Offshore legal adviser expands into China

Offshore law firm Harneys has added a fourth Asian outpost after opening a fully operational office in Shanghai.

The new office is led by managing director Kristy Calvert, who has worked in Shanghai for more than a decade and led Ogier’s Shanghai representative office.Harneys already operates in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Interesting offshore market

“The mainland China market is a very interesting market for offshore right now with the local PRC firms transitioning into full service international firms capable of managing more complex and cross-border work as lead counsel and linking up with other global firms to extend their reach,” said Asia managing partner Jonathan Culshaw.

“Together with the slow but steady liberalisation of the PRC’s capital markets, an increase in outbound work and more offshore funds being established from PRC’s key centres bodes well for our offshore business.

“Launching our Shanghai presence with the benefit of Kristy’s unrivalled expertise and experience gives us a unique opportunity to continue to grow and develop our business in this most exciting of markets,” he said.

Tremendous growth

Calvert commented: “I have witnessed tremendous growth and the increasing sophistication of the Chinese legal profession in recent years.

“This has brought about an increasing use of offshore structures in both onshore M&A and outbound transactions as the leading SOEs and private enterprises see the benefits offered by offshore financial centres in global transactions.”

Harneys’ new Shanghai representative office provides a client liaison function supporting the Hong Kong office’s supply of legal transactional, restructuring and litigation services as well as Harneys Fiduciary into the PRC

“2015 has been a year of unprecedented expansion for Harneys in which we have opened our doors in Tokyo, Bermuda and now Shanghai,” said executive committee chairman Peter Tarn.

“This extension of our global footprint allows us to provide even more clients with direct, timely, commercially minded counsel alongside local market expertise.”

Harneys, a British Virgin Islands BVI based legal and fiduciary services firm, operates in 14 locations including the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, Vancouver, London, Cyprus and Mauritius.

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