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Squire Sanders & Dempsey is continuing its push into China with the unveiling of a Shanghai office.
Squire Sanders Beijing managing partner Dan Roules, who is also in charge of coordinating the firm’s China practices, will head the office, dividing his time between Beijing and Shanghai. Communications partner Amy Sommers will become a full-time resident in Shanghai.
The firm has long hankered after a Shanghai office, but due to Chinese restrictions only applied for its licence in June 2003. It was approved on 6 April 2004.
The firm principally advises US, Japanese and Middle-Eastern clients in the manufacturing sector on foreign direct investment, dispute resolution, customs and trade and financing.
Squire Sanders acquired offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo in 2000 when it merged with San Francisco’s Graham & James. Last year, the firm beefed up its Beijing office with the acquisition of a team from Coudert Brothers.
Roules said the firm is aiming to grow the Shanghai office to around 13 lawyers. Already, Squire Sanders has around 15 lawyers in mainland China.
At the same time, San Francisco-based Heller Ehrman has commenced trading from its first mainland Chinese outpost, having obtained its licence to practise in Beijing at the end of last year.
Roules said: “It’s exciting to be working in a country where there’s so much business activity, where the legal system is maturing and the level of sophistication in each transaction is growing.”