Covington secures third Asia presence with Shanghai launch

Covington & Burling has continued its recent Asia expansion with the launch of a new base in Shanghai.

The US outfit, which opened its second Asia office in Seoul at the end of last year, has appointed corporate partners Eva Wang and Weishi Li to lead the new practice, which will comprise a small team of associates and counsel.

The two offices will operate alongside the firm’s Beijing base, which was launched in 2008.

The firm now has a total of 20 lawyers across the three offices, providing corporate, litigation and regulatory advice across sectors such as life sciences, media and energy.

“Our Shanghai office enhances our practices in life sciences and technology transactions, FCPA, capital markets, M&A and securities in China,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee. “It places those capabilities in the heart of one of Asia’s most dynamic business centres.”

Covington first announced plans to open the Shanghai office at the beginning of September last year, after hiring Li from Bird & Bird for its corporate practice.

Li, who is a native Mandarin speaker with a background in life sciences and technology, also previously worked at US firm O’Melveny & Myers in Shanghai, where she handled licensing work, strategic alliances and joint venture arrangements.

Covington launched in the Korean capital of Seoul in November 2012 after receiving approval from the country’s Ministry of Justice. The office is led by corporate lawyer William Park – previously of Korean firm Apex – who oversees a team of five lawyers.