May 02, 2024

Mayer Brown and Johnson Stokes & Master herald a new era in Hong Kong


Mayer Brown LLP (“Mayer Brown”) announced today an agreement in principle for the Hong Kong partnership to separate from the international practices of Mayer Brown, reverting to its legacy name, Johnson Stokes & Master (“JSM”). Mayer Brown will continue to operate in Hong Kong through a new partnership, focusing on areas of practice aligned with the firm’s strategy internationally and in Asia. JSM will focus on its unique position as a home-grown full-service law firm in Hong Kong.

The proposed agreement between the partnerships is subject to approval from The Law Society of Hong Kong and is hoped to take effect before the end of the year with certain transitional arrangements being in place up until mid-2025.

“We are immensely proud of our 15-year combination with legacy JSM and the success we have achieved together, and the strong relationships that have formed between our lawyers, our staff, and our clients,” said Jon Van Gorp, chair of Mayer Brown. “Our strategic plan prioritizes the development of core products and industries that are most relevant to our clients in the world’s leading global financial centers, including Hong Kong. This arrangement allows Mayer Brown to continue its presence in Hong Kong with a practice that aligns with our strategic priorities.”

“We are delighted that the Hong Kong partnership will continue its 160-year legacy,” added Van Gorp. “The Hong Kong partnership has consistently been recognized as the leading full-service law firm in Hong Kong and is uniquely positioned to continue this legacy in Hong Kong and Mainland China.”

Terence Tung, senior partner of the Hong Kong partnership, said: “We will continue to support clients with a full-service offering in Hong Kong and through offices in the Chinese Mainland, which is consistent with our roots as a home-grown law firm with a deep understanding of the region. Whilst we have always been known as “孖士打in Hong Kong, it is now the right time to build upon this important legacy to establish a new direction for the Hong Kong partnership as a leading independent law firm, responsive to the challenges and opportunities our clients navigate today.”

The Hong Kong partnership has supported the global growth of prominent local institutions and the local growth of international organizations in Hong Kong throughout nearly its entire history. Today those relationships extend across a broad range of industries strategically significant to the growth of Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, including banking, construction, education, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, logistics and transport, real estate, retail, and technology.

Looking ahead to the establishment of the two distinctive partnerships, Mayer Brown’s new Hong Kong partnership, linking up with its offices in Asia, will focus on corporate and finance work (including capital markets and M&A) and the continued development of its projects and infrastructure, and energy industry offering.

The Hong Kong partnership will retain its presence as one of the largest law firms in Hong Kong. Awarded Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year for two consecutive years running in 2022/23 and 2023/24 by both Thomson Reuters ALB and Who’s Who Legal, the Hong Kong partnership will continue their established representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the Intellectual Property Agency Office in Beijing serving the region.

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