Eversheds prepares ground for imminent Beijing launch

Eversheds is gearing up to launch an office in Beijing later this year as it awaits the “imminent” approval of its licence application.

Lee Ranson
Lee Ranson

Eversheds first announced that it was going to open an office in Beijing in September 2010 (13 September 2010), after dispatching company commercial head Peter Halpin (now client service director) and head of international Stephen Hopkins to China to draw up a business case for the launch. At the time, Eversheds predicted that it would be on the ground in Beijing at some point in 2011.

This timeline has now been revised, with managing partner Lee Ranson saying that that the firm would launch its Beijing office at some point during 2012. No specific reason was given for the delay.

The Lawyer understands that the firm has already secured preliminary approval to launch the office from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice but that it is still awaiting approval from the country’s Ministry of Justice. A spokeswoman for Eversheds said that the firm’s licence application was expected to be approved “imminently”.

Eversheds is yet to name the partner who will lead the office and it is understood that the firm is also looking to hire lawyers to join the firm in Beijing. In November 2011, Eversheds hired corporate partner Virginie Deslandrew from Norton Rose’s Beijing office to lead its China practice in Paris (28 November 2011).

Eversheds’ Beijing office will target international financial services work, as well as offering services to multinationals on inbound foreign direct investment deals, and Chinese corporates on outbound investment work.

Eversheds already has offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The firm opened in Shanghai in 2006 (8 September 2006) after hiring Linklaters associate Peter Corne, who left Eversheds in 2010 to join Dorsey & Whitney as its Shanghai office managing partner. Eversheds opened in Hong Kong in September 2008 after hiring Nick Seddon from Heller Ehrman (25 September 2008).