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Vinson & Elkins Closing Its Shanghai Office
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Texas-based law firm Vinson & Elkins has confirmed its plans of closing its Shanghai office and consolidating its China practice in Beijing and Hong Kong. This is in line with the law firm’s plans to concentrate only on state-owned energy companies in China. Mark Kelly, the chairman of Vinson & Elkins said in a statement that closing of the Shanghai office can lead to some attorneys leaving the firm.

Kelly issued a statement after the management committee of the law firm approved of the plan to close the office which was opened in 2003. He stated, “Where possible, we will provide opportunities for attorneys and staff to remain with the firm in the region, though we realize our decision to consolidate may result in the loss of some dedicated and talented people. We will work closely with all of our Shanghai personnel in the coming months to effect a smooth transition.”

  
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Currently, the Shanghai office of the firm has three partners – David Blumental, Jay Kolb and Tju Liang Chua. The firm also has at least ten associates in the Shanghai office, as well as support staff.

Vinson & Elkins is one of the biggest law firms focusing on energy practice and has helped Chinese energy companies in their outbound acquisitions. In one of its most recent deals, the firm advised Sinopec on a $5bn stake acquisition in the Brazilian unit of Galp Energia.

The law firm’s statement, further explained, “… concentrating more of our mainland Chinese resources in Beijing, where many of our energy clients are based, allows us to more effectively serve those clients. In addition, we believe that our enhanced capabilities in Beijing and Hong Kong will benefit our clients across the greater China region.”

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Kelly further noted in his statement, “As is the case with all prudent international law firms, we carefully manage our practices to ensure their alignment to client needs and the firm’s overall strategic goals…”

Another US based firm which recently realigned its China practice is Jones Day, which announced this May, that it was reducing headcount in its Beijing office and relocating staff to Hong Kong and Shanghai offices.





 

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