Pinsents joins China trio to win bridge work

Pinsent Masons’ Chinese practice has teamed up with a consortium of Chinese firms to advise on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project, which will see the construction of a 30km bridge between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The firm, led by Hong Kong partner Dean Lewis, has joined forces with ­Beijing firm Jun He Law Offices, ;Guangdong’s Teamwin Law Firm and Pinsents’ Macau alliance partner DSL Lawyers.

Lewis said the consortium was one of nine to bid for the role, adding that it was necessary to form a ­consortium because no one firm has capabilities in the three jurisdictions being linked by the bridge.

“This is extremely complex because, although it’s one country, there are three legal systems,” he explained. “Macau’s system is based on civil law, Hong Kong’s on common law and China’s is quasi-civil law.”

At this stage the consortium’s advice is focused on drawing up an agreement between the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau on how the project should be implemented. It is expected that construction will begin next year.

Although the Pinsents consortium has not yet been instructed in relation to ­procurement for the bridge’s construction, Lewis said it hoped to be in the running for that in due course.

The ;Pinsents ;team includes Beijing head John Bishop and partner Helen Chang.