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Bloomberg: China Law Offices Grow as US, UK Firms Shrink
Bloomberg reports that while law firms in the US and UK are shrinking, their offices in China expanding.
Twenty-eight foreign firms have opened offices in mainland China since September 2006, a 19% increase to 177 firms.
The continued expansion comes as some of the largest U.S. and U.K. law firms cut jobs at home because of the global financial crisis. While China isn’t immune — new share sales collapsed to $7.9 billion last year — lawyers said the country’s growing importance to clients makes it an essential location for global law firms, along with New York and London…
With the world’s largest foreign-currency reserves and third-largest economy “it’s now at the center of resolving global economic, financial and political crises,” [Christopher] Stephens, [Asia managing partner of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe] said. San-Francisco based Orrick cut 40 structured-finance, real estate and corporate lawyers worldwide in November.
Latham & Watkins LLP, based in Los Angeles, expanded its Hong Kong office this month into a local law practice with the addition of seven lawyers from Allen & Overy LLP, including the U.K. firm’s former Asia corporate chief, Michael Liu.
Via Bloomberg.Bloomberg: China Law Offices Grow as US, UK Firms Shrink by Erik Even