In recent years, rapidly expanding Chinese law firms such as King & Wood, Jun He Law Offices, and Zhong Lun Law Firm have become familiar names in the international legal market. But some of the country’s most successful firms are taking a very different route.

If firms like King & Wood aspire to be China’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Beijing firms Jingtian & Gongcheng, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, and Haiwen & Partners are vying to be its Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Like that New York firm, they have avoided large-scale expansion, both in China and abroad, and have kept a tight focus on high-end capital markets and mergers and acquisitions work. They have also largely kept a low profile. (Commerce & Finance declined to comment for this article.)

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