International law firm Jones Day has announced a significant hiring splurge at its Hong Kong offices. Joining the firm will be Carson Wen, Katherine U, Susan Yu and Charles Kwak. The new hires will join its mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity and capital markets practices.

Wen moves to Jones Day from Heller Ehrman and comes on board as a partner with more than 20 years experience in business, corporate and securities law. Recent experience includes: a reverse takeover listing of the first PRC-controlled listed company in Hong Kong; the first listing of a company on the Foreign Board of the Singapore Stock Exchange (which later obtained a dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange); and one of the earliest acquisitions by a consortium of PRC financial institutions of a significant stake in a Hong Kong licensed bank.

Wen has also advised international clients on M&A of listed and private companies in multiple industries. He represents international and Hong Kong companies with regard to direct investments in China, including joint ventures, wholly-owned enterprises and acquisitions of interests in existing PRC companies. He is also a deputy of the Hong Kong SAR to the National PeopleÆs Congress of China and sits on a number of government boards and tribunals.

Also joining from Heller Ehrman as partner in Hong Kong is U. She advises both local and Chinese issuers and investment banks on Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, including dual listings, and on rights issues, takeovers, reverse takeovers and acquisitions.

U has also advised both foreign and Chinese companies on the formation of Sino-foreign joint ventures and issues relating to foreign investments in China. Her work involves representing listed companies on commercial transactions concerning compliance with the Hong Kong listing rules.

Also shifting from Heller Ehrman to Jones Day is Yu, who arrives at the firm as a counsel. To Jones Day, she brings experience with companies listing both on the GEM and the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Recently, she has worked on company listings in industries such as software development, portal operations, property development and automotive diagnostic products manufacturing.

Yu has also advised foreign companies on the formation of Sino-foreign joint ventures and issues relating to foreign investment in China, including the acquisition of a majority interest in a Chinese company by a US-based optical components engineering firm. The Chinese company was ChinaÆs largest supplier of active fiber-optic components and its shareholders included PRC state-owned and private entities, as well as foreign investors.

Coming from Morgan Stanley, Kwak's practice focuses primarily on private equity and real estate in Greater China and Korea. Kwak was an executive director in the law division of Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong where he worked for almost six years covering the real estate and private equity groups.

ôM&A in Asia outside of Japan is anticipated to grow more than 20% this year," says Barbara Mok, Hong Kong partner-in-charge at Jones Day. "And, with more and more companies doing business in China and more Chinese companies looking outside of China, weÆre experiencing an increasing demand for international legal services involving cross-border transactions and disputes. Our new colleagues will help us meet this demand in both the local and international markets.ö

The announcement follows Jones DayÆs appointment earlier this year of partner John Kao to coordinate the firmÆs Greater China M&A practice. The firm has also added Stephen Peepels as a partner in its capital markets practice.