Pinsent Masons calls time on six-year alliance with Chinese construction firm

Pinsent Masons has ended its alliance with Chinese construction boutique Beijing Hesen after six years.

The alliance saw the firms referring contentious and non-contentious projects and construction work exclusively to each other.

A Pinsents spokesperson said: “We can confirm that our alliance with Beijing-based boutique Hesen was discontinued six months ago. We retain a strong PRC practice and our ability to transact work in Beijing is unaffected.”

Hesen, which entered the exclusive alliance in February 2011, was formed by partners Ye Wanhe and Elvis Zhou as a spin-off from Qingdao’s DeHeng law firm. Both Wanhe and Zhou have since left Hesen.

When the alliance was formalised, Pinsents senior partner Chris Mullen, who is now managing partner at ARC Pensions Law, said: “It’s an important development for our presence in the region and our projects and construction offering in particular.

“We are focusing hard on developing in China and the Asia-Pacific region and see this as a great opportunity to attract major domestic Chinese clients who not only need support and assistance with big infrastructure projects and related issues, but are looking to expand internationally.”

Pinsents now has eight partners in mainland China, led by China managing partner Hew Kian Heong and based in two offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

Heong has held the position since 2014, when he took over from former China head John Bishop.

Prior to stepping down, Bishop had held the role since 2007 when the firm launched in China through the opening of an office in Beijing.

Pinsent Masons recently kicked off a redundancy consultation that puts all of its UK legal personal assistants at risk, with up to 100 jobs set to go. The review is due to be completed by the end of November.