LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – “We have been handling substantial matters in China for many years for our energy, financial services and technology clients. Our clients recently have been ramping up their China investments exponentially, so we believe now is the time to expand our on-the-ground support,” said Jim Rishwain, Chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. “For example, most venture-backed technology companies in the Silicon Valley have a China strategy from the outset. However, few law firms with strong Silicon Valley connections have opened offices there to serve these companies. Our Shanghai office will enable us to provide comprehensive service to these Silicon Valley clients, as well as to clients throughout the network, as they invest and expand in China.”
Steve Huttler, Executive Vice Chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, recently returned from a two-week visit to the firm’s clients in Japan, and adds that the new Shanghai office will also enhance the firm’s capabilities for its Japanese clients.
“We have represented many of our Japanese clients for over 20 years, and have assisted them in the U.S. and abroad on commercial transactions, project finance, complex litigation and intellectual property protection. Now many of these clients have expressed interest in expanding operations or making inbound investments in mainland China, so our Shanghai office will be of great benefit,” said Huttler.
Pillsbury partner Joseph Chan will head the Shanghai office. Chan, who is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese, has extensive experience in a variety of transactions including cross-border M&A and other strategic transactions; syndicated bank credit financings; restructurings and securitizations; capital markets transactions involving equity and debt securities offerings; and venture capital financings. Chan has counseled on a number of multi-million dollar acquisitions of Chinese and Japanese IT companies by U.S. interests, and represented large Hong Kong-based private equity and venture capital funds on their portfolio company investments.
“While the general capital markets practice is competitive in China, U.S. IPOs for China-based technology companies leverage our ties to Silicon Valley where many of these companies are launched. Many Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms also have recently raised new funds that focus on China or have designated portions of existing funds for China investment. Having a Shanghai office will enhance our ability to serve these VCs and, ultimately, the companies in which such VCs invest,” said Chan.
In addition to Chan, Pillsbury initially anticipates staffing the office with locally trained legal professionals, as well as associates from its Silicon Valley and other offices that have a unique focus and interest in China.
“It’s vital to not only understand local laws, but also China’s business culture–to know exactly what it takes to complete a deal successfully there today,” said Chan. “Being on the ground in Shanghai will also allow us to more readily assess future opportunities to grow both our clients’ and our own business.”
In conjunction with establishing an office in mainland China, the firm also made the decision to close its Taipei office, believing it can more efficiently serve its Taiwanese clients through its Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley offices.
“Our Taiwanese clients will continue receiving the highest quality service, but we felt that the best way to maximize our resources and expand our footprint in Asia was to focus on our Tokyo and Shanghai offices, as they are located in two of the world’s biggest economies,” said Huttler.
About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is a dynamic full-service law firm with particular strengths in the financial services, energy, technology and real estate sectors. We combine the vigor and entrepreneurial spirit that new economy clients value with the acumen and sophisticated insights of a firm that dates back to the early days of Wall Street. We are client-focused, centered on teamwork, collaboration and practice excellence, to deliver innovative and pragmatic business solutions consistent with our clients’ objectives—an approach that resulted in our ranking #4 nationwide in Client Satisfaction according to BTI Consulting’s 2006 Survey of Client Service Performance. We also provide a culture where our people are passionate about working together, and committed to strengthening our firm, expanding our diversity and serving our communities.