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Herbert Smith Freehills recently announced a joint operation with a Chinese law firm in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), becoming the latest international firm to take advantage of a government-sanctioned programme that gives foreign firms Chinese law capability.

At least a dozen global firms are now operating Chinese associations in various forms, offering one-stop-shop services that include Chinese legal opinions, court appearances and dealing with regulators. The five-year-old Shanghai FTZ scheme, which has also benefited Linklaters, Ashurst, HFW, Hogan Lovells and Baker McKenzie, is one of several ways firms can get access to Chinese law practice.

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Anna Zhang

Anna Zhang is the Hong Kong-based Asia Bureau Chief for Law.com International. She writes about lawyers and legal issues across Asia. Her coverage includes the business of law, global and domestic law firms, in-house legal departments and regulatory issues. She can be reached at [email protected]

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