Troutman Sanders has opened a Beijing office, its third in China. It opened a Hong Kong office in 1997 and one in Shanghai in 2007.
Troutman's chairman, Robert Webb Jr., said mergers and acquisitions work for Chinese companies interested in investing abroad was a big impetus for adding the Beijing office, which was five years in the making.
"Beijing is the headquarters for every major state-owned Chinese company and other major corporations. … They are acquiring assets around the world, so if you're doing a significant amount of outbound M&A work, you need to be in Beijing," said Webb.
The firm recruited Allen Shyu from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Hong Kong along with four associates to staff the office. All five are Chinese natives and registered U.S. securities lawyers, said Webb.
"It's a very unique group of lawyers. We were happy to get them," he said.
Webb said Shyu, who speaks Mandarin, Taiwanese and English, handles outbound M&A deals as well as capital markets work. Shyu has also worked at Baker & McKenzie and the Taiwanese firm Lee & Li.
Troutman's three China offices employ about 36 lawyers. The firm has a large capital markets practice in Hong Kong, including two U.S.-registered securities lawyers.
Webb said it took a while to launch the Beijing office. After opening in Shanghai in 2007, the firm had to wait three years before it could apply for another license to practice in mainland China. Then it had to wait for the Chinese government to approve its application and find the right people, said Webb, which took another couple of years.
Troutman is the only Atlanta-based firm with offices in mainland China and one of about 20 Am Law 100 firms with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.