International law firm Stephenson Harwood opens an office in Beijing today - the fourth office for the firm in Greater China and ninth worldwide.
The opening is part of Stephenson Harwood's growing presence in Greater China, offering a wide range of legal services that include corporate/commercial, international arbitration, finance, marine and international trade, and wealth management advice, across offices in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai and now Beijing.
Commenting on the office opening, Voon Keat LAI, managing partner of Stephenson Harwood in Greater China, said: "The aim of the new office is to be geographically closer to clients in the northern part of China and to support them in their business objectives. Beijing is China's financial and administrative centre and it is important for a firm such as ours to have a presence on the ground."
James Zhang, a new legal director of its Beijing office will be soon joined by another legal director, and the two are specialised in corporate, maritime and litigation. James’ wide-ranging experience includes advising international and Chinese clients on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity market transactions, private equity investment, venture capital, fund formation as well as security filing and compliance. James joined from one of the Top 10 Chinese law firms in Beijing. Prior to that, he had helped a US law firm to establish its corporate practice in Beijing. James acquired extensive international transaction experience when he worked respectively with Baker & McKenzie and Herbert Smith as senior associate and associate in their Hong Kong offices. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, US.
The firm is currently recruiting lawyers in the fields of maritime law, arbitration and finance, with the aim of expanding this initial base into a multi-practice offering in the next couple of years.
The new office makes Stephenson Harwood the second international law firm to have four bases in Greater China. The move follows the firm opening an office in Dubai in late 2012 and its expansion into new office space in Guangzhou and Shanghai in 2011.