Stephenson Harwood China office eyes US West Coast collaborations

Hong Kong-based Stephenson Harwood & Lo, the Chinese offering of Stephenson Harwood, is planning tie-ups with three or four US firms over the next 12 months.

The arrangements will require the firms to remain separate and independent but to contribute talents and resources and to collaborate on marketing and training.

“We’re currently in discussions with firms in California and elsewhere on the West Coast,” said managing partner John Gale. “We can certainly achieve these alliances within the next year with the firms we’re currently talking to.”

The first of the series of alliances kicked off last month (27 September), with Oregon-based Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt and Stephenson Harwood & Lo holding seminars in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong to introduce the relationship to their clients.

The firm aims to tap into its US alliances to gain access to the flow of inward foreign direct investment into China and similarly for outward work into the US.

“We have US manufacturers that want to open bases in China and Chinese companies that want to invest outside of China,” said Gale. “We will also look at forming relationships with US firms on the East Coast at a later stage.”

Gale added that eventually there may be six to eight tie-ups with US firms and he did not discount using a similar model for other jurisdictions.

“The concept could work in other jurisdictions, but this will be much later,” he said.