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Accountancy giant PwC has expanded its legal offerings to Hong Kong with the hire of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) partner David Tiang and O’Melveny & Myers partner Gigi Woo.
The two new hires have set up a local Hong Kong firm named Tiang & Co, which is in association with PwC Legal International – a foreign law practice PwC Legal set up in Singapore last year.
Tiang was previously a partner of KWM in Shanghai, focusing on corporate governance, risk management and compliance. Woo was a former capital markets partner of O’Melveny in Hong Kong.
Both founding partners had held senior in-house roles prior to their private practice. Tiang had served as general counsel for Asia and China at Walmart and before that Asia general counsel of General Electric.
Prior to joining O’Melveny in 2012, Woo was the global head of debt and equity capital markets legal at Standard Chartered Bank.
PwC Legal’s entrant to Hong Kong comes a few months after it established a foreign law practice in Singapore under the banner of PwC Legal International with real estate partner Natalie Breen from Norton Rose Fulbright and former Ashurst Singapore managing partner Keith McGuire.
The accountancy giant has already had a legal services unit in China, which was set up at the beginning of 2015 with a team of three partners from leading local firm Broad & Bright.
Prior to the Hong Kong launch, PwC Legal appointed Allen & Overy’s former Greater China senior partner Joseph Tse as a special advisor for China and Hong Kong. It is understood that Tse will remain at the firm, but it is unclear if he will join the newly establish Tiang & Co as a partner.
PwC declined to comment on the Hong Kong launch, citing the process of obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals is on going.
The Lawyer’s Asia Pacific 150 report, published in June 2016, found the Big Four accountants are gaining serious ground in their push to dominate Asia Pacific. The combined lawyer headcount of the Big Four increased by 17.3 per cent to 805 in the region last year, faster than any of their law firm competitors.
PwC, which has the largest legal services offering among the Big Four, continued its strong expansion this year. Its Australian arm also recently added six partners from leading local and international firms,including Clifford Chance Australia co-founder Mark Pistilli and DLA Piper’s former Australia chief Tony Holland.
For the inside perspective on the Big Four accountants in Asia, order your copy of the Asia Pacific 150 2016 report. Contact Richard Edwards on 0207 970 4672 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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