In conversations with our clients during the last year we have often heard that they will continue to expand their international activities to, among other areas, Asia. Our office in Singapore is therefore well positioned. But many of our clients’ activities in China are located in Shanghai. And because our strategy is to be where our clients are, we decided to open an office in Shanghai.
Gaby Smeenk is the resident partner of our Shanghai office. She explains: “One of the reasons why I have been given the opportunity to be the resident partner of our new Shanghai office is that I have been involved in many transactions for Dutch multinationals with Asian – Chinese or Japanese – counterparties over the last years. These transactions include the TV joint venture between Philips and the Chinese TPV and the sale of Robeco to the Japanese ORIX. Shanghai will in effect be a continuation of my practice in Amsterdam with the difference that I will be able to assist our clients even better by being on the ground with knowledge of the local market and how business is conducted in the region”.
Gaby continues: “In China it is essential to be able to communicate and advise in Mandarin of course. This is why we have several Chinese senior associates, both in Amsterdam and our offices in China. Our experienced Chinese associates have proven to be of great value in dealings between our Dutch clients and their Chinese counterparties by offering high quality advice in both English and Mandarin”.
We have already supported Dutch companies in their activities in China from our office in Beijing for more than four years. During this time we have gained practical knowledge on the manner of doing business in China and created a solid network of Chinese lawyers and other advisers. “It is now time to take the next step”, according to Gaby.
Hengeler Mueller, also part of the Best Friends network, will be opening an office in Shanghai as well.
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