06:13, June 15 841 0

2017-06-15 06:13:08
Fangda hires former KWM China co-chair Shao

Chinese firm Fangda Partners has appointed former King & Wood Mallesons China co-chair Zili Shao as a non-executive chairman to enhance its management and strategic planning.

Fangda has confirmed to The Lawyer that Shao has joined the firm with immediate effect today. The non-executive chairman position is a newly create role with the mandate to lead certain management and strategic initiatives, as the firm sets out plans for ambitious growth.

Shao’s move to Fangda comes just two years after he joined KWM’s Beijing office as co-chair of KWM China’s management committee. Prior to that, he was the chairman and CEO of JP Morgan China and the Asia managing partner of Linklaters.

Fangda founding partner and chair of the management committee Jonathan Zhou said: “Zili brings with him his extensive experience and his deep understanding of the Asian and Chinese legal and financial markets. Zili’s appointment is a sign of Fangda’s growth and ambition. We are truly excited to see what we can achieve together with Zili.”

It is understood that Shao will not be an equity partner at Fangda but will play a senior strategic advisory role to the management.

Shao’s resignation from KWM followed the firm’s 2017 annual China partners meeting, which took place in Beijing in February and saw former China co-chair Zhang Yi appointed as the sole China chairman.

Shao is also understood to have set up a new investment firm in Shanghai aiming at disposing of Chinese non-performing loans. He serves as the CEO of the new firm – named Jinpu Lingyue Investment.

Shao will split his time between the two different roles.

Fangda is the ninth largest Chinese firm by revenue and ranked third by revenue per partner, according to The Lawyer China Top 30 2016 report. It now has around 500 lawyers, including 90 partners. The firm’s annual turnover has been going strongly in the past five years and is known as one of the most ambitious Chinese firms.