Reed Smith has its eye on Shanghai

Reed Smith is set to give its international practice a boost by opening a Shanghai office, as the firm eyes further opportunities in Europe and other parts of Asia.

Reed Smith has applied for a licence to open an office in the Chinese city, which will complement the firm’s existing offices in Beijing and Hong Kong. It is not yet clear how soon the office is expected to open.

In a statement a spokes-person for the firm said: “Reed Smith has applied for a licence to open an office in Shanghai, which is currently being processed.”
Sources at Reed Smith also confirmed that the firm was eyeing Geneva and Singapore as its next destinations, since both are places where the firm has clients. No launches are imminent in the jurisdictions.

Earlier this year Reed Smith broke off merger discussions with Texas firm Thompson & Knight (TheLawyer, 7 January).

In 2007 Reed Smith gained a foothold in Asia when it merged with Richards Butler, which brought on board a 13-partner Hong Kong outfit that operated independently of the rest of Richards Butler.

The Reed Smith Asia practice then expanded again in 2008 when the firm took over Dewey Ballentine’s Beijing office, which had decided not to take part in that firm’s merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae.