Cleary Gottlieb Steen and  Hamilton on Thursday announced plans to commence a Hong Kong law practice with a partner recruited from U.K. firm Norton Rose.

Freeman Chan, an skilled capital markets lawyer, is currently head of the China corporate finance practice at the U.K. firm.He has acted as issuer's counsel in a number of recent Hong Kong initial public offerings.

Cleary managing partner Mark Walker stated that they were excited that Freeman, an acknowledged market leader, will join them to lead their Hong Kong law practice.He also said that adding Hong Kong law capability to their existing, successful Asia practice is a natural and important extension of their firm’s global business model, which combines well-built local law and international law practices across the globe.

CGSH is the newest U.S. firm to take the plunge into a Hong Kong law practice, having formerly practiced only U.S. law in Asia. Davis Polk & Wardwell, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, and Shearman & Sterling also have introduced Hong Kong practices in the last few months.