The merger will operate under a Swiss verein structure and will restore Fieldfisher’s Chinese law capability following the end of its former alliance with Shanghai-based firm Ryser & Associates. Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick commented: ‘Our relationship with Ryser & Associates has, for the last three years, been of great value to the firm. However, as Fieldfisher continues to grow it became apparent that we need a larger partner in China.’ He emphasised that the firm’s relationship with Ryser was ended ‘mutually’. Fieldfisher will now absorb the smaller JS Partners under its own brand and will operate as a fully licensed Chinese firm, with JS Partners set to change its name to FeiShi. JS Partners antitrust partner Zhaofeng Zhou has suggested that a Shanghai launch may be soon to come for the newly merged firm.
Expansion gathers pace
Based in Beijing, JS Partners is a 12-partner firm specialising in cross-border commercial law including corporate, finance, tax and dispute resolution. It is the third firm to merge with Fieldfisher in the last six months, with the European firm’s tie-up with Birmingham-based Hill Hofstetter being announced just last week. The firm’s June tie-up with Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SASPI) also gained the firm 170 new fee-earners in Italy, including 21 new partners. Mr Chissick believes developing the firm’s China footprint is complimentary to the firm’s European expansion efforts: ‘As we continue to develop our presence in Europe, this merger will allow us to service the growing demand for Chinese clients seeking to invest and do business in Europe, whilst also increasing our ability to service international clients seeking opportunities in China,’ he said.