Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery has ended a strategic alliance with its longtime China partner firm, a move that means it no longer has a physical presence in Asia.

The alliance, with a Shanghai-based law firm known as MWE China Law Offices, gave McDermott a unique ability to access a Chinese law practice without having a physical presence on the ground. Under Chinese law, foreign law firms in China are barred from practicing Chinese law. They are allowed to advise on China’s legal environment but are not permitted to give Chinese legal opinions or appear in court.

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