Bird & Bird launches third China office
Bird & Bird has launched an office in Shanghai, giving the firm its third base in China.The top 25 law firm secured its licence during the last month and has already set up a small office with Hong Kong-based partner Shirley Kwok as chief representative.Kwok, an intellectual property (IP) partner, will split her time between Shanghai and Hong Kong, while Beijing commercial partner Grace Chen will spend the majority of her time in Shanghai. The law firm is currently also staffed by one full-time corporate senior associate.Bird & Bird's China managing partner and head of IP, Matthew Laight, said the new office should grow to around 20 lawyers. It will focus mainly on corporate and commercial work as well as advising on IP matters. According to Laight, client demand in Shanghai comes from the media, publishing and distribution sectors as well as the IT sector. He added: "Shanghai is perfect for us because it has all of the key sectors present that are the firm's strengths worldwide. We are really pleased about it."Although the firm has represented clients in Shanghai for some time, it could only open the base now because of local rules requiring that firms wait three years before applying to open a second office in mainland China.Bird & Bird launched its Beijing office in 2004 having opened in Hong Kong in 1995. The new base in Shanghai comes after a period of expansion for Bird & Bird's Asia corporate practice. Most recently it added corporate partner Matthew Wong from K&L Gates as the sixth partner in its Hong Kong office.
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