The Lawyer Global Litigation Top 50 report is the only ranking of international law firms by litigation and arbitration revenue and is essential reading for anyone seeking to benchmark their litigation and dispute resolution practices...
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Norton Rose has applied for a licence to open in China after deciding to establish a presence in Beijing.
`Although the firm has chosen Beijing rather than Shanghai, it is expected that Chinese regulations will make it easier in future for law firms to switch between cities.`The move has been timed to coincide with the firm's return to Hong Kong in April 2002.`Norton Rose's international managing partner for Asia Paul Giles said an office in mainland China would complement the Hong Kong practice.`"We have a lot of clients in China. Many of our global clients have a presence there and there is no doubt China is a market of the future," he said.`The firm's main clients in the area are shipping corporations but Giles said the China office would not necessarily focus on shipping.`This will depend on several factors including whether China joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and whether it is chosen to host the Olympics in 2008.`"If China joins the WTO we will be more likely to see investment from overseas and if it gets the Olympics there will be a lot of construction work," said Giles.`In Hong Kong the office is expected to mirror Norton Rose's Singapore practice which focuses on corporate, banking and finance, projects and dispute resolution.`Norton Rose has been unable to have a presence in Hong Kong since it ended its 22-year association with long-standing partner Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM).`Under the agreement with JSM, Norton Rose faced restrictions on its brand in Hong Kong and China, which included a three-year ban from the region. The restraint period ends on 31 March 2002 and Norton Rose plans to open an office there the next day.