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Instant Insights / Law Firms in China Refocus as Legal Business Shifts

Ten years ago, opening offices in Hong Kong and mainland China was the “it” strategy for many Big Law firms, as the country’s economy began to mirror Western capitalism. At that time, much of the investment was flowing in to China, with law firms eager to snag real estate work, IP matters and manufacturing deals. Today, there’s still work to go around, but much it is centered on outbound investment. In this Instant Insights, we show which firms are adapting to the changes in an era of slower growth, political tension and rising financial barriers.

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China’s record-setting outbound inv-estment boom in 2016 was a boost to both international and domestic law firms in that country. For example, China National Chemical Corp.’s $43 billion acquisition of Swiss agribusiness group Syngenta A.G. and the related financing and regulatory proceedings gave work to at least nine firms, including global firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and White & Case [see "High-Stakes Diplomacy," page 68].

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Anna Zhang

Email: azhang@alm.com

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