The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
US firm Dorsey & Whitney is making its first foray into mainland China after winning a licence to practise in Shanghai.
Corporate partner Zhao Alex Zhang will head the office, which is expected to be operational this month. Zhang was instrumental in establishing the firm's Hong Kong operation in 1995.
China is regarded as a potential source of lucrative work due to its expected accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) later this year.
The conditions it must meet to be eligible for WTO membership include making the country more accessible to foreign law firms and companies.
A range of international firms are still waiting to hear if their licence applications have been successful. Some of the bigger firms, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters & Alliance, have applied for licences to open a second office in the country. Previously, firms were allowed to practise only in one city.
Walter Mondale, chair of Dorsey's Asian practice group, says the WTO accession and client expectations both played key roles in the decision to tackle the Chinese market.
He adds: "China's expected entry into the WTO will open and liberalise its economy in ways that we expect will provide unprecedented trade and investment opportunities for US companies."
Other US firms already in China include White & Case in Shanghai and Brown & Wood and Coudert Brothers in Beijing.
As well as offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Dorsey's Asian practice includes an operation in Tokyo.