Shanghai, China. Photo: gui jun peng/

Simmons & Simmons has recruited its second China employment law partner in a month.

May Lu joins from Shanghai-based MWE China Law Offices, where she was a partner advising foreign companies on labor law and other regulatory compliance matters in China. She joined MWE China in 2007 as part of its founding team, coming from the Shanghai firm Allbright Law Offices. Since 2007, MWE China, a licensed Chinese law firm, has been in a strategic alliance with Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery. Lu became a partner in January of this year.

Lu is the second labor partner to be hired by Simmons in Shanghai within the past month. In August, the U.K. firm added former Winston & Strawn Asia head of employment Matthew Durham to the China labor law practice. The additions are also part of a recovery from the loss of a five-strong employment law team led by former Shanghai partner Lesli Ligorner earlier this year. Ligorner’s team joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Shanghai.

At the time of Durham’s hire, Fiona Loughrey, the firm’s Asia head of employment, said Simmons plans to hire four more labor lawyers in Asia by the end of the year.

Simmons is one of the few international firms in Asia that has a major offering of employment law. In February, Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw announced plans to launch a Hong Kong office with the hire of DLA Piper Asia employment law head Julia Gorham. And in August, it officially launched its Hong Kong office and formed a local law association.

Anna Zhang is based in Hong Kong, where she writes about the business of law and legal issues in Asia and Australia. Contact her at On Twitter: @annazhangc.