Freshfields creates China chair role as City duo relocates to PRC

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has moved to strengthen its Chinese offering in the face of growing client demand, with two of the firm’s London partners moving to the jurisdiction.

Competition partner Jenny Connolly and corporate partner Simon Weller have relocated to the Shangai and Hong Kong offices respectively, taking the firm’s total partner headcount in China to 21. Connolly’s practice also includes corporate work and her move is aimed at fostering closer relationships in the technology sector.

In addition, the magic circle firm has appointed partner Teresa Ko to the newly created role of chairman of the China practice. She has also been elected to the global partnership council.

Freshfields Asia managing partner Rob Ashworth said: “We have the leading IPO and M&A franchises in the China region and our international clients are becoming even more active there. We’re also building great relationships with major Chinese corporations and institutions, who are increasingly requesting our help outside of China so it’s important for us to keep investing in these areas.”

The renewed focus on China will also see the relocation of two partners within China. Corporate partner Melissa Thomas will move from Shanghai to Beijing in June to boost the firm’s financial services offering, while fellow corporate partner Jack Wang will make the reverse journey from Beijing to Shanghai. Wang’s move is designed to enhance the cross border M&A practice.

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