EY Chinese legal affiliate, Chen & Co law firm, has merged with the Guangdong Allied Law Firm to form a new Shenzhen branch with four partners.
The new outfit will handle corporate law, foreign investments and real estate-related legal matters. EY’s expansion will help promote Shenzhen as a legal center within the Greater Bay Area in southern China, which includes Hong Kong and gambling cnetre Macau, Wendy Sun, the head of Chen & Co.'s new Shenzhen office, said in a statement. Ms Sun said the development of a legal services core area will help “pave the way for the high-quality development of enterprises” in the region. Chen & Co also has offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, another city where EY also has grown its legal presence recently. In April, EY Hong Kong affiliate LC Lawyers hired corporate law partner Bonnie Yung away from Paul Hastings.
The EY move follows several US law firms since 2018 that have moved to Shenzhen in recent years, including AmLaw 100 firm Fish & Richardson. At the end of last year, a three-lawyer team from Dechert led by Kareena Teh, a corporate and commercial disputes specialist, joined EY. Six lawyers from Troutman Sanders also joined the EY-affiliated legal operation in China, EY Law, in Beijing and Shanghai last year.