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Deacons Hong Kong is to open a second office in China. As revealed by www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews on 3 October, the representative office will be based in Beijing, the seat of the government
Geoff Baker, a former partner of Deacons' Sydney office, will head the new office. He has experience in advising clients in Asia and China on M&A, initial public offerings, corporate securities, finance, telecoms and overseas investment. The new office will comprise of a team of 50 professionals in close cooperation with other members of the firm's China Practice Group and other lawyers in China. Deacons' move follows the Chinese government's decision to issue five additional licences to foreign law firms that applied for second licences in mainland China. The other four went to Hong Kong firms. China agreed to relax the 'one firm, one office' rule as part of its World Trade Organization commitments. Hong Kong managing partner Keith Cole said: "We're pleased to be able to extend our network to include such a strategic location and feel honoured to be one of the first law firms to be awarded this privilege."