Allens to close China offices to move in with ally Linklaters

Allens’ Beijing and Shanghai offices are in the process of winding down, with staff from both offices set to move into Linklaters’ Beijing premises.

As part of the alliance arrangements between Allens and Linklaters (23 April 2012), Allens will be co-locating its lawyers with Linklaters lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

It is understood that the relocation in mainland China is expected to complete by the end of 2012, while the Hong Kong team will move at the end of its current office lease. The Allens team moving to Linklaters in Greater China will be small and only include one partner – David Wenger in Hong Kong.

Since the alliance was announced in April a number of Allens’ Asia partners have resigned from the firm, including Hong Kong disputes resolution partners Simon McConnell and Mun Yeow who will join Clyde & Co in the coming months.

In mainland China, Allens currently doesn’t have any resident partner. The last China resident partner Campbell Davidson relocated back to Sydney in February 2011, following a four-year stint in Shanghai in February 2011.

“Allens and Linklaters are committed to co-locating offices in Asia. But due to practicality issues, there is no definite timetable,” said a spokesperson of Linklaters.

Last Friday, the two firms named a three-partner leadership team to oversee their joint ventures in Asia (7 September 2012).