2Birds joins forces with Chinese IP boutique

Bird & Bird has formed an alliance with Beijing IP boutique Xiang Kung Law Firm, with the aim of strengthening its contentious capabilities in China.

This is only the second international alliance formed by the expansionist UK firm, which has grown massively over the past few years via office launches.

Earlier this year Bird & Bird entered into an association with Singapore firm Alban Tay Mahtani & de Silva (TheLawyer.com, 2 December 2008).

Bird & Bird China head Matthew Laight said it had formed the alliance after regularly using Xiang Kung for ­contentious ­matters.

“Xiang Kung is a small specialist IP firm in ­Beijing whose strengths are IP and contentious matters,” he explained. “We’ve been ­acting on contentious ­matters in China for about 10 years, but that work was always done in conjunction with local firms because only they have rights of ­audience. We’ve worked with individuals at Xiang Kung and they are great guys.”

While the tie-up will be non-exclusive for both sides, Laight said it is ­likely that Bird & Bird will use Xiang Kung for all ­contentious IP matters.

He added that secondments will probably take place between the two firms.

Bird & Bird has opened numerous international offices in recent years, simultaneously launching in Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw in the past year alone (The Lawyer, 8 September 2008).