A&O receives Shanghai JV licence

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pilot free trade zone

The UK Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) has entered into a joint operation agreement in China with Lang Yue Firm, based in the pilot free trade zone.

A&O is the seventh foreign law firm to set up a joint operation on the mainland since 2014, when China started allowing foreign and Chinese law firms to set up joint operations in the Shanghai pilot free trade zone.

“Allen & Overy has been on the ground in China for over 30 years and growing our China practice remains one of our global strategic priorities,” said Victor Ho, managing partner of A&O in Beijing and Shanghai.

“We have a number of projects in the corporate/M&A, debt capital markets and equity capital markets areas that we are currently advising on – which we expect to be the main focus in the near future,” Ho told China Business Law Journal.

“For Allen & Overy, working with Lang Yue opens up an opportunity to work with a broader talent pool of Chinese law-qualified and Chinese-language-capable lawyers to service client demand. Through the joint operation we are able to offer our clients seamless PRC law advice.

“We felt it was important to identify a firm where the cultural fit is good, and where the lawyers can demonstrate that they can advise to A&O standards. We have worked with Lang Yue on a significant number of joint client mandates and feel confident that our values and aspirations to deliver high standards of client service are aligned.”

Zhou Wenxin, a partner at Lang Yue, said: “We have worked closely with Allen & Overy for some time now, and are excited to formalize our relationship. The top-tier training and exposure to high-profile, cross-border opportunities offered by Allen & Overy to our team under this joint operation is unparalleled.”

Other joint operations in China include Baker McKenzie and its local partner FenXun, Holman Fenwick Willan and Wintell & Co, Hogan Lovells and Fidelity, Linklaters and Zhao Sheng, Herbert Smith Freehills and Kewei, and Ashurst and Guantao.