Linklaters and Clifford Chance get China approvals

International law firms Linklaters & Alliance and Clifford Chance receive approvals for second Chinese offices.

Linklaters Alliance and Clifford Chance has become the first major UK law firms to receive approvals to have two offices in their own name in China. Clifford Chance was notified on Monday this week while Linklaters was notified on Wednesday evening. The move is significant as it heralds a major shift in the Chinese authorities' approach to allowing foreign law firms to operate on the Mainland.

Under the previous arrangement, law firms were only allowed one office in their own name in China. Many firms got around this by keeping the names of old merger partners or subsidiaries for their second or even third offices. For instance, Linklaters had its own office in Shanghai while...

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