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 Ashurst launches JO in Shanghai Free Trade Zone with Guantao
Category:Judicial News  
Subject:Legal system   ; People and society   ; Finance   ; Science, education, culture and sports   ; Companies and enterprises  
Publish Date:02-12-2018

Ashurst has launched a joint operation in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone with PRC firm Guantao Law Firm, a widely anticipated move as the two firms first formed their strategic alliance back in 2008.

Ashurst and Guantao's JO is the fourth of its kind in the Shanghai FTZ, after Baker McKenzie and FenXun Partners in 2015, HFW and Wintell & Co in April 2016 and Hogan Lovells and Fujian Fidelity Law Firm in October 2016. Linklaters was expected to be the fourth firm in the Shanghai FTZ but the Magic Circle firm is still awaiting regulatory approval for its JO with Chinese “best friend” Zhao Sheng.

In 2014, foreign firms were allowed to offer Chinese law advice through an association with a PRC firm in the Shanghai FTZ, allowing international firms to provide integrated international and domestic Chinese legal advice for their multinational clients in the world's second-largest economy.

Guantao is the nineteenth-largest local firm in China, according to ALB's Top 50 largest law firms ranking 2017, with 567 lawyers in the country, including 153 partners. The firm has 13 offices in mainland China, along with branches in Hong Kong and Sydney. In the past few years, the firm merged with Zhongmao Law Firm and Shenda Partners.

“The JOO offers one-stop service to both firms' clients that combines international expertise with full PRC law capability,” said Paul Jenkins, Ashurst's managing partner, in a statement. “Guantao's extensive PRC network will complement our global coverage in offering a seamless client service, strengthening our market position to capitalise domestic and international business opportunities."

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