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Slaughter and May’s German best friend Hengeler Mueller is launching an office in Shanghai, relocating four partners to the office when it opens towards the end of next year.
The China office will be led by newly-promoted partner Tu Changfeng, who is currently based in Hengeler’s Düsseldorf office. He will be joined in Shanghai by Frankfurt corporate partner Johannes Adolff. Meanwhile corporate partner Christian Möller and finance partner Hendrik Haag will split their time between Düsseldorf and Frankfurt respectively.
The quartet are all currently members of Hengeler Mueller’s China desk.
Hengeler is joining three of its close allies in China. Dutch best friend De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has been present in Beijing since 2010 (11 March 2010) alongside Slaughters and Iberian best friend Uría Menéndez (16 September 2008).
The firm has been involved on a number of Chinese investment deals into Germany, including last year’s strategic partnership between Weichai Power and German company Kion. A team including Tu advised Weichai, with Gleiss Lutz acting for Kion and private equity investors KKR and Goldman Sachs.
Co-managing partner Daniela Favoccia said Hengeler had chosen to launch in Shanghai rather than Beijing because of the city’s status as a finance centre.
“We think Shanghai will be a very important place to be for a foreign investor,” Favoccia said.
She said the office would particularly help Hengeler win work acting for Chinese clients investing in Germany. ”It shows that we’re invested and we have a committment to the market,” she added.
Hengeler also shares offices with best friends in Brussels and London. The firm recently added a third partner to its London office in a boost for its private equity offering (15 August 2013).