Camerons doubles Chinese capability

CMS member Lefebvre opens Shanghai practice; Hasche Sigle gets in on the act

CMS member Bureau Francis Lefebvre has launched its Shanghai office, which in turn gives a major boost to CMS Cameron McKenna’s China practice. Camerons now has a de facto second office in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and corporate lawyer Molly Riley will be seconded to Shanghai.
Bureau Francis Lefebvre was granted a licence for a Shanghai office earlier this year. Lawyers from Camerons and CMS member Hasche Sigle have now been seconded to the office. Riley was taken on as a consultant from Masons last year and will work out of the Shanghai office alongside Hasche Sigle lawyer Ulrike Gluck and Bureau Francis Lefebvre’s Emmanuel Meril.
Riley said: “The whole idea of the CMS model is that you can outsource to other members if there is no capacity in your own firm.”
She added: “Following China’s accession to the WTO [World Trade Organisation] last November, we’ve seen a huge increase in the global business community’s interest in China.”
Camerons suffered a setback in March when the firm’s most senior PRC lawyer Yongfu Li defected to Allen & Overy (A&O) to become a consultant and the managing partner of A&O’s Beijing office. Yongfu was replaced by Simmons & Simmons senior associate Luke Fili, who joined Camerons as a consultant. The office has five fee-earners.
According to Riley, the Shanghai team is already flat out on projects for around 20 existing clients. She said the firm is working on setting up joint ventures and representative offices for foreign direct investors.
The Shanghai office is also involved with a major insolvency, the demerger of a limited company and lending work for two banks.