Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling has launched a dramatic raid on Scandinavian rival Vinge, poaching its sole Hong Kong partner and Shanghai office head to launch its China practice.
Mannheimer recruited Vinge’s sole Hong Kong lawyer Thomas Lagerqvist along with Shanghai office head Ulf Ohrling. Mannheimer will initially move lawyers from its Swedish operations to China to support the duo, although negotiations with the remaining seven Shanghai associates is understood to be continuing.
The firm’s China practice will initially focus on M&A and intellectual property work, while also advising on real estate and dispute resolution.
Mannheimer executive partner Stefan Brocker said there were more than 220 Swedish companies operating in China, and existing Scandinavian clients had demanded the firm have a direct China presence.
"China is on its way to becoming the world's largest economy and offers an already enormous market experiencing powerful growth, and we want to be a part of that development," Brocker said.
"Entry into China is a perfect example of our international strategy, which includes a focus on Swedish and other Scandinavian businesses' international matters.”