Economic Observer, March 12, 2012 — After securing its first mainland Chinese client, Bingham’s Beijing office is up and running in full force. “If you’re going to be in international business these days, you need to be in China because this really is the center of the action,” said Brian Beglin, co-managing partner of the new office. “Bingham’s international specialty is financial services in all of its aspects and that’s where we expect our practice to have a very high focus. In addition to that, perhaps coincident with it, is our cross-border mergers and acquisition and direct investment experience.” In addition to an office in Beijing, Bingham also has offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
“International law firms aren’t allowed to advise directly on Chinese law, but most of the law firms can advise based on their experience in China,” co-managing partner Xiaowei Ye explained. “What we have been doing is working with local law firms on issues where we need local advice, especially in situations like appearing in front of certain administrative agencies or in court.” Beglin said much of his time is currently being spent getting involved in the community and setting up relationships, “but from the moment that we opened, there was this pent up demand of work from existing Bingham clients that the firm had historically referred to other law firms who were in China.” In regard to what Bingham can offer in China, Beglin added, “We have a very substantial investment funds practice — so we’re talking hedge funds, private equity funds, public funds, and, as you’ll know from the press, there’s a big push by Chinese investment funds, supported by the government, to expand their offerings internationally.”