The head of Clyde & Co's Hong Kong and China construction group, Ian Cocking, is leaving the firm to launch his own firm with former partner Dennis Wong.
Cocking focuses on construction and project development matters, including contractual relationships, risk management strategies, and claims and dispute resolution. He is currently advising the Hong Kong government on its $3.8 billion Kai Tak Sports Park project, where local developer New World Development Co. Ltd. is on a 25-year contract to build and run a 28-hectare (69 acre) sports complex. Construction work is expected to be completed in 2023.
Before joining Clyde & Co in 2011, Cocking was a partner at MinterEllison for five years. Before that, he was a partner at Simmons & Simmons.
Joining Cocking at his new firm is former Clyde partner Dennis Wong, according to sources familiar with the matter. Wong left Clyde & Co in December and is currently a consultant at Hong Kong firm LT Lawyers. He joined Clyde as part of Cocking's team from MinterEllison in 2011 and made partner in 2017.
Hong Kong partner Gilbert Kwok will lead the construction practice following Cocking's departure, according to Christopher Jobson, Clyde's Asia managing partner. Hong Kong partner Patrick Perry also advises on construction matters.
"The firm remains fully committed to construction, which is one of our core sectors, and is well advanced in its plans to grow and expand our offering in the coming months and years,” Jobson said in a statement, adding that the firm is currently talking to several potential lateral partner hires across Hong Kong and southeast Asia.
In December, Jobson told Law.com's The Asian Lawyer that Clyde is "a sleeping giant", aiming to have more than 300 lawyers in Asia-Pacific by 2022; the firm had about 240 lawyers across nine offices at the time. Jobson also said the growth will be fuelled by lateral and team hires, particularly those that complement the firm’s core sectors of insurance, energy, trade and commodities, infrastructure and transport.
In January, aviation partner Peter Coles joined Clyde & Co in Hong Kong from HFW.