Reed Smith snares Dorsey partner for Shanghai opening

International firm Reed Smith has appointed New York-licensed lawyer Jay Yan as managing partner of its new Shanghai office, which is expected to open ‘imminently’ after securing its licence.

International firm Reed Smith has appointed New York-licensed lawyer Jay Yan as managing partner of its new Shanghai office, which is expected to open ‘imminently’ after securing its licence.

Yan, who was previously head of Dorsey Whitney’s Shanghai office, will be joined at the new base by counsel Zack Dong, who is native to Shanghai and is returning to the market from Reed Smith’s Beijing office.

The firm’s global managing partner Gregory Jordan said: “Establishing a Shanghai office is the latest step toward expanding Reed Smith’s position as a leading law firm in Asia.

“We are already one of the strongest global firms in the region, with more than 120 lawyers in Hong Kong and Beijing. A presence in Shanghai solidifies our role as a key player in this centre of global business and commerce and bringing Jay Yan to head this office gives us seasoned experienced leadership in this important market.”

Yan has worked in the Shanghai legal market for the past 15 years and is a native Mandarin speaker. He has experience in international corporate law, advising on a range of legal matters for US, European and Chinese companies and representing foreign enterprises in cross-border investment, M&A transactions, debt restructuring, employment, import and export control, tax and foreign exchange conrol in China.

He has also negotiated and settled major disputes for Chinese and US publicly listed companies and has advised on intellectual property and real estate matters.

Commenting on his appointment, Yan said: “Reed Smith has an exceptionally strong and agile platform, with legal expertise and business connections that are key for its clients doing business in Shanghai.

“This city is a vibrant, active market that is second to none in terms of its future potential. I look forward to leading Reed Smith in the implementation of its plan to grow and develop its Shanghai platform and serve its clients in this market.”

The firm is currently recruiting additional lawyers to rapidly expand its Shanghai team.

Sources at Reed Smith have also confirmed the firm is eyeing Geneva and Singapore as its next destinations for office openings, although launches are not thought to be imminent in either jurisdiction.