Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Perkins Coie has bolstered its China practice with the hire of two partners from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Beijing, including well-known China expert James Zimmerman.

Corporate partner Zimmerman and intellectual property partner Scott Palmer both joined the Seattle-based firm’s office in Beijing. Zimmerman had been office managing partner for Sheppard Mullin’s Beijing office since 2011 when he helped launch the office after joining from legacy Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.

James Zimmerman

“The addition of Jim and Scott is a game-changer for Perkins Coie China and further demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a tier-one China practice and growing our offices here,” Geoffrey Vance, managing partner of the firm’s Shanghai office, said in a statement.

Beijing office managing partner Michael House said in the statement that the addition of the two lawyers will bolster the firm’s growing teams in Beijing and Shanghai. “Their exceptional experience and impressive track records in China further our ability to counsel our clients—particularly U.S. companies—in the transactional, regulatory, trademark, litigation and e-commerce areas.”

Zimmerman, who typically advises multinationals on matters related to trade, investment and regulatory compliance matters in China, served as chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China for four terms in 2007-08 and 2015-16. He has worked in China since the late 1990s and is recognized as one of the top American lawyers in China. He has expertise in Chinese law, dispute resolution, M&A and general corporate law, and is also frequently quoted in such publications as The New York Times about the political and business climate in China. In addition, he is known for his representation in 2015 of Kevin and Julia Garratt, a Canadian Christian missionary couple detained in China on suspicion of espionage. (The Garratts were released in 2016.)

Scott Palmer

IP expert and longtime China resident Palmer counsels on China-related trademark, copyright, trade dress and patent issues, especially in anti-counterfeiting, anti-piracy and brand protection. Fluent in Mandarin, Palmer manages IP portfolios for large multinational companies and advises technology and telecommunications companies on Internet regulatory, onternet governance, and cybersecurity matters involving China. He joined Sheppard Mullin in 2013 from Baker McKenzie, where he led the IP practice in the Beijing office.

The firm said a team of associates, paralegals and support staff would be joining Zimmerman and Palmer.

With Zimmerman’s departure, Sheppard Mullin Shanghai partner Tony Mou has taken over as the firm’s chief representative in Beijing.

Perkins Coie also added to its Beijing office last year, picking up former Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft IP partner Johnny Chiu after the New York-based firm decided to exit Asia.