Hong Kong Hong Kong

A pair of former Baker Botts lawyers has teamed up with an ex-Addleshaw Goddard Asia corporate head in Hong Kong to offer contract lawyer services.

Former Baker Botts international arbitration partner Phillip Georgiou and special counsel Sonny Payne and former Addleshaw Asia corporate head Brett Stewien have formed a new Hong Kong law firm GPS Legal—not to be confused with GPS Legal & Consulting, which is a Bangkok-based law firm.

A core feature of the firm is a contract lawyer service dubbed GPS Flex. The firm assigns its members work that relates to clients’ Hong Kong and mainland China transactions and arbitration. In addition to solicitors and barristers, GPS Flex members also include e-discovery and due diligence specialists.

The firm said on its website that GPS Flex responded to client demands for hands-on involvement from partners and only appropriately qualified and experienced lawyers; it thus “removed the inefficiencies and inevitable cost blow-outs resulting from downward delegation to inexperienced personnel.”

This different model, according to the firm, allows it to bring the experience and capability of Big Law but with a different fee structure. The firm said it had moved away from the traditional hourly rate fee structure, and instead arranged value-based legal fees aligned with clients’ legal budgets.

Georgiou and Payne both specialize in disputes in the energy and natural resources sectors, and Stewien advises foreign companies on transactions in mainland China and Southeast Asia. In addition to the three founding partners, the firm also has trademark lawyer Helen Tang as consultant.

Georgiou joined Baker Botts in 2015 from Jones Day, where he practiced for over a decade and had been a partner since 2010. He worked with both Payne and Tang at Jones Day.

Stewien was a founding partner of Addleshaw’s Hong Kong office when the U.K. firm formed an association with his own firm Stewien & Co in 2013. He was a partner with DLA Piper in Hong Kong before that.