Latham & Watkins announces closure of its Shanghai office

Lawyers will relocate to Beijing as the firm consolidates Chinese operations

Latham & Watkins announces closure of its Shanghai office

Latham & Watkins is closing its Shanghai office in a move to consolidate its presence in mainland China, according to reports.

The Shanghai office, which opened in 2005, will be closing its doors, and the office’s lawyers will relocate to the firm’s Beijing location, reported Asian Legal Business.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that Dentons will separate from its Chinese arm Dacheng amid tightening Chinese regulations relating to cybersecurity and data protection. However, a Latham spokesperson told Asian Legal Business that the firm remains committed to the Chinese market, and that the decision to close the Shanghai office is simply due to the fact that the office lease is due to expire.

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“We are confident that we have the resources, expertise, and market knowledge to serve our clients effectively from a consolidated hub in Beijing. China is an important market for the firm, and an integral part of our practice in Asia and globally. We are proud of our accomplishments in the region and are excited by the continued opportunities to serve our clients in this vibrant and dynamic economy,” the spokesperson told Asian Legal Business.

Latham’s Beijing office currently has five lawyers, with investigations and litigation specialist Hui Xu being the sole partner, according to the firm’s website. The firm has 10 lawyers in Shanghai, who have been invited to relocate to Beijing.

Hong Kong remains Latham’s largest outpost in Asia with 23 partners.

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