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Fulbright & Jaworski, which has had an office in Hong Kong since 1990, is moving onto mainland China with a new office in Beijing. The firm announced the new office on Nov. 2, but it has been open for about a month and a half, says Jeffrey Blount, partner in charge of the Beijing office. Blount is co-head of the firm’s international department and also remains as partner in charge of the Hong Kong office. Fulbright has 10 lawyers in China but will boost that number to 15 over the next few weeks by hiring lawyers in China to help staff the new office in Beijing, Blount says. Two of the firm’s major Asian clients, China National Petroleum Corp. and International Finance Corp., are based in Beijing, Blount adds, but he says another reason for the move is that business is highly regulated in China. It’s helpful for the firm to have an office in the Chinese capital: A Beijing office in China is like a Washington, D.C., office in the United States, he says. Even though Blount spends about 200 days a year on mainland China, he plans to keep his main base in Hong Kong, because that’s where his family is living. Fulbright Hong Kong partner Michael Arruda, who leads the firm’s energy practice in Asia, will move to the Beijing office. Other large Texas firms with offices in China include Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts and Andrews Kurth.

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