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Reed Smith is stepping up its search for separate Chinese, Texan and Chicago-based merger partners, following the finalisation of its French launch.
Managing partner Gregory Jordan told The Lawyer the Pittsburgh-based firm had moved the focus of its expansion efforts to China, with a committee established to examine opportunities in the developing jurisdiction.
Michael Pollack, Reed Smith's US partner in charge of strategic growth, and Mark Dembovsky, chief strategy officer based in London, are heading the committee tasked with examining potential merger partners.
Jordan said the firm had not applied for a Chinese licence, as the firm's strategy was to enter the market through a formal linkup with an existing domestic practice.
He said the firm was also on the search for merger partners in both Texas and Chicago. This follows the collapse of Reed Smith's merger discussions with Chicago firm Wildman Harrold last month.
Last week, Reed Smith officially opened an office in Paris following the hire of four partners from disintegrating French M&A specialist Rambaud Martel.
Mathieu Rambaud - the son of Rambaud Martel founder Jean-Francois Rambaud - and Benoit Charot moved across to head the office with two other partners and six associates. The office will operate under the name Reed Smith Rambaud Charot.