The legal arm of Big Four powerhouse EY has again expanded its reach in China, this time into the tech hub of Shenzhen.
An EY Chinese legal affiliate, the Chen & Co. Law Firm, has established a new Shenzhen branch through a merger with the Guangdong Allied Law Firm, which has four partners and handles corporate law, foreign investments and real estate-related legal matters.
EY follows several U.S. law firms that have moved to Shenzhen in recent years, including AmLaw 100 firm Fish & Richardson.
EY’s expansion will help promote Shenzhen as a legal center within the Greater Bay Area in southern China, which includes Hong Kong and the gambling haven of Macau, Wendy Sun, the head of Chen & Co.'s new Shenzhen office, said in a statement.
The development of a legal services core area will help “pave the way for the high-quality development of enterprises” in the region, said Sun.
Chen & Co. also boasts 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 added corporate law partner Bonnie Yung from Paul Hastings, as the latest in a string of hires from top U.S. law firms that began in 2018. Last December, a three-lawyer team from Dechert led by Kareena Teh, a corporate and commercial disputes specialist, made the jump.
That followed the moves of six attorneys from Troutman Sanders to the offices of another EY-affiliated legal operation in China, EY Law, in Beijing and Shanghai in May of last year.
EY—and each of the other Big Four accountancies, which include PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG—have grown their legal services operations steadily over the last 15 years.
Last September, for example, EY trumpeted a worldwide legal reach that now includes more than 2,200 legal practitioners in more than 80 countries.