NEW YORK, August 25, 2005— LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The international law firms Coudert Brothers LLP and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP have reached an agreement over the transfer to Orrick of all of Coudert’s China practice in Hong Kong and Shanghai and a substantial portion of such practice in Beijing.
The transfer by Coudert to Orrick of this practice is part of Coudert Brothers’ plan to seek combinations for its offices and practices with other firms on a worldwide basis. Orrick expects to admit to its firm from Coudert six partners in Hong Kong, one partner in Shanghai and two partners in Beijing, with a total complement of approximately 40 lawyers in China. A memorandum-of-understanding signed by representatives from both firms calls for Coudert and Orrick to negotiate details for the orderly transfer to Orrick of the practices involved and the Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices by the end of September.
“We are dedicated to making sure our clients are served in a seamless fashion during and after the transfer,” the two firms said in a joint statement. “We also will make every effort to make the transfer smooth and orderly for our lawyers and staff in China.”
“As previously announced, the partners of Coudert have authorized the Firm to enter into combinations of offices and practice groups with other firms to reflect the strength of the Firm,” said Clyde E. Rankin, III, Chairman of Coudert Brothers LLP.” Such combinations will be done in an orderly process, and this transfer to Orrick is an example of how we are implementing this plan. Our highest concern is the service of our clients, which is consistent with the way Coudert has operated for 152 years.”
“Any leading global law firm needs to have a significant presence in China,” said Ralph Baxter, Chairman and CEO of Orrick. “Orrick is privileged to continue Coudert’s China legacy with this superb team of lawyers. The work these lawyers have accomplished in China is truly remarkable. They were the first to take the bold move to establish a legal presence in Hong Kong and Beijing, they have an unparalleled reputation in China, and they bring an intimate knowledge of Chinese law, economics and culture.”
The China practice has built a strong legacy that handled many of the first and most important commercial transactions in China. The partners, many of them trained locally and fluent in Mandarin, are recognized legal authorities on a wide range of matters involving China, including foreign direct investment, finance, investment funds, securities listings and capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial transactions, intellectual property and dispute resolution.
Orrick’s expansion into China continues the firm’s strategy of developing a global resource to provide seamless advice to the firm’s Fortune 500 and FT 1000 clients. It is consistent with the firm’s model of adding teams of leading practitioners who are locally-qualified, fluent in the local business and legal culture, and focused on sophisticated international matters.
Further details of the agreement will be announced at a later date.
Coudert Brothers LLP has for more than 150 years pioneered the practice of commercial law for the international community. Founded in 1853 in New York, Coudert was the first U.S. firm to open an office in Hong Kong, in 1972, and in Beijing, in 1979.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an international law firm with more than 750 lawyers in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm focuses on litigation, complex and novel finance transactions, and innovative corporate transactions. The firm’s present 15 offices are located in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County, Pacific Northwest, London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Moscow, Tokyo and Taipei.