Zhong Lun hires first western partner for year-old City base

Chinese firm Zhong Lun has hired the first western partner for its London office following its recent launch in New York.

Tom Fairley, who previously worked in the China offices of Norton Rose and Linklaters, brings more than 10 years of international law firm experience to Zhong Lun. His practice focuses on cross-border M&A, disposals and joint ventures, acting for both Chinese and multinational clients. He joins the firm from Taylor Vinters, where he was an associate.

He has worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and London and is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin. He is the first western partner to join the firm’s London office, a year after its establishment (13 February 2012).

“Working together with our existing team of senior Chinese-trained, English-qualified lawyers in our London office, Tom will bring an important complementary set of skills which will assist us as we expand upon our existing cooperation relationships with top independent law firms in London on the full range of China-related projects in the UK and Europe,” said London managing partner Xue Haibin.

Fairley’s appointment comes shortly after the opening of Zhong Lun’s New York office with the hire of US and China dual-qualified lawyer Philip Zhang and former Coudert Brothers’s New York partner T K Chang.

The three new partners add to the list of partners who have joined Zhong Lun from international firms, including Peter Ni from White & Case, Robert Lewis from legacy Lovells (24 February 2011), Carl Cheng from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (19 April 2012) and Clifford Ng from K&L Gates.

“Now that Chinese enterprises are expanding into overseas markets, Zhong Lun needs high calibre lawyers who speak the international language of commerce in both English and Mandarin to assist with projects going in both directions,” said international managing partner Robert Lewis.