Withers mentor Sharon Ser will join Rita Ku later in 2022 as Rita Ku leaves the firm after more than a decade
During her time for more than 11 years at Withers' Hong Kong office, Rita Ku had cultivated a reputation for her ability to litigate. After her departure, she took three associates with her to set up her own family law boutique.
Since 2012, Ku has been a partner at Withers. She says on LinkedIn that she is 'delighted to embark on a new journey with the launch of Rita Ku & Solicitors (RKS).
With Elaine Chung, senior associate and Natalie Leong also moving over from Withers, RKS' team is completed with associates Sarina Cheung and Sindy Wong, who has joined from HSBC and served as an associate at Withers before that, and client solutions director Leo Leung.
Sharon Ser, a long-time partner at Withers who is also set to leave the firm later in 2022 to join RKS, stated on LinkedIn that she helped mentor Ku at the beginning of her career.
Founded with a mission to deliver bespoke advice to clients and groom new generations of talent in law, Ku said RKS "is committed to bringing positive impact to clients." "With a fast rising private client segment and in a rapidly growing wealth market in Greater China, we see substantial growth opportunities in service demand."
The firm's experts in all facets of family law, including cross-jurisdictional family, matrimonial, estate, death and incapacitation, trusts, wills, as well as family legacy, probate and succession planning. "We are in a unique situation to provide the unmet and growing needs of private clients in an international environment," she added.
RKS has formed an association with Ho & Ip Solicitors, which is a law firm that provides ancillary services to its clients on behalf of Dennis Ho, chairman of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong.
Ku is ranked in Chambers & Partners' Family/matrimonial law Band 2 and is a former regional leader of Withers' Hong Kong dispute resolution team. She was also a partner in the divorce and family team. As a family lawyer, she handles disputes concerning child custody, divorce, child support, child support modification, and ancillary relief and advises clients regularly on ancillary relief cases involving complex asset holding structures.
Specifically, she works with ultra-high-net-worth clients who wish to preserve their wealth, preparing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and providing litigation-specific advice on trust structures before they're established.
Through its partnership with Jocelyn Tsao, Billy Ko and Samantha Gershon, Withers provides clients in Hong Kong with one of the largest and strongest family law teams in the market. Withers also notes that its Hong Kong office is backed by leading family law practices in Singapore, London and California.
Following the departures, the firm expects to hire more team members later 2022 and announce some new hires before the end of the year.
One of several prominent litigators to leave large law firms and start their own businesses in recent years has been Ku. Raza Mithani, a Dubai-based partner at the law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, just ended last week his association with the firm to open his own dispute resolution and investigation practice.
The head of International Arbitration at Denton, Jean-Christophe Honlet and the global co-chair of the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, Barton Legum, left to found their own independent Paris-based boutique earlier in January 2022.
The former litigation head of Addleshaw Goddard, Michael Barnett joined a trio of former partners of the firm to launch a specialist boutique practice for commercial disputes only in London in October 2021.