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Mills & Reeve is hoping to tap into the flow of work from China by setting up a number of alliances with Chinese firms.
Head of the firm's China group Robert Weatherley said: "We don't necessarily intend to have an office in China to tap into the market. By forging alliances, they [Chinese firms] can deal with the Chinese law aspects and we can focus on the UK law."
The set-up will be similar to the firm's current arrangement with Shanghai-based Boss & Young, which allows for cross-referrals and secondments.
Weatherley said a recent conference staged in China by the Law Society, the Bar Council and their Chinese counterparts helped boost the level of interest in alliances between the two countries.
"The conference has spurred interest - we could be securing at least one deal through a contact made at the event," said Hamilton.
Mills & Reeve is planning to centre its China-related work on the biotechnology and life sciences sector. The firm recently won its first instruction coming out of China, advising a Chinese herbal remedy producer on its tie-up with a UK university.
Weatherley also visited China in January with Norwich-based associate Nathan Horton with an aim to grow business relationships between Norfolk companies and the Chinese market.