LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Lovells today announced the launch of the Sino-Global Legal Alliance (SGLA), an alliance of independent firms including Lovells and nine Chinese law firms. The SGLA is the first alliance of its kind in China. It combines the global resources and international legal expertise of Lovells with the local law capability of specially selected, market-leading Chinese law firms across all China’s key economic regions.
The SGLA was created in response to growing demand from Chinese and foreign clients for strong, coordinated domestic and international legal support covering a number of Chinese cities as well as markets outside China. It provides unparalleled international and domestic legal services capability comprising over 1000 international and domestic lawyers.
David Harris, Lovells’ managing partner, commented:
“China is a market in which we have seen tremendous growth over recent years driven by client demand. The alliance has been formed in response to that demand and is indicative of our commitment to the development of our practice in China.”
Lovells’ Asia regional managing partner, Crispin Rapinet, added:
“This is a genuine first. The unique dynamics of the Chinese legal market provide an opportunity for the SGLA to establish a leading position for legal services in China in the growing market for nationwide services as well as for out-bound work. No other individual, international or domestic law firm in China can deliver as comprehensive a service in terms of permitted scope of legal advice, breadth of practice area expertise, or geographical coverage.”
Specialist lawyers in each of the SGLA practice areas will work together in cross-alliance teams. In addition to working on client matters, each cross-firm practice group will coordinate shared know-how development, training, and business development initiatives. Lovells is already working with SGLA member firms on various projects across finance, dispute resolution and IP practice areas and at least half the member firms have referred or been referred work as a result of closer cooperation.
SGLA members are independent law firms, and cooperation among the member firms is non-exclusive. Clients can work directly with Lovells, with one of the local member firms, or a combination of the two according to the nature of the services required.
Robert Lewis, Lovells’ Beijing office managing partner and Chairman of the SGLA, said:
“The SGLA by design is client-driven and we are committed to delivering the best services at the best value. The SGLA will work with the client to identify a relationship partner in the preferred member firm who can act as a single point of contact to coordinate the joint services either on a practice area basis or across multiple practice areas. If there are international elements or a requirement for international-standard deal or matter management, Lovells can assume a lead role. In other cases, the lead role can be assumed by a local SGLA member firm.”
In creating the alliance, Lovells chose the local Chinese member firms following a comprehensive market survey and due diligence analysis. Assessment criteria included market reputation, scale, range of practice area expertise, training and management systems. The SGLA member firm in each local market was identified as a clear market leader.
The SGLA extends the training initiatives undertaken by Lovells in China over the last five years through the All China Lawyers Association and builds on the relationships and goodwill these have generated in the local legal profession. Lovells and the SGLA members will continue the focus on developing work quality through shared training, know-how and secondment initiatives.