International law firm CMS is opening an office in Hong Kong - led by CMS Germany. Following years of previous activity, approval was recently received from the Law Society of Hong Kong enabling CMS to be represented with its own office and lawyers from September 2016 onwards. This is the second international office to be opened within a few months, after the opening of an office in Tehran in February of this year.
"We see huge opportunities for the future throughout the entire South-East Asia region. The obvious success of our offices in Shanghai and Beijing, along with the success of our legal services in the region over many years, gives us every reason to be optimistic. Opening an office in Hong Kong is thus a natural development," said Hubertus Kolster, General Managing Partner of CMS Germany. "Hong Kong itself, and especially China and of course the entire Asia-Pacific region have very dynamic economies and are a focal point for international investors," adds Peter Huber, Managing Partner of CMS Austria. CMS has also been advising on the increasing volume of Chinese investment in other countries for a number of years now. Many of the strongest Chinese companies with promising international strategies for future growth are located in Hong Kong and the neighbouring province of Guangdong.
Cornelius Brandi, Executive Chairman of CMS: "We look for markets that offer the greatest business potential for us. Geographic expansion is often part of our client´s growth strategy. So, we move primarily into regions where we expect that there will be future opportunities for them."
Nicolas Wiegand, a partner at CMS Germany in the International Arbitration Group and head of the Hong Kong office, says: "Setting up our own CMS office in Hong Kong will allow us to provide effective local support to clients from Europe, China, the Asia-Pacific region and the US. As such, we are responding to growing business volumes and meeting the need for client proximity and cross-border advice."
Consulting focus CMS Hong Kong
The Hong Kong office will initially focus primarily on dispute resolution and mergers & acquisitions. Hong Kong has long since been one of the key global arbitration locations and attracts clients from all over the world using Hong Kong as a dispute resolution hub. As a neutral, independent and reliable location with a stable legal system, Hong Kong has in particular become indispensable for handling disputes connected with China. Consolidating the firm's expertise in Hong Kong is therefore a logical step for CMS as a leading law firm for international arbitration, with the move being driven and supported by the CMS International Arbitration Group.
The services offered by the Hong Kong office will be gradually extended. CMS intends to establish a Banking & Finance practice in the office in 2017, for example, while clients already have access to the full range of services across the CMS network of more than 60 offices worldwide.
The new CMS office enjoys a prime location in the Central district of Hong Kong Island. CMS is taking the entire 27th floor of an office building on Queen's Road Central. Alongside Nicolas Wiegand, the local CMS team will include other German lawyers as well as Chinese and Russian lawyers. Additionally, a lawyer who previously worked not only for other major law firms, including in Hong Kong and Singapore, but also for the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, has been hired and brings with her particularly extensive experience of investment-related disputes. The entire team is thoroughly acquainted with the conditions and structures in Hong Kong and Asia, and as well as speaking Mandarin and English the team also includes German, French, Russian and Norwegian speakers.