Han Kun's recent partner appointment is another testimony to the rise of mid-tier firms in the cross-border corporate legal services market. The Beijing headquartered law firm, only established in 2004, has opened branch offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen and has appointed three new partners from Clifford Chance and Baker & McKenzie to head its expansion.
In Shanghai, new partners Cao Yinshi and Hwang Leikang both joined from Clifford Chance, where they were members of the firm's corporate group in Shanghai. They are both experienced in advising multinationals, private equity and venture capital clients on their cross-border M&A transactions and FDI projects in China.
Another new partner Wang Jingliang, previously with Baker & McKenzie's IP group, will be based in Han Kun's Beijing head office. Before joining Baker & McKenzie, he worked for Huawei Technology as a senior IP counsel for years. As a dual qualified lawyer in both China and the US, Wang has advised multinational companies on IP general strategy and IP enforcement in China.
At the same time, Han Kun has added Wang Zhe as a counsel to its new Shenzhen office to head up the business there. Wang has solid experience in FDI, M&A, project finance and banking during the years with Gide Loyrette Nouel and King & Wood.
In 2008, Han Kun hired 14 new lawyers to serve its expanding clientele, which now includes Adobe, AsiaInfo, Ericsson, Huawei, Joy Mining, PCCW, Real NetWorks, Siemens, Symantec, Tishman Speyer and Volvo, all active in investments and acquisitions in China. The firm was recognised as one of the finalists for "Rising Law Firm of the Year" at the 2009 ALB China Law Awards.
- Mid-tier firms on the way up - With the struggling economy seeing many clients adopting cost-cutting measures and experienced lawyers on the move, some mid-level players are quickly rising to the occasion.
- Joining PRC firm a smart move, say international lawyers - Perhaps most surprising in the current global economic climate is that PRC firms continue to lure lawyers with international backgrounds to address the growing demand for international legal specialists to deal with cross-border work.