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After receiving a license to operate in the city, K&L Gates now officially has a Shanghai office – its fourth in the region.

The firm has been operating in Hong Kong for more than a decade and has offices in Beijing and Taipei, Taiwan.

It opened the Beijing office about four years ago, and the Chinese Ministry of Justice requires an interim period of a certain number of years to pass before a second license can be issued.

Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates’ application had been pending since that time expired, and the firm received word this week that the license was awarded.

Attorneys from the firm’s other Asian offices have been servicing the Shanghai market, but Chairman and Global Managing Partner Peter J. Kalis said there would now be four attorneys on the ground in the city. At least three of those attorneys would be full time, he said.

The chief representative of the new office will be mergers and acquisitions partner Vincent Tso, who has been working out of the firm’s other Chinese offices, most recently in Hong Kong. All of the lawyers who will work in the Shanghai office are existing K&L Gates attorneys.

Partner Howard Chen, of counsel Ivan Chiang and China Counsel Amigo Xie join Tso in establishing the Shanghai practice.

The office will focus on handling corporate financings and serving the financial services industries, Kalis said. The practice handles inbound and outbound investments involving the country, he said.

Kalis likened Beijing to Washington, D.C., and said Shanghai was more of a financial center like New York or London.

The Shanghai office further supports the corporate, finance and regulatory work K&L Gates currently performs for public and private international and Chinese companies. Capabilities include inbound and outbound investment; technology; M&A and commercial transactions; investing and raising capital in markets in the United States, London and Hong Kong; intellectual property protection and enforcement; and government approval and regulatory matters.

This marks K&L Gates’ 25th office worldwide.

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