Nixon Peabody-Hylands alliance boosts firepower to take on established firms

Nixon Peabody-Hylands alliance boosts firepower to take on established firms

International law firm Nixon Peabody has joined forces with China-based Hylands Law Firm in a strategic alliance to take on their top entrenched competitors as they pursue expansions in China and elsewhere.

David Cheng, Nixon Peabody’s chair and managing partner of China and Asia-Pacific practice, said the union will give the firm a better competitive edge against the top established international firms in China.

“We feel this is a game-changer,” he told China Business Law Journal. “The collaborative culture of our firms allows us to provide seamless service to our clients and rely on the resources of a preeminent Chinese law firm. Plus, our association with the talented CWL Partners team provides us unmatched capabilities in the region.”

Cheng said the alliance developed through a successful association with CWL Partners (formerly Cheng Wong Lam & Partners) in Hong Kong in late 2010.

“CWL recently became associated with Hylands. As we had been working together with Hylands for several months, the natural synergies between our two firms became apparent and the alliance started to take shape. It was very easy after that.”

Andrew Glincher, CEO and managing partner of Nixon Peabody, said the alliance builds upon the firm’s entry into the China market in 2008, when it opened an office in Shanghai. “This is a significant step that strengthens our presence in China, and improves breadth in serving the global needs of our clients,” he said.

When asked if a move to Beijing might be considered soon, Cheng added: “Beijing is the next natural growth area for our China Practice.”

Liu Hong, a partner and director of the managing committee at Hylands, was keen to point out the global benefits of the unison. “Together, we have the essential capabilities and resources to serve our clients’ growing global business needs now and in the future,” he said.

Founded in 2007 by the combination of two prestigious Chinese firms, Hylands currently operates in six Asian cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. With strong practices in intellectual property, securities and corporate, litigation and arbitration, international trade remedies, real estate, finance, and foreign direct investment, Hylands has more than 300 legal professionals.

Recent engagements are confidential, but Cheng said the firm could report great interest following their announcement in three areas: transactional – M&A and investment activity involving China, the US and the EU; litigation – clients looking for possible representation in China-related disputes; and regulatory – advice on regulations in China.

Cheng Hoo, a founding partner of CWL Partners, added: “with the active commercial flow between Hong Kong and Mainland China, our three firms will collaboratively provide very effective and efficient services to our clients.”