Eversheds scoops up Salans’ Shanghai employment team

Eversheds has taken on a team of four employment lawyers from the Shanghai office of Salans, which is to merge with SNR Denton in the coming months.

The team is led by Iris Duchetsmann, formerly of counsel and head of the China labour law team in Salans’ Shanghai office. Duchetsmann joins Eversheds’ Shanghai office as a partner and is joined by associates Cynthia Zheng, Xu Weihuan and Li Lixia.

Duchetsmann is experienced in labour law, with a focus on cross-border employment and international HR management. She also advises on matters such as residency, tax and social security. Apart from private practice, she also sits as vice-chair of the European Chamber of Commerce for the China Human Resources Forum and serves as member of the Shanghai Board.

Duchetsmann, together with Zheng, joined Salans in January 2010 from the Shanghai office of German firm Beiten Burkhardt. Her move comes ahead of Salans’ three-way merger with US firm SNR Denton and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain, which is expected to become effective in the first quarter of 2013 (28 November 2012).

Prior to the merger announcement, Salans decided to close its offices in Hong Kong (10 May 2012) and Beijing (13 April 2012) in a bid to focus on Shanghai. However, the Shanghai office was hit later in the year when two partners left to join Pinsent Masons’ Shanghai office and took a team of 13 lawyers with them (11 September 2012).

According to Salans’ website, there are currently four non-partner level fee-earners residing in Shanghai and the team is led by Berlin-based partner Hermann Meller who travels to Shanghai frequently.

Eversheds opened its first Asia office in Shanghai in 2006 and has recently obtained a licence to launch an office in Beijing (14 September 2012).