McDermott launches in Shanghai with strategic alliance

McDermott Will & Emery has launched in Asia with the first strategic alliance between a US and Chinese law firm.

McDermott has established a presence in Shanghai after agreeing a strategic alliance to form MWE China Law offices, creating a Shanghai-based law firm that is licensed in the People’s Republic of China.

MWE was founded by John Huang and Kevin Qian, who quit Shanghai’s Allbright Law Offices to link up with McDermott. They are understood to have brought about 25 associates with them to MWE.

In the firm’s statement, Huang said: “We are very excited about founding a new international law firm based in China that has global reach and a broad selection of services to meet our clients’ needs.”

US firms have been active in the Asian market over the past month or so, with a number of new openings.

Texas-based energy giant Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld recently opened in Beijing following a two-year strategic review. Duane Morris also launched in Singapore earlier this month and at the same time signalled its intention to open two offices in Vietnam by March.

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson made a second raid on Simmons & Simmons for a further three partners last December following its five-partner raid in September for its Hong Kong launch, while Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis finally received the regulatory approval to open with UK-qualified private equity partner David Eich.