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Beijing office to close; 40 Hong Kong lawyers made redundant
CMS Cameron McKenna has abandoned mainland China and made most of its Hong Kong office redundant. The firm has stated it will never have a full service capability in Asia. Camerons has decided to wind down its fledgling four associate Beijing office and said it has no plans to apply for a Shanghai license. Camerons has also made 40 of its Hong Kong lawyers redundant, scaling the practice down to an insurance boutique run by one partner and a small group of associates. This flight from China is a shock move given that the country, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, recently joined the World Trade Organisation and gained most favoured nation status from the US. Camerons will continue to service clients through the recently opened Shanghai office of its French ally and member of the CMS network Bureau Francis Lefebvre. Camerons managing partner Dick Tyler said Chinese expansion would not go beyond this. "We do not plan to get our own Shanghai license. We are not saying we have closed our eyes to Asia, but we are not planning to have a full service capability there again," he said.