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28 November 2017

Charles Russell Speechlys expands its presence by launching in Hong Kong in association with Jonathan Mok Legal

Charles Russell Speechlys has announced its first expansion into Asia by opening an office in Hong Kong in association with Jonathan Mok Legal. 

Charles Russell Speechlys Hong Kong will run in association with a newly established Hong Kong law firm under Jonathan Mok. A well known family litigator, Jonathan practises in all areas of family disputes and focuses on high-profile matrimonial, asset tracing  and criminal litigation. He is one of the small number of civil solicitors to be granted higher rights of audience in Hong Kong and is the only Solicitor Advocate specialising in family disputes.

James Carter, Managing Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys says: “Our move into Hong Kong fits squarely within our international expansion strategy. The firm will have direct access to clients and intermediaries in five of the world’s top ten private wealth centres, further extending our ability to support the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth, their families and enterprises across the full spectrum of business and personal needs.  A continuation of our strategic growth objectives which follows new Partner appointments in Switzerland, Luxembourg, London and the Middle East.”

Jonathan Mok comments: “I have enjoyed a close relationship with Charles Russell Speechlys over many years and this is an exciting opportunity to work together to build a practice with a global reputation. With the number of high net worth individuals in Hong Kong projected to grow year on year and reach 230,000 by 2020, the private wealth market is an important one and I have every confidence that we will soon become one of the major players in Hong Kong.”

Richard Grasby has also joined Charles Russell Speechlys Hong Kong as Partner, adding further weight to the firm’s private wealth expertise. Richard was formerly at Maples and Calder in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands, where he was responsible for the trusts and private wealth practice in Asia. He was the first Cayman Islands-admitted and BVI-admitted trusts lawyer to be stationed in Asia and the first trusts Partner in an offshore firm in the region. Based in Hong Kong since 2009, Richard has an extensive network of contacts in banks, law firms and trust companies throughout Asia. Richard is the chair of the Hong Kong branch of STEP.

Richard Grasby comments: “I am delighted to be joining a leading firm committed to private wealth work in Asia and across the world. Charles Russell Speechlys is well-known in the region and the establishment of the office will provide a solid base from which to expand into Asia.” These new Partner appointments will position the two firms as prominent players in family dispute and private wealth advisory work.

To further strengthen the practice, Charles Russell Speechlys Partner, Ashley King Christopher, will relocate to Hong Kong. Ashley advises internationally based clients and their family office executive teams on the integration of international wealth protection structures with business and investment transactions, with particular emphasis on international deals, primarily in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Graeme Kleiner will take overall responsibility for co-ordinating Charles Russell Speechlys’ Hong Kong office with its other international offices. Graeme currently heads the firm’s Contentious Trusts and Estates team, advising trustees, executors and beneficiaries in relation to a broad range of disputes.