Latham & Watkins has launched its first outpost in Mainland China, with the opening of a two-partner Shanghai office.

San Francisco partner Rowland Cheng has relocated to Shanghai, where he will head the new office. Singapore-based finance partner James Redway will also relocate to Shanghai, along with two Latham associates.

The new office will focus on project finance, capital markets, M&A and private equity work as well as outbound investment for Chinese blue chip companies.

Among its key Chinese deals in recent times, the firm advised on the largset ever project financing in Asia – that of the $4.3bn Nanhai Petrochemicals complex in Guangdong.

“Having a strong Chinese capability will be a hallmark of the world’s global elite firms and we are building our stake in this market,” said Latham chirman and managing partner Robert Dell.

In addition to the new Shanghai outpost, the firm has around 40 lawyers in the region, spread across offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.