China's derivatives industry - or the potential for it - is a hot subject these days.

The latest group to beef up its presence in the market is international legal practice Allen & Overy, which has further broadened its derivatives and structured finance group in Hong Kong and the mainland.

The law firm reasons that over the past 18 months the convergence of derivatives and structured products along with the development of the mainland derivatives market has led to more complex transactions and clients requiring a more cohesive and integrated approach.

To mirror this trend, Allen & Overy will broaden its practice by adding partners Paul Cluley, Joseph Tse and associates Fion Ha, Karen Lee, and Joanna Chan. This is in addition to associates Matthew Hebburn, Errol Bong and Guy Antrobus, who in the last six months have transferred to Hong Kong from London, bringing with them derivatives and structured products expertise.

"This is a logical continuation of the practice and mirrors current market trends and the increasing diversity and complexity of transactions. Our derivatives and structured finance practice is unmatched in the market and we pride ourselves on anticipating clients needs," says Thomas Jones, a partner in the law firm.

According to the firm, Tokyo partner, Paul Cluley brings to Allen & Overy's Hong Kong practice significant capital markets experience in Asia. He has broad structured finance experience including repackagings, CDO transactions and retail offerings of structured finance instruments. He will be joining Allen & Overy's derivatives and structured finance group in Hong Kong during the summer.

The firm says Joseph Tse adds his broad experience in structured finance and PRC regulatory issues.