Dewey Ballantine has joined the ranks of law firms piling into China by hiring its first Beijing partner.

The US firm has recruited Sharon Mann, a former senior director of the Trade Facilitation Office for the US Embassy in Beijing, as the first partner in its Beijing outpost.

The office will advise clients on international trade and IP matters.

Dewey Ballantine joins the raft of firms that are seeking to exploit the fast-growing Chinese market.

In recent years, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, Weil Gotshal & Manges, White & Case and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr have all opened Chinese outposts, as have UK firms Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons.

International trade group head Alan Wolff said: “Sharon’s understanding of the US and Chinese governments and markets will be a tremendous asset.”