Global law firm Kirkland & Ellis expands Asia team on M&A demand

HONG KONG Tue Aug 9, 2011 11:30pm EDT

HONG KONG Aug 10 (Reuters) - Global law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP said on Wednesday that it is hiring eight senior lawyers for its Hong Kong office to meet growing demand for M&A services in Asia.

The firm said in a release that it planned to expand to 50 lawyers in Asia, most of them fluent in Mandarin Chinese. The latest hires are for Hong Kong and U.S. capital markets and M&A, and debt finance.

"We intend to be the leading adviser to sponsors of complex deals in Asia," said Hong Kong private equity partner David Eich in a statement.

Kirkland's expansion comes amid growing demand for pre-IPO advice from private equity firms investing in Chinese companies, and rising buyouts of so-called "China orphan" stocks, Chinese companies listed on overseas exchanges whose stocks have been hit by a wave of recent accountancy and governance scandals.

Kirkland's recent Asia deals include Bain Capital's acquisition of Asimco Technologies and the pending take-private of China Fire & Security Group Inc , and Koor Industries Ltd pending a $2.4 billion agreement for Makhteshim Agan Group to merge with a ChemChina subsidiary. (Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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