Philadelphia-based Blank Rome has bolstered its China practice by hiring a new partner to serve as its chief representative in Shanghai.
Louis Meng joins from Haynes and Boone, where he co-led the firm’s Asia practice from Shanghai. He has advised on foreign direct investments into China as well as represented Chinese clients on asset acquisition in Canada and the United States. At Blank Rome, his practice will focus on business and corporate transactions.
Meng arrived at Haynes and Boone in 2014, a year after the Texas-based firm launched in Shanghai—its only Asian base. Prior to that, he spent four years as a partner with the Shanghai-based firm AllBright Law Offices, and before that with K&L Gates.
Over the course of his career, Meng has advised Chinese and multinational public and private companies, financial institutions, emerging growth companies, investment banks, asset managers, hedge funds and others, the firm said. He has assisted Chinese companies doing business in the United States and elsewhere and has also advised public and private U.S. companies going into and operating in China.
Blank Rome opened in Shanghai in 2011; it is the firm’s only Asian office and its only outpost outside the United States. In addition to Meng, firm Asia practice chair Mike Margolis splits time between Shanghai and Los Angeles.
“Over the past 18 months or so, we’ve seen some Western law firms close or reduce their presence in China in response to new challenges in the market, regulatory changes, and the geopolitical environment,” Margolis said in a statement. ”At Blank Rome, however, we see these challenges as opportunities—clients on both sides of the ocean have an even greater need to understand each other’s laws and navigate the legal landscape in one another’s countries, and we’re here to help them do just that.”
In 2013, Blank Rome closed its seven-year-old Hong Kong office, citing changes in “client needs and local economic forecasts.”