Reed Smith has recruited a partner and an associate to its global shipping group from Stephenson Harwood.

Jason Toms and Joyce Cheung will both join the firm’s Hong Kong office from Stephenson Harwood Hong Kong in November.

Toms is a litigation partner within wet and dry shipping and specialises in charterparty, transportation, shipping disputes and claims and collisions. He has worked in Hong Kong since 1997, in which time he has acted as council for the world’s largest ocean freight forwarder and fifth largest air freight forwarder.

After opening Singapore offices earlier this month, Reed Smith’s Hong Kong recruitment push highlights the importance of Asia to its growth strategy.

Hong Kong banking partner Andrew Brown says of the appointments: “It’s further support to our ship finance practice in the region at a time when clients are going to be looking increasingly for full service shipping capability across EMEA and the US.”