A tie-up would be a bold move for firms on both sides. Chinese collaborations are notoriously tricky to piece together, given the opacity of Chinese firm structures (for more on this read our feature ChinaLaw: a tale of dynasties) and the reluctance of many to buddy up with foreign firms.
However, they might just be getting easier as the powers that be in China gradually remove obstacles to forging external alliances. One key element, the Pilot Shanghai Free Trade Zone which was launched last year, has permitted formal associations between local and foreign law firms for the first time.
As one source close to elite capital markets firm Commerce & Finance put it, “having foreign devils in the legal market is clearly not the sacred cow that it once was”.
Also on TheLawyer.com:
- Royal Bank of Scotland has turned to change theorist Richard Susskind for advice on its next panel review process
- Taylor Wessing is relocating a handful of corporate technology partners to launch a pair of US offices, in Palo Alto and New York
- Addleshaw Goddard managing partner John Joyce has installed Gulf and Asia regional heads in the latest stage of ongoing management reform at the firm
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