Aggressive China growth brings US law firm to Shanghai

California-based law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton is opening its first overseas office, in Shanghai’s Luwan district.

“Many of our clients have operations in China and are pursuing aggressive growth plans there,” said Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin. “It is natural for us to establish a footprint in China to provide the support and guidance that our clients require on both sides of the Pacific,” he said.

Sheppard Mullin represents 55 of the US Fortune 100 companies, most of which have significant business operations in greater China. But Halgren said the interntional practice will also benefit. “Several of our domestic and international practices focus to a significant degree on Chinese companies looking to raise capital or develop markets outside of China, and our new Shanghai office allows us to expand the services that we provide to those clients,” he said.

The Shanghai office opens with four seasoned China hands positioned to immediately handle a full range of investment, intellectual property, real estate, trade, financial restructuring, and international disputes matters. Partner David Huebner has relocated from Los Angeles to Shanghai to head the China practice and lead the new office. Also relocating to Shanghai is special counsel Xudong Ni from the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Special counsel William Zheng and senior legal consultant Michael Zhang have joined Sheppard Mullin from China’s AllBright Law Firm.

Huebner, a former chairman of Coudert Brothers LLP, specializes in intellectual property and international dispute resolution. He has represented governments and corporations in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, technology, entertainment/media, telecom, and construction. He sits on the ICC Commission on Arbitration and has handled numerous disputes in and related to greater China.

Ni, a native of China, has many years of experience handling foreign investment and trade matters, and helped found one of China’s first private law firms. He has particular expertise in strategic planning for foreign companies doing business in China, as well as deep industry experience in the aviation and banking sectors.

Zheng focuses his practice on foreign direct investment in the greater China region and has extensive experience in advising clients in various matters relating to intellectual property, corporate law, M&A, and venture capital in China.

In addition, partners Edward Tillinghast and Jerry Gumpel will remain integral members of the Shanghai team and will anchor the US-side of the firm’s greater China practice from their offices in New York and Del Mar, California, respectively.

Tillinghast specializes in financial restructuring, cross-border insolvencies, creditors’ rights litigation, distressed mergers and acquisitions, and advising distressed asset investors.

Gumpel, the leader of the firm’s International group, is a cross-border investment and M&A specialist. He represents US-based multinationals and non-US companies that have invested in the US.

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