Former Rui Bai corporate partner joins Reed Smith in Beijing

Barbara Li

Barbara Li, former head of corporate at Rui Bai Law Firm, joined Reed Smith as a partner in its global corporate group and Beijing office.

Li has nearly 30 years of experience in the data, TMT and fintech sectors. She told China Business Law Journal that “there is a great synergy between what I have been doing and where Reed Smith’s strengths are”.

She said she and her team had extensive expertise in tech and data projects, which were also important practice areas Reed Smith had focused on, and they earned recognition in the China market for advising on data compliance and complex cross-border tech transactions.

Previously, Li was a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright and Baker McKenzie. Her departure from Rui Bai, formerly a member of the PwC global network, comes as the law firm has applied for deregistration.

She began in the legal profession as an in-house counsel for Ericsson in Beijing and was appointed as the vice-chair of the Cybersecurity Sub-Working Group and the Construction Working Group of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China for several years.

“Having started my career in-house and also spent sometime in the Big-Four network, I understand what my clients want from their external counsel,” Li said.

“My previous experience allows me to very easily put myself in the client’s shoes and provide proactive support to help drive their business forward.”

Li is the third partner that Reed Smith has brought on board in China this year, along with Matthew Townsend, an international arbitration partner in the Hong Kong office, and Zeldar Wang, a dispute resolution partner in the Shanghai office.