International law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has bolstered its Hong Kong-based China practice and announced plans to apply for registration of a Beijing office. The firm has hired Leiming Chen and Shaolin Luo, both of whom will be based in Hong Kong.

Chen, a longstanding corporate finance lawyer, will join Simpson Thatcher as a partner. He joins from Shearman & Sterling where he was a capital markets partner.

During his tenure at the latter, Chen worked on a variety of equity and debt offerings covering SEC-registered offerings, Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings and listings in New York and Hong Kong for companies in the telecom, banking, insurance, oil and gas, technology and other sectors.

Most recently, he advised PetroChina on its $750 million acquisition of the outstanding shares of Jilin Chemical Industrial and China Mobile (Hong Kong) Limited on its $6.9 billion follow-on equity offering and $690 million convertible debt offering.

Luo, who joins the firm as counsel, comes across from the Beijing offices of Fangda Partners, a China-based law firm. At Fangda Partners, he was an M&A partner. He also brings experience as an associate at Shearman & Sterling.