Fieldfisher opens four-partner office in Shanghai

Shanghai-Skyline

Fieldfisher has launched a four-partner office in Shanghai and has plans to double its partner count there by June.

The news follows its merger with 12-partner Beijing boutique JS Partners under a Swiss verein in November 2016.

The firm’s China managing partner, Zhaofeng Zhou, said: “Shanghai is a truly global city and was the natural location for our next office. Growth is an important part of our plan in China and we expect a further four partners to join the Shanghai office by June.”

Zhou joined JS Partners as managing partner in July last year from Bird & Bird’s Beijing office.

Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick added: “We’ve been working closely to ensure continued growth of the firm in China – and the opening of a Shanghai office is a natural next step.”

Fieldfisher corporate partner and competition law specialist Liang Xing will lead the office. Xing is joining the firm from Chinese firm MyLink, where he was a partner.

He is joined by patent litigation partner Rocky Wu, who previously worked for Chinese firm JT&N.

Two of the firm’s Beijing partners – tax partner Baoen Bai and corporate partner Ming Zhang – will transfer to Shanghai.

Two additional partners are set to join the new office in March, with another two arriving in June.

Three years ago, Fieldfisher secured a presence in Shanghai through a Swiss verein combination with three-partner firm Ryser & Associates. However, that tie-up has since ended.

Under the verein structure, Fieldfisher operates as a licensed Chinese law firm, with access to all aspects of Chinese legal practice. The setup was pioneered in 2012 by legacy King & Wood when it merged with Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques. Last year, the same structure was used by Dentons when it merged with Beijing-based Dacheng.

Separately, it has emerged that Fieldfisher is in early discussions to hire partners in Olswang’s Munich office.

Legal Week reported in September that Olswang Munich and Paris partners are considering alternatives to the tripartite merger deal under discussion with CMS and Nabarro.

Other firms linked to Olswang Munich include Cooley and CMS itself. In Germany, CMS operates as CMS Hasche Sigle, which already has an office in Munich.