Stibbe to launch in Hong Kong
13 July 2012
Top Benelux firm Stibbe has announced it will be launching an office in Hong Kong, six months after the firm rejected merger overtures from Herbert Smith
. It will now compete in that crowded market place with, errr, Herbert Smith.
Stibbe was one third of Herbert Smith's global offering, alongside Germany's Gleiss Lutz. However, the alliance flatlined when the two European members refused a full merger
with Herbert Smith for the third time at the end of 2011. Rebuffed, Herbies cancelled the entire relationship and the three firms parted company.
||Getting ready for a fight in Hong Kong
The fallout has been muted, with Herbies insisting that it was looking forward to ongoing "good relationships
" with its former friends. Although that may now be tested as Stibbe launches in Hong Kong, a market in which Herbies has enjoyed recent success. And Asia-Pacific is clearly a target for growth, what with the recent merger
with Australia's Freehills.
Stibbe's new outpost will service Chinese clients investing in Europe. A spokesman for the firm said "Preparations for the office opening have started, and as soon as the last steps are in place, the office will open