De Brauw confirms Shanghai launch

Benelux firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is joining German best friend Hengeler Mueller with an office in Shanghai, its second Chinese base.

The news follows yesterday’s announcement by Hengeler that it was moving into Shanghai (4 December 2013).

De Brauw launched in Beijing alongside its UK and Iberian best friends Slaughter and May and Uría Menéndez three years ago (11 March 2010) and expanded into Singapore last year (27 April 2012).

The Shanghai office will open in mid-2014 and will be led by partner Gaby Smeenk. Smeenk, a corporate lawyer, is moving from Amsterdam to head up the new venture.

She has experience leading M&A work with an Asian component. Recent transactions include advising Philips on the TV joint venture with Chinese company TPV and Rabobank on the divestment of asset manager Robeco to Japanese buyer ORIX.

De Brauw said the move was in response to its clients’ growing demand for assistance in their business overseas.