Jingtian & Gongcheng held the opening ceremony for its Hong Kong office on 28 May, celebrating the mainland law firm’s qualifications to practise in Hong Kong and representing an important step in its ambition to become an international law firm.
Previously, Jingtian & Gongcheng associated itself successively with Mayer Brown and L&C Legal, with its merger with L&C in April marking the last step in the completion of its localization.
Zhao Yang, chairman of Jingtian & Gongcheng, told China Business Law Journal that the firm had begun business in Hong Kong more than 20 years ago, and that in the traditional capital market field it had assisted 99 enterprises in realizing a Hong Kong listing in the past three years alone.
“With the support of a huge business volume, it can be said that the establishment of our Hong Kong office was the next logical step,” said Zhao.
“This is our first office outside the mainland, and represents a robust step in Jingtian’s journey from the mainland onto the international stage,” he said.
Former chief executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Theresa Cheng, and deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, Yang Jianping, attended the ceremony as special guests.
Elaine Lo, senior partner in the Hong Kong office of Jingtian & Gongcheng, said the office has eight partners covering traditional fields such as capital markets, M&A, compliance and dispute resolution, but also includes newer practice areas including data protection, cryptocurrency and blockchain-related services for financial technology and internet company clients.
“In the past, Hong Kong was China’s window to the outside world, but today it is the springboard for Chinese enterprises that are ‘going global’,” said Lo. “A lot of the clients of our Hong Kong office are Chinese enterprises. In the current international situation, when a Chinese enterprise, particularly a tech company, intends to list abroad, its first choice will be Hong Kong. There is even a substantial number of enterprises listed on the New York Stock Exchange that are thinking about returning to Hong Kong to list.”