The Firms

March 13, 2012 5:50 PM

Nixon Peabody Forms Alliance with Chinese Firm

Posted by Ross Todd

In a bid to expand its reach in mainland China, Nixon Peabody announced Tuesday that it is teaming up with the Hylands Law Firm.

Like Nixon Peabody, Hylands—which has more than 300 lawyers, patent agents, trademark agents, and other legal professionals spread across offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong—is a member of the TerraLex network of independent law firms.

David Cheng, who chairs Nixon Peabody's China practice, says the alliance should boost the firm's profile in the country and help it compete more closely for business with such international firms as Baker & McKenzie and O'Melveny & Myers, which have long-standing practices there. "Hylands is well regarded in the local market and Nixon is still a new brand in the market," Cheng says.

Nixon Peabody is no stranger to China, having opened its first Asian office in Shanghai in March 2008. The firm currently has seven lawyers in Shanghai and three in Hong Kong, with Cheng splitting his time between the two offices. 

This is also not the first time Nixon Peabody has opted to partner with local counsel with the goal of building out its China practice. As previously reported by The Am Law Daily, the firm established an alliance with 20-lawyer Hong Kong shop Cheng Wong Lam & Partners, now known as CWL Partners, in 2010. CWL Partners subsequently announced its own association with Hylands last November. The three firms collaborated on a deal that month for client SGOCO Group, Ltd., as the Chinese company that makes and distributes flat-screen monitors and televisions sold its Hong Kong–subsidiary for $76 million. 

There has been no shortage of U.S.–based international firms been showing interest in Asia of late. As the Am Law Daily's colleagues at sibling publication The Asian Lawyer reported earlier this week, Covington & Burling became the latest firm to begin the formal process of opening an office in Seoul, following the hire of corporate lawyer William Park as a partner. Park, a founding lawyer of Korean law firm Apex, will serve as cohead of Covington's Seoul office with of counsel Daniel Spiegel, who will relocate from the firm's Washington, D.C., office.

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