One more joint operation office between a global law firm and PRC firm in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was recently approved – this time between Linklaters and Zhao Sheng Law Firm.
“We wanted to find a partner firm that we were aligned with in relation to areas such as firm culture, practice focus and client outcomes,” Eric Liu, the managing partner of Zhao Sheng, told Asia Business Law Journal.
“We were very keen to ensure that any joint operations would be a fully seamless service to clients and the only way for this to happen was to have those key items aligned. We have a cultural alignment between the two firms, and the quality of the people at Linklaters, including their international expertise, ensures that we have the ability to act as one integrated team.”
William Liu, head of China at Linklaters, said market shifts indicate that outbound work and high-end domestic transactions will become increasingly important for their business, and the joint operation could help them keep their competitive advantage, both in China and globally.
Eric Liu said that the joint operation, to start with, would focus on areas including: (1) complex Chinese M&A transactions and some public M&A/takeover work; (2) merger filings, investigations, and private actions; (3) various areas of financial regulation; and (4) formal dispute resolution in Shanghai, including representation in court. The offering of services will grow over time.
Other joint operation offices so far established in the Shanghai FTZ include Baker McKenzie’s association with FenXun Partners in April 2015, Holman Fenwick Willan’s association with Wintell & Co in April 2016, and Hogan Lovells’ association with Fujian Fidelity Law Firm in September 2016.