November 1, 2013

Clyde & Co extends China reach to Southwest via Chongqing JLV

International law firm Clyde & Co is pleased to announce the establishment of a Joint Law Venture (JLV) with Chongqing law firm Westlink Partnership. The JLV, which is licenced by the PRC Ministry of Justice/Chongqing Bureau of Justice, offers local law and international services and will operate as Clyde & Co Westlink JLV. The JLV is also the first formally approved Joint Law Venture with an international law firm in Southwest China.

Clyde & Co Westlink JLV will service local, inbound and outbound clients and trade-flows, and draws together Clyde & Co’s international expertise with the full domestic China law capability of Westlink Partnership. The establishment of the JLV will enable more effective servicing of international clients with Chinese interests, and will act as a hub for foreign direct investment, advisory and employment work in relation to Western China. For Chinese and in-region clients, the JLV will act as a hub for outbound investment and dispute resolution services.

The move further extends Clyde & Co’s China platform, which currently includes offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The establishment of the Chongqing JLV now adds a fourth network location.

Clyde & Co corporate partner Michael Cripps commented: "Establishing the joint venture with Westlink in Southwest China makes clear business sense for Clyde & Co. By way of example, in contrast to China’s recent overall growth rates of 6-8%, Southwest China’s economic growth in 2012 was estimated at between 12-14%, while almost half of Fortune 500 companies have established substantial operations in Southwest China. Chongqing is the beachhead for the development of Western China and we see a lot of potential, both from a regional perspective, and from the point of view of connecting international markets and opportunities."

Southwest China contains some of the largest cities in the world; Chongqing itself is the largest direct-controlled municipality in China, with a population in excess of 34 million.

Ik Wei Chong, Clyde & Co partner and Asia-Pacific board member, said: "The establishment of our joint venture with Westlink Partnership is directly in line with Clyde & Co’s global strategy; as a firm we have a strong focus on facilitating international trade and on sectors aligned to the real economy. We also have a long history of involvement with what are sometimes seen from afar as frontier markets."

Carrie Chen, the managing partner of Westlink Partnership spoke of the benefits for local clients: "The ability of the JLV to provide international legal services in a local context is an attractive offering to current clients of Westlink, as well as to corporates generally in Southwest China. Importantly, the process of outbound investment will be streamlined and made more transparent, efficient and effective through working directly via the JLV with Clyde & Co’s international office network."

Clyde & Co has expanded significantly in Asia over the last 18 months, with new offices opening in Beijing, Sydney and Perth; establishment of a joint law venture with Singaporean firm Clasis LLC, and establishment of relationships with a Indonesian law firm Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo and Mongolian law firm Khan Lex.

Internationally, with more than 2,500 staff operating across six continents, Clyde & Co is a major international law firm with a distinctive focus on core sectors of infrastructure, international trade, natural resources, transportation and insurance. The firm has a strong reputation for complex and high profile international dispute resolution and for its work in and with fast-moving and volatile emerging markets.