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US Law Firm Dechert in talks to shut off Hong Kong, Beijing offices

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

US-based law firm Dechert is in talks to shut off their Hong Kong and Beijing offices amidst a prolonged capital market downturn and growing Sino-U.S. tensions. Dechert’s Hong Kong division houses around 20 employees while the Beijing division is said to have only 3 employees. With this Dechert has become the latest foreign firm to scale back in Greater China.

A few of the impacted employees have been notified and are in talks about a workplace relocation to Singapore. The firm has around 1000 lawyers working for them globally. If this move is established, Dechert’s Asia footprint will be limited to Singapore which currently houses 14 lawyers including six partners.

The move date and other strategies have not been disclosed by representatives at Dechert. This shutting off the offices is happening as a result of growing pressures on foreign businesses, economic uncertainties, muted deal activities, and geopolitical tensions. Many large companies have started shutting off or reducing their company’s footprint in China as a part of this problem. Several other large U.S. law firms have also announced closures of some of their China offices or scaled down their offerings in the world’s second-largest economy since last year.

Dechert’s gross global revenues grew by just 0.4% to $1.294 billion last year, while profits per equity partner sank 1.2% year-on-year at the firm, according to The American Lawyer magazine. Dechert said in May last year that it was laying off 55 lawyers and 43 business professionals, equivalent to 5% of its global workforce.

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