Kirkland opens first Asian office in Hong Kong(3)

Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm, has picked Hong Kong to make its foray into Asia as China is where the firm’s private equity clients are most active.

Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm with US and European presence, has opened its first Asian office in Hong Kong. The new office will be led by David Patrick Eich, a private equity partner who has relocated from London.

Instrumental in establishing the legal firm’s European transactional practice, Eich also played a part in the $10.2 billion leveraged buyout of Philips Semiconductors, on behalf of the private equity consortium, according to a statement.

Joining Eich in Hong Kong are: Chuan Li, a partner from Kirkland in Chicago, and Tai Hsia, a senior associate from Kirkland’s London office, both of whom have extensive private equity experience and are fluent in Mandarin.

Thomas Yannucci, chair of Kirkland’s firmwide management committee said the new office is a “priority” as “China is the fastest-growing economy in the world and an area where many of our clients are already active.”

The new Hong Kong team comprises more than 20 lawyers from Kirkland’s US and European offices. With more than 1,200 lawyers, Kirkland represents more than 80 private equity firms. It has raised in excess of $140 billion for financial sponsors in the last decade.