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CMS expands in Asia, adding Hong Kong office

The office will initially focus on M&A and dispute resolution.

CMS has opened an office in Hong Kong, its second international office opening in 2016, according to a statement from the global law firm.

The office will initially focus on dispute resolution and mergers and acquisitions, including working on private equity transactions. These services will be gradually extended, with plans for a banking and finance practice to be established in 2017.

“We see huge opportunities for the future throughout the entire South-East Asia region,” Hubertus Kolster, managing partner at CMS Germany, said in the statement.

“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.”

The CMS International Arbitration Group has been active in Hong Kong for several years. Nicolas Wiegand, a partner in that group, will head the Hong Kong office. He has been advising German, Chinese and international clients for many years in Hong Kong, as well as assisting companies from the region requiring support for their activities internationally.

CMS has also been advising on Chinese investments in other countries over the past few years. Many of these companies with “promising international strategies for future growth” are located in Hong Kong and neighbouring Guandong province, the firm notes.

“Setting up our own office in Hong Kong will allow us to provide effective local support to clients from Europe, China, the Asia-Pacific region and the US,” Wiegand said in the statement.

“As such, we are responding to growing business volumes and meeting the need for client proximity and cross-border advice.”

In February CMS opened an office in Tehran, Iran, led by partners of CMS Germany. CMS lawyers based in the offices will advise on Iranian law and “cover all the legal areas expected of a major international law firm”, according to a statement at the time.

“At CMS, we look to expand into regions where we see change and where we expect that there will be future opportunities. After the lifting of sanctions, we now see this in Iran,” Cornelius Brandi, executive chairman of CMS, said in the statement.

“This is a large country with a very well-educated and young population which is open for travel and well-connected internationally. We see many opportunities, especially in energy, technology and automotive.”