Thelen Reid & Priest will receive its license to practice in China at a ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday, a sign of thawing in what was seen as a freeze on the government issuing licenses to foreign firms.

“We have had the engine running for awhile, and now we can put the car in gear,” said Stephen O’Neal, the firm’s chairman. “We have not been able to expand the China practice the way we wanted because we were constrained by the lack of a license.”

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