Pillsbury taps Paul Hastings for Beijing office launch

San Francisco firm Pillsbury has launched a Beijing base after taking a two-partner team from US rival Paul Hastings.

Corporate and securities lawyers David Livdahl and Jenny Jia Sheng, who are also admitted to practise in California and New York respectively, are expected to bring three associates across with them.

In addition to his work on corporate matters Mandarin-speaking Livdahl, who was head of Paul Hastings’ Beijing office, is experienced in arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution. He has been on the official arbitration panel for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission since 2000. Native Mandarin speaker Sheng focuses on PRC legal issues.

Pillsbury chair James Rishwain said the Beijing launch is “an expression of the firm’s ongoing and consistent commitment to China’s growing role in the world economy”, adding that many of the firm’s Chinese clients are headquartered in the city.

Pillsbury already has a Shanghai office, which it opened in 2006 at the same time as closing its Taiwan base (6 November 2006). Pillsbury Winthrop as it was then called acquired the Taipei office through its 2005 merger with Washington DC firm Shaw Pittman.

In 2008 it bolstered its China group with the addition of the entire China practice of dissolving US firm Thelen (29 September 2008). This gifted the firm around 20 lawyers spread between Shanghai, DC and San Francisco.