief representative of the Beijing office, where there are currently nine resident lawyers. Corporate associate Tian Gao will be promoted to counsel in January.

In 2016, King & Wood Mallesons hired U.S. securities lawyer Liu Jia from Cleary; Liu became a partner last year and relocated to Hong Kong earlier this year as part of the firm’s efforts to build up an equity capital markets practice. In 2017, the Chinese firm hired former Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft Asia managing partner and private equity specialist Rocky Lee in Beijing to head up a U.S. law corporate practice.


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