07:14, September 12 243 0

2017-09-12 07:14:12
Pinsent Masons breaks from China alliance firm Hesen

Pinsent Masons has ended its alliance with Chinese firm Hesen after a six-year relationship with the construction boutique, The Lawyer can reveal.

The Chinese firm entered into the exclusive alliance with Pinsent Masons early in 2011. The firm hoped the alliance would strengthen its construction offering for Chinese internal investment.

Hesen was formed by partners Ye Wanhe and Elvis Zhou as a spin-off from Beijing-based firm DeHeng.

Both have now left Hesen: Wanhe started Cyan Law Firm with Cyan founding partners Licai Liu and Weitao Ren in 2014; while Zhou joined JunHe, China’s seventh-largest firm by revenue in The Lawyer China Elite 2016, in May.

A well-placed source within Pinsent Masons said that, while the alliance had been formed to enhance the firm’s presence in China, the firm was getting more business acting for outbound investment.

In particular, the firm was seeing a lot of work on the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and decided to shift its priorities away from internal investment in mainland China.

The firm now has eight partners, led by China managing partner Hew Kian Heong, based in mainland China split between its Beijing and Shanghai offices. Heong took over as China managing partner in 2014 after ex-China head John Bishop stepped down.

Bishop was in the role for seven years after taking over in 2007.

A Pinsent Masons spokesperson said: “We can confirm that our alliance with Beijing-based boutique Hesen Law Firm was discontinued six months ago. We retain a strong PRC practice and our ability to transact work in PRC is unaffected.”