Chinese firms continue international push as Grandall opens in Paris

One of China’s largest law firms, Grandall, has planted its first flag in Europe by opening an office in Paris.

The Paris office is the firm’s second international location after Hong Kong, where its branch office was set up in 2008. Partner Sun Tao, who is dual-qualified in China and Paris, is overseeing the new outfit.

Prior to joining Grandall, Sun worked at Paris-based Cabinet d’avocats Tao Sun, which was established by him in 2010. Prior to that, he practised in Norton Rose’s Paris office for two years as head of the firm’s China desk.

Before turning to private practice, Sun served as head of legal affairs for Huawei Technologies’ Western European operations from 2005 to 2008, managing the company’s legal affairs across more than 10 countries in Europe. Huawei was one of the first Chinese companies to make significant investments outside China and is a major global player in the information technology and communication sector.

“The decision to establish an office in Paris is driven by our clients’ growing needs to invest into France and Europe. Paris is centrally located in Europe and allows us easy access to many other European countries,” said Liu Wei, executive partner of Grandall in Shanghai, “The Paris office will also enable us to provide legal services to clients investing into Africa.”

According to Liu, the Paris office will focus primarily on Chinese investment into Europe and Africa, M&A and dispute resolution. The office will initially be staffed by Sun and several other locally qualified lawyers.

It is understood that the firm is looking to establish another office in Europe soon.

Grandall’s arrival in Europe has come after fellow Chinese firm Yingke’s recent expansion in the continent (27 January 2012).

Apart from Paris, Grandall has recently opened two new offices domestically, in Nanjing and Xi’an. The firm was established in 1988 via the merger between three firms, based in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen respectively. It currently has 142 partners and 570 other fee-earners with 14 offices.