SJ Berwin expands to Asia

Recently voted best law firm for fund formation in Europe in the Private Equity International Awards 2008, SJ Berwin has identified China and East Asia as 'critical markets for the future', according to senior partner Jonathan Blake. The firm will open its 10th office in Hong Kong - its first outside Europe.

SJ Berwin, the pan-European law firm credited with inventing the private equity limited partnership, will open its first office outside Europe in Hong Kong, subject to regulatory requirements. 

“China and East Asia are huge and critical markets for the future,” Jonathan Blake, senior partner, said in a statement. “SJ Berwin's East Asia team, based initially in Hong Kong, will offer a small but strategically well-configured team of partners and lawyers focusing from the outset on some of SJ Berwin's core areas initially including fund formation, private equity, corporate, M&A, real estate, energy, infrastructure and litigation.”

Jonathan Blake

The China and East Asia practice will be founded by partners Daniel Liew, who is also the firm’s Asia managing partner, Peter Tse and Hans Thomas Kessler. They will be joined by consultant Giovanna Kwong.

The Hong Kong office represents a further step in SJ Berwin’s international strategy, Blake said.

Liew added it enables SJ Berwin “to take advantage of business opportunities from East Asian companies investing in Europe and from international clients doing business in East Asia”.

Despite the financial crisis, East Asian markets “are poised to retain GDP growth rates well above global average” Liew said. “The downturn presents good opportunities for investors and their professional advisors, especially in mergers and acquisitions.”

SJ Berwin has  offices in Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris and Turin. It was recently voted the best law firm (fund formation) in Europe in the Private Equity International Awards 2008, having last year advised on the formation of 165 funds worth nearly €74 billion.