Slaughter and May’s China best friend expands into Guangzhou

Slaughter and May’s Chinese best friend Jun He has expanded its presence in Southern China by opening an office in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

It is the firm’s eighth branch office and its third in the Pearl River Delta Region.

Jun He has hired a number of veteran corporate partners from leading local Guangzhou firms to head its expansion in Southern China’s largest city. Three partners and one counsel together with a team of over 10 lawyers have joined the firm. Among them, partner Pete Zhang and Catherine Miao are the most high-profile practitioners.

Prior to joining Jun He, Zhang was the co-founder and executive partner of Guangda Law Firm, a member of Hogan Lovells’ Sino-Global Legal Alliance (see story). His practice primarily focuses on foreign investment, M&A and the foreign and domestic IPOs of Chinese companies. The Hong Kong IPO and listing of Chu Kong Petroleum & Natural Gas Steel Pipe and Modern Media are two of his recent deal highlights.

Miao joins from C&I Partners, a firm she founded in 1996 and has been managing partner of. She is experienced in advising clients in finance, M&A, foreign investment and outbound investment. Her key clients include large state-owned enterprises and financial institutions.

“The country’s reform and development plan for the Pearl River Delta region has promoted economic integration of Guangdong and Hong Kong and has generated new business opportunities. The Guangzhou office completes Jun He’s Southern China coverage,” said Miao.

Jun He opened its Shenzhen office in 1999 and Hong Kong office in 2006. Miao, a dual-qualified lawyer in China and Hong Kong, said that Jun He’s Hong Kong capability offers an attractive proposition to her practice and clients.

“The matters we handle for our clients increasingly involve Hong Kong elements. The ability to provide seamless PRC and Hong Kong legal solutions under one roof is now critical,” said Miao.

Jun He’s Hong Kong office has also recently strengthened its capacity with the appointment of partner Daniel Wen. Wen joined from Herbert Smith’s Hong Kong office, where he was a counsel specialising in corporate finance, IPOs and pre-IPO investment and restructuring.

There are currently 30 staff including four partners working in Jun He’s Guangzhou office. The firm’s Beijing-based partner Gong Jun will oversee the development and operation of the new office to ensure consistency between its branch and head office. The firm expects to add more partners and teams of lawyers in the coming months.

Its firm-wide total lawyer headcount is 400 lawyers, including 101 partners, across nine offices.

As a national firm, Jun He is playing catch-up with its top-tier competitors by launching in Guangzhou. King & Wood arrived in the city in 2002 and Zhong Lun in 2006.