Ropes & Gray rebuilds in Hong Kong with Simpson Thacher hire

Ropes & Gray has hired Simpson Thacher & Bartlett finance lawyer Jackie Kahng as a partner in its Hong Kong office.

Kahng, who is dual-qualified New York and Hong Kong and was an associate at Simpson Thacher, focuses on borrower-side financing work, advising private equity funds and their portfolio companies.

The co-head of Ropes & Gray’s global finance practice Byung Choi said: “Jackie’s experience will enhance our global finance offering and we expect that she will play a key role as we continue to expand our acquisition and leveraged finance practice. Her appointment is a further step in building an integrated global finance practice that allows us to offer cross-border expertise across financing products.”

Ropes’ 2020 strategy, which it unveiled in 2015, has an emphasis filling in the gaps and creating links between London, New York and Hong Kong.

The firm opened in Hong Kong in 2008 and first began offering Hong Kong law advice in 2012, hiring Julian Chung and Gary Li from Norton Rose and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

The office suffered a blow in April 2017 with the loss of four partners, including office managing partner Paul Boltz, to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Private equity partners Scott Jalowayski and Brian Schwarzwalder, and banking partner Michael Nicklin, also departed.

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