Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has raided Thelen for its entire China practice group.
The China team includes around 20 lawyers and a number of well-known partners such as Tom Shoesmith, Meg Utterback, Joe Tiano and Lou Bevilacqua. The group will be split between Pillsbury’s offices in Shanghai, Washington, DC and San Francisco.
“Pillsbury opened a small Shanghai office approximately one year ago, and in that time we made key inroads in the China market,” said Pillsbury Vice Chair Steve Huttler, who oversees the firm’s international offices.
“But from day one we knew that we would need a much larger presence to achieve long-term success in China. When this opportunity presented itself, we found it an ideal solution, particularly when we recognized that the team’s unique business model and capabilities would translate well into other international markets.”
The Thelen group focuses on corporate and securities matters, representing some 80 clients throughout the world. It includes an inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) team focused on the representation of US and European companies investing or doing business in China.
On the outbound side, the group focuses on taking small to medium-sized companies with operations in China or elsewhere public in the US. Of the 25 public company clients the team represents, seven are listed on NASDAQ, and one is listed on the NYSE.
Shoesmith will be the new managing partner of Pillsbury’s Shanghai office, while current Pillsbury Shanghai managing partner Joseph Chan will remain lead firm representative and local section leader of the Corporate & Securities practice.
In the past few weeks, Thelen has suffered a series of partner departures. The firm has also been reported as being in merger talks with Nixon Peabody, the US firm that recently swooped on a group of Paris-based Taylor Wessing partners.
Thelen could not be reached for comment.