Australian mid-tier firm forges ties with China’s Dacheng

Brisbane-based Australian firm HopgoodGanim has strengthened its ties with China by signing cooperation agreements with two Chinese firms, Dacheng and Zhejiang T&C law firm.

The cooperation agreements, which are non-exclusive, are said by HopgoodGanim’s managing partner Bruce Humphrys to be key to the firm building long-term relationships in the Chinese market.

The agreements outline the ways in which the firms will share information and resources, such as secondments, referrals and the joint pursuit of new opportunities. The main areas of focus include resources, construction and infrastructure, agribusiness and tourism.

“These industries are key drivers of growth in the two states of Australia we’re now focused in – Queensland and Western Australia,” Humphrys said in a statement. “Furthermore, the Queensland Government in particular is focused on growing a four-pillar economy based on the state’s strengths in these areas.

“It makes sense for us to look for opportunities further afield and to establish ways in which we can successfully offer our expertise to Chinese law firms, companies and investors, who are showing a lot of interest in these growth industries.”

HopgoodGanim, which has 120 lawyers including 30 partners, is a mid-tier firm in Australia. The firm has recently expanded its national footprint by merging with Perth-based boutique firm Q Legal.

Beijing-headquartered Dacheng is China’s largest law firm by lawyer headcount. It has about 1,500 lawyers across 44 offices in and outside of China. In an effort to grow its international network, the firm has established a large number of strategic alliances with foreign firms around the world, including Portugal’s largest firm PLMJ (18 October 2010). The Chinese firm also has close ties with Australian firm Minter Ellison. See an in-depth feature about Dacheng here.

Zhejiang T&C is one of the largest law firms based in Zhejiang, an eastern coastal province of China.

The signing of the agreements come following the recent release of the Asian Century White Paper by the Australian government, which has triggered Australian law firms and businesses to develop an Asia strategy and become more engaged with the region.