Squire Patton Boggs has hired former Nielsen Greater China president Yan Xuan as a partner in its public policy practice.

At a time of rising tension between China and the United States, Squire Patton Boggs has recruited a prominent partner to launch an international public policy practice in China.

Joining the firm’s Shanghai office, Yan Xuan was most recently the Greater China president for market research firm The Nielsen Co., where he oversaw operations in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In a statement, Squire Patton Boggs said Yan will advise Chinese companies on entering global markets and help the firm’s international clients operate and invest in China.

Though Yan was trained as a U.S. lawyer, having earned a J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1987, he spent most of his career working as a business executive at multinational companies. Before joining Nielsen in 2011, he also held senior executive positions at Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and AT&T Inc. He held a senior in-house legal role at Qualcomm Inc. between 2010 and 2011.

Squire Patton Boggs said Yan will bring to the firm insights into China’s economy, government policy and political landscape in China, as well as industry knowledge in the high tech, media, consumer goods, e-commerce and automotive sectors.

Yan’s hire comes at a time of rising tension between China and the United States as both countries continue to impose tariffs on each other’s imports worth tens of billions dollars.

“Political and economic volatility is driving client demand for public policy advice,” Squire partner Robert Kapla, who leads the firm’s global public policy practice from Washington, D.C., said in a statement.

“As clients seek to navigate the complex legislative and regulatory issues associated with doing business globally, they need the support of experienced professionals in key markets across the world, and none more so than in China,” Kapla said.

Squire said its international public policy practice combines legal expertise with political due diligence to help clients anticipate and counteract threats to their priorities, navigate regulatory requirements and grow their investments. The team is made up of lawyers and senior policy advisers, many of whom former politicians, lawmakers and diplomats.

In addition to Kapla, a former White House policy adviser during the Bill Clinton administration, Squire also has former Speaker of the House John Boehner as a senior strategic adviser, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Louisiana Senator John Breaux as senior counsel.