City law firm Addleshaw Goddard has shuttered its Hong Kong offices with a view to sending lawyers to London, Singapore, and Dubai.
John Joyce, managing director of the centuries old law firm, said Addleshaw had decided to close its Hong Kong offices due to the “unique set of challenges” it has faced since first opening offices in the city-state a decade ago.
Addleshaw said that in light of the current situation it could not “economically justify” renewing its Hong Kong lease, as the firm said it continues to “hope for a dramatic change in outlook”.
The exit comes as the Hong Kong government’s iron-fisted approach to tackling Covid, which has devasted the city-state’s economy over the past two years.
The law firm, which has 17 offices across the globe, said the decision is in “no way a reflection” on its Hong Kong lawyers, as the firm said it will support its 36 Hong Kong staff in relocating to London, Dubai, and Singapore.
The London law firm noted that some of its Hong Kong partners, lawyers, and trainees will also transfer to local Hong Kong firm Howse Williams.
The firm said it will retain its focus on the Asian market, through its Singapore offices, which is set act as Addleshaw’s “key presence” in Asia going forwards.
Addleshaw said in pursuing its Asian expansion, the firm will now revert to a “best friend” approach, as it has done in Japan through its exclusive deal with Tokyo law firm Hashidate Law Office.
The firm is however set to focus its business on Europe, in line with the launch of its Dublin and Luxembourg offices this year.