GILBERT + TOBIN has formed a strategic alliance with one of China’s leading commercial law firms, King & Wood. The deal puts G+T in an enviable position as Western firms are increasingly fishing for ways to get into the Chinese legal market.
Partners from each firm will work together on projects for clients in China and across the Asia-Pacific and G+T will become a centre of excellence for Australian clients looking to do business in China.
Chris Freeland, chief operating officer and partner at G+T said the alliance would provide a terrific opportunity for the both firms’ clients in terms of access to relationships, as well as career opportunities for G+T staff.
“It will involve us working together on a range of opportunities — potentially some joint projects in a range of practice areas including competition, intellectual property, private equity, competition and regulation. So there’s a number of ways that we hope to work together on business opportunities and we also want to work together on some sharing of management skills as well, which is another aspect of the relationship. We hope to enhance our expertise and knowledge around doing business in China,” Freeland said.
King & Wood was established in 1993 and has over 600 lawyers, patent attorneys and legal professionals spread over offices in Biejing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Silicon Valley.
G+T is also a young firm, having started in 1988 and this was another reason the firms were drawn to each other, Freeland said.
“We both share a culture which involves a strong desire to succeed. We have a real entrepreneurial approach. I think that attitude is something each of the firms has found attractive in the other,” he said.
This is the first alliance King & Wood has made with a Western firm.