Howse Williams Bowers was created by Reed Smith’s four ex-partners and one ex-associate. The new firm will employ 60 people that includes attorneys and general staffers before the month’s end, all of them from Reed Smith, per new partner Kevin Bowers.
“HWB’s independence allows it the freedom to act for both our international and local clients in every industry sector without compromise and to provide bespoke legal services to take account of individual client needs and requirements,” the firm said.
The brand new law firm will focus on dispute resolution for commercial entities and maritime law with a specialty legal issues within the medical field.
There are close to 25 attorneys who decided to depart the Hong Kong law office of Reed Smith Richards Butler to become a part of the newly created Howse Williams Bowers.
“Law firms in the U.S. and London will find us attractive because we would have no intention of competing with them in their home territory,” Howse said.
There are a couple of advantages to establishing a new firm, the most important one being the firm offering lower prices because of reduced overhead. Other advantages also include eliminating conflict issues for most massive firms and a chance to grab work from law firms based in the United States and the United Kingdom that do not have offices in the city of Hong Kong.
Howse said that even though the new firm has hired the majority of its employees from Reed Smith, it will begin recruiting from other law firms almost immediately.
The unnamed partners of the firm include two doctors, David Kan (a former partner at Reed Smith and Richards Butler) and Bernard Murphy. Murphy was going to be made partner at Reed Smith but decided to leave on December 31 to join the newly formed law firm of Howse Williams Bowers, per Howse.
The news of all the lawyer movement came only a handful of months after Reed Smith extended its operations in Asia when it opened an office in Shanghai. The office in Shanghai has five attorneys and operates in securities and corporate law.
Reed Smith has been struck a major blow by losing close to 60 of its workers after finally becoming one of the biggest firms to operate in Hong Kong when it merged with Richards Butler to start its office back in 2008. The firm, which is based in the United States, has 27 partners remaining and 85 lawyers in its office in Hong Kong.
Information researched from legalweek.com.