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July 21, 2011 4:48 PM

Ropes & Gray Opens Shanghai Office

Posted by Hannah D'Apice

Ropes & Gray boosted its Asia presence by opening a seven-lawyer office in Shanghai that will serve clients with business and investment interests in China, the firm announced Thursday.

The expansion to China's most populous city follows small office openings in Tokyo in 2007 and Hong Kong in 2008.

“Our clients’ businesses intersect more and more with the powerful economic engine of China,” Chairman Brad Malt said in a statement.

Corporate partner Arthur Mok is leading the Shanghai office, which will serve clients in private equity, investment funds, and the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

Mok specializes in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. He joined Ropes in 2010 from Hogan & Hartson before that firm merged with Lovells in May of that year to create Hogan Lovells. He founded Hogan & Hartson's Shanghai office in 2004.

“Our plan is to focus on the private equity and life sciences industries initially, but in due time we are likely to expand this to include additional industries, particularly those that are technology intensive,” Mok told Legalweek.

Investment funds partner Geoffrey Chan will also practice out of the new office. Prior to joining Ropes in 2011, Mr. Chan was counsel at O’Melveny & Myers in Beijing.

The two partners will be supported by five associates.

Ropes is the fourth Am Law 100 firm to open a Shanghai office in the last three months. Reed Smith established its presence in Shanghai last week with the announced hire of corporate partner Jay Yan, the former regional managing partner for U.S. firm Dorsey & Whitney, Am Law Daily sibling publication The Asian Lawyer reported.

Blank Rome opened an office in Shanghai in May, followed by Cooley that same month. Am Law 200 firm Quarles & Brady opened a Shanghai representative office in January.

Ropes, based in Boston, has about 1,000 lawyers worldwide, including 24 in Asia.

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