King & Wood Mallesons’ merger with UK firm SJ Berwin took effect last Friday (1 November 2013) with a bang. Although its four Swiss Verein members, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Europe, are financially independent, the enlarged firm unveiled its new global governance structure to ensure integration.
The tie-up is significant. King & Wood Mallesons is the first major Chinese firm to launch itself onto the international scene as most Chinese firms are concentrating their efforts a little closer to home.
Beijing-headquartered Dacheng and Shanghai-headquartered AllBright are the two other firms that have done just that. In the past week, Dacheng opened its ninth international location in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar and AllBright launched its first international office in Hong Kong.
In a reverse fashion, Clyde & Co has expanded its coverage to south west China by establishing a joint venture with Chongqing-based Chinese firm West Link.
The traffic around China continues to be busy in both directions.
Also on TheLawyer.com:
- China’s new special economic zones in Shanghai and Shenzhen will clear way for deeper links between Chinese and foreign law firms
- Some of China’s established firms are feeling the pinch as the country’s securities regulator gets tough on accounting fraud
- Former DLA Piper Australia chair has left to join Gilbert + Tobin in Melbourne
- New York-based Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose (HRMR) has become the latest US firm to establish a presence in Myanmar