Clyde & Co has opened an office in Beijing, the firm’s third in China, to better serve Beijing-based clients and provide a platform for further growth in Greater China.
Partner Lynia Lau, who leads the development of the Beijing office as its chief representative, has the experience necessary for the launch, having previously played a major role in setting up another UK-based international law firm’s office in Beijing five years ago.
“Our top priority is establishing the office and we are likely to be conservative in our approach to recruitment and relocating people in the meantime,” Lau told China Business Law Journal.
“Our Beijing office will start off relatively small. However, our Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices operate as an integrated unit and there is much involvement and interaction between the offices, allowing us to have the critical mass, resources and depth of experience to handle the largest and most complex transactions and cases.”
Lau said the office had opened with a staff of four, covering China outbound investment in the energy and resources sector, inbound China/ FDI work, project finance, asset finance and dispute resolution, plus working closely with the other China offices.
The firm has well-established offices in Hong Kong, launched in 1981, and Shanghai since 2006.
Hong Kong has 11 partners and 38 other legal staff, while the Shanghai office has five partners and 20 other legal staff.
Lau, a corporate lawyer with a strong focus on outbound investment work for Chinese state-owned groups in the energy sector, will remain a partner of the Hong Kong partnership but will be based in Beijing.
Chong Ik-wei, Asia Pacific board member and chief representative of the firm’s Shanghai office, said: “More than half of our revenue is now generated from Chinese and China-based clients. The majority of these Chinese clients, particularly the state-owned enterprises, are headquartered in Beijing and therefore our on-the-ground presence will help us provide more effective and seamless service to our clients there.”