DLA Piper had announced that it will open offices in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and is considering similar moves to Qatar and India. This is the firm’s second office in the UAE–it is already set up in Dubai–and they feel this expansion is warranted due to the booming real estate industry in the region. DLA Piper is not alone in its expansion in the Middle east; Charbourne & Parke opened a Dubai branch earlier this year, and Baker & McKenzie has offices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Mark Lee has left Debevoise & Plimpton to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Hong Kong office as a partner. He is the sixth new partner to join the firm’s China offices in 2007. Lee is joined by of counsel, David Cho, and associate Una Cho, all from Debevoise & Plimpton. Lee’s corporate M&A and private equity practice focuses on Korea; he joins Orrick’s Korea team which includes Eugene Chang, a Tokyo-based finance partner, and Michelle Taylor, a Hong Kong-based partner and head of Orrick’s regional structured finance team.
Boston-based Ropes & Gray has announced plans to open its first international office in Tokyo, Japan by mid-September. The firm is still waiting approval from the Daini Tokyo Bar Association. The new office will be known as Ropes & Gray Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi Jimusho and will be launched by two resident IP partners. Jim DeGraw and Steve Baughman will both move to Tokyo from Boston; the firm will also hire two associates fluent in Japanese.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has recruited Baker & McKenzie Shanghai partner Thomas Man. Man, a Chinese native, will join the firm’s Beijing office and focus his practice on representing foreign companies in foreign direct investments, M&A transactions and real estate investment in China. He is the sixth partner that Orrick has added to its China offices in the past six months.