Salans China strategy starting to crack

After four very British days of Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it’s time for one very British saying: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Salans could have done with learning that one in school. After closing its Beijing office and then doing the same thing in Hong Kong, the firm has now been hit with a shock: the resignation of its only two Shanghai partners, including the office chief.

This would not be so bad had Salans not insisted all along that Shanghai was set to be the firm’s focus in China. Indeed, it is still claiming it is committed to the city, despite a focus group of five or six partners being set up to look at what happens next.

No one can confirm where Shanghai head Bernd-Uwe Stucken and partner Wei Liu are heading to, although one source speculated that it’s likely to be a firm with a strong German footing, given Stucken’s focus on the two jurisdictions.

Shanghai had become Salans’ sole basket, but with no partners left in China to incubate all those associate eggs, the future of the firm’s Asian practice looks like it might be cracking.