Reed Smith has taken the former Dewey Ballantine Beijing office, which didn't sign up to be a part of Dewey & LeBoeuf.
Dewey & LeBoeuf retains a team in Beijing through the legacy LeBoeuf office but partners Hugh Scogin and Sharon Mann join Reed Smith together with one counsel and two associates.
Reed Smith's global head of strategy Michael Pollack told The Lawyer: "For us it represents a great way to get started in Beijing. As we talk to clients in Hong Kong they constantly present us with opportunities on the mainland. So that has pushed us into recruiting the capability to serve them."
Reed Smith signed up the Hong Kong office of Richards Butler last year following a protracted courting period after the US firm merged with Richards Butler UK at the beginning of 2007. The two Richards Butler operations operated separately. The Hong Kong office maintained a representative office in Beijing but only had one partner stationed there on a part-time basis. The firm will now apply for a licence to operate in Shanghai.
Scogin was a partner in Coudert Brothers until the firm dissolved four years ago. His practice focuses on M&A and direct foreign investment. Mann was senior director of the US embassy in Beijing before joining Dewey in 2005. Her practice focuses on trade and foreign investment.
A Dewey & LeBoeuf spokesperson wished the team well and said that the firm is extremely happy with the work of the legacy LeBoeuf team led by partner Ingrid Zhu-Clark.