Haiwen & Partners recently launched an office and an association in Hong Kong to ride the rising outbound investment wave of Chinese companies. “It is an obvious trend that Chinese law firms have become more international, and many have set up overseas offices,” Lu Guiping, a partner at Haiwen & Partners in Hong Kong, told China Business Law Journal.
“More law firms are going out, mainly because of the increasing business demand. The internationalization of Chinese companies will inevitably lead law firms to go out; otherwise Chinese law firms won’t meet the needs of their clients, at least to some extent.”
In concurrence with establishing the new office in Hong Kong, Haiwen established an association with Lu & Associates, a Hong Kong firm set up by Haiwen – Lu is also the principal of Lu & Associates. He said the two firms are different entities, but their lawyers work in the same office in Hong Kong.
“According to The Law Society of Hong Kong, Chinese law firms can only practice PRC law in Hong Kong, but if a Chinese law firm is associated with a Hong Kong law firm, after three years, the Chinese firm can localize by combining with the Hong Kong firm, and practise Hong Kong law,” said Lu.
Haiwen’s Hong Kong office will focus on capital markets transactions (including equity and debt capital markets). “Listed company compliance, mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions will also be the core business of the new office,” said Lu.
The Hong Kong office of Haiwen is its first office outside mainland China. The Chinese firm looks forward to providing better and more comprehensive legal services, including both Hong Kong and mainland law services, for both Chinese and overseas clients.
There are four partners in Haiwen’s Hong Kong office and the associated law firm: Lu Guiping, Wu Zuolong, Hua Yichun and Huang Lixin.