DLA Piper rocked by Akin Gump Beijing raid

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has scooped DLA Piper corporate partner Janet Jie Tang and her three-person transactions team in Beijing nine months after the US firm opened the doors of its office in the Chinese capital.

Tang’s hire signals a change in strategy for the firm, which launched its Beijing operations with a view to focus on international trade, energy and IP-related work.

Partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Beijing office Eliot Cutler said that the new hires allow the firm to provide a full range of services to both Chinese clients investing oversees and foreign clients investing in China.

“We are already among the leaders in the Chinese market in investment funds, private equity and public policy,” he said.

DLA’s senior attorney Lu Ning, senior IP attorney Wang Yuanming and corporate attorney Zeng Linyan joined Tang, who has 14 years of experience in the China M&A market.

The firm also added to its IP offering through the hire of senior IP lawyer Lien Yea-Ling who was formerly president of Taipei-based legal consultancy Catch IPR. Another addition to the firm’s Beijing office came in the form of Allen & Overy Hong-Kong capital markets associate Holly Smith.

The move, which reduces DLA Piper’s Beijing partner count to six, boosts Akin Gump’s Beijing corporate legal capability significantly, with the practice previously housing just one partner, Xiaohua (Sarah) Zhao.