Davis Polk turns to UK law schools for Hong Kong recruits

US firm Davis Polk is scouring UK universities for trainees to join its new Hong Kong-law practice.

Partner William Barron said that the firm is looking to recruit around four or five trainee solicitors in 2011 for its new domestic-law practice in Hong Kong, which was launched in August this year (TheLawyer.com 16 August 2010).

The firm has been hunting at UK universities – as well as Hong Kong institutions – for recruits, who will be Hong-Kong qualified at the end of their traineeship. Barron said that the firm is particularly interested in Chinese speakers, but that the firm would also consider non-Chinese speakers.

“We’ve started practising Hong Kong law and have already brought in some partners and associates,” said Barron, “and we’re starting a regional trainee programme, recruiting people straight out of Oxford, London School of Economics and places like that,” said Barron.

The firm has not yet decided on the salary for new starters but Barron said that it will “certainly be competitive with what the other major firms in the Hong Kong market are offering”.

Davis Polk launched its domestic law practice in August this year when it hired two new partners: Bonnie Chan and Antony Dapiran. Chan was the senior vice president of the listing division of the Hong Kong stock exchange before joining Davis Polk, while Dapiran was managing partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Beijing office.

And the firm has since continued its hiring spree, poaching Linklaters’ Beijing office head Paul Chow. Chow will relocate and Join Davis Polk’s Hong Kong office as a corporate partner in May 2011 (The Lawyer, 22 November 2010).