Bingham McCutcheon kickstarts Beijing launch with lateral hire

US firm Bingham McCutcheon has hired Jones Day partner Xiaowei Ye to manage its newly launched Beijing office alongside corporate partner Brian Beglin, who is relocating from Tokyo.

Ye joins the firm from Jones Day’s Beijing office, where she built up a strong practice of representing major Chinese companies and other multinational clients on investment, M&A and regulatory matters in China. Ye began her career

in Washington DC before moving to Shanghai and has been practising in Beijing since 2006. 

Commenting on the appointment, Bingham chairman Jay Zimmerman said: “We’re confident that [Ye] and Brian will be superb in leading and growing our Beijing office as well as bolstering our Asia capabilities for our clients.”

Beglin, who was made up to partner in Bingham’s Tokyo office last year (20 April 2010), will relocate to Beijing to help Ye get the new office off the ground. His practice focuses on cross-border and distressed mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance matters.

Bingham made its first move into Asia in 1997, when the firm, then known as Bingham Dana & Gould, took over Marks & Murase, a New York firm known for its complex cross-border work in Japan (14 October 1997). In 2006, it established an office in Hong Kong, which is registered as a foreign law firm (13 November 2006). Later that year, the firm expanded its existing Tokyo base via a merger with 20-lawyer Japanese firm Sakai & Mimura (13 December 2006). In 2007, its Tokyo office was further bolstered through the addition of 22-lawyer New Tokyo International law office.

Earlier this month the firm’s plans to open a Beijing office were confirmed when it succeeded in securing a licence from China’s Ministry of Justice to open a representative office in the city (9 November 2011).

Beglin and Ye will also be joined in the Beijing office by Michael Crain, the administrative director of Bingham’s Beijing Initiative. Crain previously served as the chief of staff to the US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China for three years. Crain is also the incumbent vice-chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China.

“I’m enthusiastic about joining Bingham and Bingham Consulting and look forward to working with Brian and Michael to grow our new office,” Ye said in a statement.

Speaking about Bingham’s expansion into Asia, Zimmerman added: “Bingham’s investment in mainland China reflects our successful strategy of building upon core practice strengths that have made us leaders in the world of cross-border global finance.”