Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Tim Mak, a former Herbert Smith Freehills partner, as disputes partner for its Hong Kong office.

Mak specializes in financial services regulatory matters. He has particular experience acting for those involved in investigations conducted by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Securities and Futures Commission.

Several firms have taken steps in recent months to boost financial regulatory practices in Hong Kong. In December, Davis Polk & Wardwell announced that it had recruited two Clifford Chance partners, including former Asia disputes head Martin Rogers, to launch a practice in the area. In response Clifford Chance announced plans to relocate U.K. banking litigation head Matthew Newick to Hong Kong.

Under chief executive Ashley Alder, a former Herbert Smith Asia managing partner, the SFC has taken a more aggressive tack. Alder has proposed investment banks be held criminally and civilly liable for the accuracy and reliability of the disclosure accompanying clients’ securities offerings.

Mak began his legal career with the former Herbert Smith as a paralegal in 1995, becoming a trainee solicitor the following year. He left the firm in 2000 for a two-year stint at the SFC as an assistant in-house counsel. Mak became a partner at Herbert Smith in 2007.