US firm Proskauer Rose has launched a representative office in Beijing, three years after announcing its intention to open in the Chinese capital.
The New York-headquartered firm first entered Asia in 2008 with the launch of an office in Hong Kong (9 September 2008).
The Beijing office, its second in Asia and 13th worldwide, currently has three partners. Partners Joseph Cha and Ying Li who joined the firm from the dissolved Heller Erhman at the time of its Hong Kong opening have relocated to Beijing. Partner and Asia head Yuval Tal will split his time between the two cities.
In anticipation of the Beijing opening Proskauer hired a number of partners earlier this year to fortify its Hong Kong presence. They are corporate partners Seung Chong and Jeremy Leifer from White & Case (10 June 2010) and capital markets partner Gene Buttrill from DLA Piper.
The firm’s chairman Joseph Leccese noted that the launch in Beijing was not delayed because of market conditions but due to the time required to reach regulatory requirements for the Beijing license. In the next 12 months, the firm will focus on growing the number of lawyers in Beijing to match client demands and integrating the new office to its global network.
The firm currently has 20 fee-earners in Hong Kong and Beijing. It is understood that a number of other US firms are also in the process of setting up a presence in Beijing, including Gibson Dunn.