China’s Beijing DHH Law Firm has launched an office in Seattle—its second U.S. outpost—at a time when a trade war is ramping up between the world’s largest two economies.
DHH said in a statement that the Seattle office would complement its existing East Coast office in Washington, D.C. which was opened in 2015. Firm founder and chair Luan Shaohu spearheaded the effort to open in Seattle.
Partners Mei Liang and Yan Yanhui will lead the office and focus on advising the Chinese business community in Washington state as well as neighboring states. The firm said support from Chinese lawyers is much needed by small- and medium-sized Chinese businesses based in the United States at this moment when the trade war is escalating.
On July 6, the Trump administration imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports; China immediately responded in kind, imposing 25 percent duties on $34 billion in U.S. imports, including soybeans, a chief American agricultural export to China. A second round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of products from both sides is currently in the works and may take effect in two weeks. This week, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing to place tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products.
DHH was previously known as Shandong Deheng Law Firm but the firm rebranded following a prolonged trademark dispute with another Chinese firm—DeHeng Law Offices. In addition to Seattle, DHH said it also plans to launch offices in Seoul in September, and Singapore and Tokyo later this year. The firm currently has six offices outside mainland China—in Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sydney and Toronto.
Beijing-based DHH was ranked 10th on the most recent Asia 50 survey with 1,035 lawyers globally in 2016. The firm, which follows a relatively decentralized structure compared to Chinese firms like King & Wood Mallesons, has 19 offices across China.