Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has recruited a partner from Tesco subsidiary DunnHumby to head its new office in Shanghai.
Tom Lenon will be Barlows' first partner in Shanghai. He will be joined by five lawyers from the Hong Kong office. Lenon, who specialises in company and commercial law with a focus on IT, film and TV, will spend a month in Hong Kong before moving to Shanghai when the office is launched in October. The office is expected to grow quickly and there will be a mixture of Chinese, UK and Italian recruits. It will focus on company and commercial with a bias towards the IT sector. Lenon said: "The first wave of opportunity for lawyers in China came with the Chinese demand for Western expertise in infrastructure projects. The second wave comes as companies deepen their interest in China and we expect to see more corporate and commercial work including M&A and joint ventures." Shanghai is a very competitive market which none of the international firms have yet managed to dominate. A number of the firms which applied for Chinese licences early on chose to open in Beijing, but more firms are choosing to go to Shanghai, which is resuming its role as the commercial and financial centre of China. Barlows has a long-established China practice based in Hong Kong, where it acts for big brand name Italian clients in the manufacturing and fashion industries. The Hong Kong office, which opened in 1986, focuses on commercial and insurance litigation, company commercial, insolvency and banking.