The increasing sophistication of the legal services markets in regional centres outside of the traditional hubs of Beijing and Shanghai was one of the themes of the ALB China Law Awards 2010.
The following provincial firms won awards this year:
• Guangzhou Law Firm of the Year – Guangda (2009 winner: Alpha & Leader)
• Jiangsu Law Firm of the Year – JC Master (2009 winner: Fangben)
• North East China Law Firm of the Year – Deheng (Shandong) Law Firm (also in 2009)
• Shenzhen Law Firm of the Year – Grandall (2009 winner: Shu Jin Law Firm)
• Tianjin Law Firm of the Year – Winners (also in 2009)
• West China Law Firm of the Year – Tahota (2009 winner: Solton & Partners)
• Zhejiang Law Firm of the Year – Zhejiang T&C (also in 2009)
Guangzhou winner Guangda increased its offering in international trade and investment with the appointments of several new partners. It has acted for a large number of international and national clients in high-end investment, transactions, and litigation and arbitration cases in the Pearl River Delta region.
As a member of International Alliance of Law Firms, JC Master has played a dominant role in advising cross-border transactions, high-end corporate matters and projects in Jiangsu.
Deheng (Shandong) Law Firm’s business growth in 2009 is evidence of its success in the north-east China region. Its business volume, revenue and tax paid increased in 2009 by 38.40%, 13.10% and 20% respectively. The annual revenue of Deheng (Shandong), of which 23% came from new clients, is the highest of any Shandong Firm.
Under the leadership of executive partner Li Chun, the current Shenzhen Bar president, Grandall Shenzhen office has sustained its leading role in transactional legal services in Shenzhen and has gained new competitive edge by leveraging the firm’s new office in the neighbouring Hong Kong. Already among the leaders in advising on SME listings, Grandall Shenzhen office beefed up its capital markets group by adding ten new partners and 30 more legal staff in 2009.
Leading the legal community in Tianjin, Winners hit a highpoint last year when it was engaged by Cargill, a major international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services from US, to represent it in the region’s debut anti-trust business concentration case with China regulatory authorities such as the Ministry of Commerce and State Commission of Reform and Development last year. The firm also entered into a strategic collaboration agreements with the Institute of Finance and Taxation in North-east Asia of Nankai University and collaboration agreements on environment law with Law School of Nankai University in 2009.
Tahota, with branches in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, was named “Outstanding National Law Firm” by the Ministry of Justice. In 2009, Tahota also became a patent agency as approved by the State Intellectual Property Office.
Following its achievements in 2008, Zhejiang T&C is keeping on the pace as one of the leading law firms in its province. In 2009, T&C remains a dominant player in FDI, IPOs and corporate finance in the YRD region and was the fifth fastest-growing law firm in China as evaluated by ALB. T&C was also awarded by Hangzhou municipal government as one of the top service enterprises and for its outstanding achievements in the legal profession in 2009.