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Eversheds is launching its first office in mainland China after being handed a licence to practice in Shanghai.
The firm has hired Linklaters associate Peter Corne to be the managing director of the new office, which starts up with three lawyers. The Shanghai office will work closely with Eversheds’ UK-based China group led by partner Andrew Halper.
The news comes a year after Eversheds split up with its Malaysian ally Khattar Wong & Partners after a disagreement over strategy on mainland China.
Halper told The Lawyer that Eversheds maintains a referral relationship with Khattar Wong.
“We had more ambitious growth and expansion plans than they did,” Halper said. “The alliance was worth doing with them, and it was also the right decision to end it.”
Halper said that Corne brings a client list including Coca-Cola, Mitsui and BOC to the firm, and added: “We will be expanding this team rapidly.”
Corne said one of the main factors in his decision to join Eversheds was the chance to build a practice together with Halper, who has worked in China and with Chinese clients for 15 years.