China: Years of the dragon
On Tuesday 4 May at 7:30am a car arrived to pick up former Lovells Beijing managing partner Robert Lewis from his house in the Shunyi district of the Chinese capital, a part of town popular with expats. As it weaved its way off the estate and onto the traffic-choked main road leading to the city centre, Lewis thought about what lay ahead for him at AllBright Law Offices, the Chinese law firm where he was about to start his first day's work. His decision to join the firm, where his brief is to overhaul AllBright's structure and expand its Beijing office to match its market-leading offering in Shanghai, is one Lewis has been edging towards for years now, and he maintains it is unrelated to Lovells' recently concluded merger with US firm Hogan & Hartson.
China’s leading law firms are riding the country’s emergence as a global power, increasingly asserting themselves against their foreign rivals. Alex Aldridge asks how far they can go
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