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UK’s first Chinese-owned law firm launches in London

'YangTze Law will fulfil a need that has not previously been met by the UK legal market,' says Steve Ng

1 June 2015

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

The UK's first wholly Chinese-owned law firm has launched in London using an SRA-licensed alternative business structure.

YangTze Law will be supported by UK law firm Michelmores, which will provide legal back-office and regulatory services. The firm's managing partner, Malcolm Dickinson, will also serve as CEO of YangTze Law.

The firm is the brainchild of Steve Ng, secretary general of YangTzejiang Legal Network, and Winston Gao, a senior partner at Jun Yan Law Firm in Shenzhen.

"YangTze Law is a Chinese firm for Chinese clients. It has the support of our legal network and its client base," said Ng.

"We see our target market as Chinese businesses who have no representation abroad. We are not here to step on anyone's toes but to expand Chinese participation in the UK market."

YangTze Law says it has been set up specifically to serve the needs of a new generation of mainland Chinese corporates considering foreign investment but which might have been deterred by lack of familiarity with the legal and business systems or by language and cultural barriers.

"There are an increasing number of Chinese firms looking to invest and do business in or through the UK but for whom cultural and legal differences can be a real barrier," said Ng.

"YangTze Law will fulfil a need that has not previously been met by the UK legal market and, over the near to long term, will help to unlock the door for a new group of Chinese investors."

Commenting on the news, Stephen Denyer, head of City and International at the Law Society said: "I am delighted that a new type of Chinese legal service provider is coming to London and doing so in collaboration with an English law firm. This underlines the important global role of London as a legal hub and the attractiveness of our jurisdiction."

Added Tony Williams, Principal at Jomati Consultants: "This an innovative step which will further expand the UK legal market and help to capture a greater share of Chinese foreign investment."

YangTze Law gained approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority on 23 April to establish a presence in London. It plans to open offices in Hong Kong and New York in the next 12 months.



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