LeadersInLaw Shanghai

Fieldfisher launch four-partner office in Shanghai

Fieldfisher has launched a four-partner office in Shanghai and has plans to double its partner count there by June.

LeadersInLaw Shanghai

The firm’s China managing partner, Zhaofeng Zhou, said: “Shanghai is a truly global city and was the natural location for our next office. Growth is an important part of our plan in China and we expect a further four partners to join the Shanghai office by June.”

Zhou joined JS Partners as managing partner in July last year from Bird & Bird’s Beijing office.

Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick added: “We’ve been working closely to ensure continued growth of the firm in China – and the opening of a Shanghai office is a natural next step.”

Fieldfisher corporate partner and competition law specialist Liang Xing will lead the office. Xing is joining the firm from Chinese firm MyLink, where he was a partner.

He is joined by patent litigation partner Rocky Wu, who previously worked for Chinese firm JT&N.

Two of the firm’s Beijing partners – tax partner Baoen Bai and corporate partner Ming Zhang – will transfer to Shanghai.

Two additional partners are set to join the new office in March, with another two arriving in June.

Three years ago, Fieldfisher secured a presence in Shanghai through a Swiss verein combination with three-partner firm Ryser & Associates. However, that tie-up has since ended.

Under the verein structure, Fieldfisher operates as a licensed Chinese law firm, with access to all aspects of Chinese legal practice. The setup was pioneered in 2012 by legacy King & Wood when it merged with Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques. Last year, the same structure was used by Dentons when it merged with Beijing-based Dacheng.

Separately, it has emerged that Fieldfisher is in early discussions to hire partners in Olswang’s Munich office.

Source: Legal Week

south africa

Pinsent Masons to launch new infrastructure practice in South Africa

The firm is taking its first step into the African legal market.

Pinsent Masons has announced that it will be opening a new office in Johannesburg to focus on infrastructure work in the region. The new office will launch early next year with two partners picked up from local firm Bowman Gilfillan – head of construction Rob Morson and disputes partner Shane Voigt – and plans to add four more partners to the team ahead of the launch. Though Johannesburg will be Pinsent Masons’ first office in Africa, the firm currently has at least 40 partners and 150 lawyers working on Africa-related matters in its offices around the globe. ‘Africa is a fast-growing market with a clear infrastructure need. It’s a market where we are already doing significant business for Chinese organisations, European contractors, investors and funds,’ said Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley, describing the Johannesburg launch to Legal Business as a ‘natural and necessary next step’ in the firm’s growth strategy.