Slaughter and May has become the latest firm to target China’s fast-growing economy by announcing it is to open an office in Beijing.
In a shock move for the City giant, it is planning to launch a single-partner outpost by the end of 2009 to cement its relationships with Chinese referral firms.
Slaughters has few overseas offices and relies on its network of ‘best friends’ to tap into international work.
Senior partner Chris Saul told The Lawyer the Beijing office would be run with European best friends De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek of the Netherlands and Uría Menéndez of Spain, both of which announced they would also open in the Chinese capital. The firms are expected to share facilities but operate separately.
Saul said: “China’s a very exciting economy. We see it very much as part of the future.”
The new branch will work closely with Slaughters’ 30-lawyer office in Hong Kong. Hong Kong-based corporate partner George Goulding will lead the operation alongside two associates.
Saul added: “This is a natural progression of our growing China practice in Hong Kong.”
This story first appeared on TheLawyer.com, 16 September/.