DLA has applied for a licence to open an office in China. If the licence is granted, the national firm will set up a base in Shanghai.
Managing partner Nigel Knowles said: "No serious business can ignore China. With it being only days away from membership of the World Trade Organisation, there is no doubt that China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world, with a staggering 7 per cent growth this year." Knowles said that existing clients were encouraging the expansion into China. He also said that clients were the motivating factor behind a Shanghai rather than Beijing office. Knowles said: "More of our clients are based in Shanghai as opposed to Beijing. We have selected Shanghai because regulations still only permit foreign law firms to have one office in China." A China office would increase the number of DLA offices throughout South East Asia to three. Through its D&P network DLA already has a presence in Hong Kong and Singapore.