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Herbert Smith Freehills and Kewei joint operation expected to fuel growth and recruitment


Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has become one of only six international law firms allowedto integrate China law advice with international legal services through the Joint Operation model based in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.


Following the approval of a Joint Operation with Kewei Law Firm by Shanghai's Bureau of Justice, Herbert Smith Freehills now has local law capabilities in Mainland China.


The Joint Operation will be known as Herbert Smith Freehills Kewei – and it integrates international and PRC legal advice, initially in cross-border M&A and corporate, banking and finance, disputes, competition, capital markets and financial services regulatory.


Kewei is a boutique law firm established in 1995 and has a strong focus on technology. Kewei has also championed innovation throughout its 24-year history.


The two firms say they have been working together for some time and the partnership has been well received.


“We have already attracted instructions on billion-dollar matters from some of the largest companies operating in China,” said Greater China Managing Partner May Tai.


“Adding Kewei to our highly rated mainland practice completes our offering in Greater China and clients have responded very positively.”


Founding Partner Xu Wenbao, Partner Stanley Xie and International Partner Gavin Guo lead Kewei – which offers top-quality China lawyers with international experience, a strong client list, and an innovative managed legal services business. Kewei will also integrate with Herbert Smith Freehills' market-leading ALT China operation.


Asia Executive Partner Justin D’Agostino said:


“Our 30-year China practice is strong with plenty of room to grow. This new licence will transform our business on the mainland and signals our long-term commitment to China.”


Kewei Founding Partner Wenbao Xu added:


“Kewei Law Firm has been recognised as a pacesetter for high-quality service in the Shanghai legal sector for many years.


“As founder, I've been pleased to witness every success of the firm to date and am excited about this latest development onto an international platform.”


“Both firms would like to thank the Bureau of Justice in Shanghai for approving this partnership," said Kewei Partner Stanley Xie.


“Given initial demand, our team is already expecting further growth in both our business and our legal talent.”


Other UK and international firms with Joint Operations in China include Ashurst in collaboration wit Guantao in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone. Bird & Bird and Linklaters have also struck deals with Chinese businesses.



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