Law firm Kirkland & Ellis will expand its private funds practice group in Asia by relocating two of its partners û Justin Dolling from London and Albert Cho from New York û to Hong Kong in January 2009.

Moving Dolling and Cho to Hong Kong reflects AsiaÆs growing importance in private equity fundraising and investment, says Bruce Ettelson, senior partner in KirklandÆs private funds practice group. Both Dolling and Cho have worked on Asia-focused funds.

Dolling focuses his practice on advising private equity managers in relation to the structuring and establishment of private equity investment funds, secondaries, carried interest arrangements and co-investment plans. He also advises on a broad range of transactions relating to the restructuring of private equity funds, leveraging and refinancing of such funds and buy-outs and spin-offs relating to management houses.

In London, Dolling has been part of a market leading European fund formation trio which includes partners Mark Mifsud and Richard Watkins. Dolling has worked with clients to form funds in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia, and is particularly experienced in structuring funds involving European and Asian sponsors.

Cho focuses his practice on the formation of private investment funds, including domestic and offshore private equity buyout funds, venture capital funds, special situations funds, debt funds, secondary funds, funds-of-funds, real estate funds and hedge funds.

In New York, Cho has represented private investment funds formed by a variety of sponsors, including large financial services companies and boutique firms. He has extensive experience working with US, European and emerging markets private fund sponsors in their fundraising activities.

Kirkland now has 10 private equity lawyers in Hong Kong, and more than 25 lawyers in its China practice group worldwide, the majority of whom are Chinese natives and speak Mandarin.

Since the firmÆs Hong Kong office opened in 2006, it has represented more than 20 private equity funds in their fund formations, leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments and other complex deals in Asia.

Among KirklandÆs prominent work in Asia are the $2.1 billion takeover of OYL Industries Berhad, a Malaysian public company, by Daikin Industries of Japan and the $1.6 billion takeover of Stats ChipPac by Temasek.

The law firmÆs global private funds practice group is made up of more than 150 attorneys in nine offices around the world. This year, the group added nine partners to its US practice and four partners to its UK practice in 2008 alone. The group has set up around 400 private equity funds on behalf of more than 200 unique sponsors since 1995, raising around $300 billion.

Kirkland has 1,400 attorney lawyers worldwide representing global clients in complex private funds and private equity, corporate, intellectual property and technology, litigation, restructuring and tax matters. The firm has offices in Hong Kong, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington DC.