International law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced plans to open an office in Hong Kong and further expand its international footprint. Gregory D Puff will head up the Hong Kong office and the firm’s Asia practice and is joined by Andrew Abernethy from Norton Rose. Puff joins the firm from Shearman & Sterling. The Hong Kong office will complement Akin Gump’s Beijing practice by focusing on funds, telecoms and energy practices in addition to its Asian trade and policy practices. It will also help the firm build on its recognized practice strengths across South and Southeast Asia. Initially, the firm will advise on pan-Asian M&A, private equity fund formation and management of equity capital market listings for existing firm clients.
Advice on hedge fund formation, project and infrastructure development and finance, oil and gas transactional work as well as international arbitration are areas the firm will look to expand into going forward. Akin Gump chairman R Bruce McLean (pictured) said that the launch of the Hong Kong office and arrival of Puff and Abernethy would enhance the firm’s ability “to deliver corporate and capital markets work, as well as counsel in private equity and private equity investment funds transactions for our clients across Asia and around the world in a number of industries, such as energy and telecoms.” “This move represents a tremendous personal challenge for Andrew and me; one that we both relish. I am delighted to join the firm and look forward to helping build a significant practice in Hong Kong,” said Puff.