And whilst the Hong Kong office has primarily been established with a commercial maritime focus, Tony Allen, speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com, explained that the office would play a pivotal role in consolidating Hill Dickinson’s superyacht presence in the region.
“Both Hong Kong and Singapore are shipping offices, and we have some limited yachting representation there already”, Allen explained. “But we’ve now taken on a Chinese lawyer who will be based in London, Singapore and Hong Kong who specialises in superyachts.”
The new addition is Debbie Fu who will follow a similar role to that of the recently opened Monaco operation, headed by David Reardon. Allen feels that the Asian markets do have sustainable potential, although he acknowledges the growth spurt has been more modest than some may have hoped years ago. “I think the region has a long way to go, and the mentality may be holding them back. But we’re very keen to keep a close eye on it, hence the recruitment of someone who is very in tune with the Chinese shipyards.”
Allen believes that, as the Asian market grows, the desirable jurisdiction under which to do business will remain the UK. “They see English law as a bit more stable; if tens of millions are being spent, senior Chinese businessmen don’t want to be governed by Chinese law.”
“At the moment it’s an experiment and we’re monitoring the range of our boundaries”, Allen said.
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