Shao Zili, a former JP Morgan executive credited with orchestrating several pivotal joint ventures for the US investment bank in China, will join King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) as co-chairman of its China management committee, according to a statement by law firm on Wednesday.
Shao was recruited by JP Morgan in 2010 to head its China practice, and presided over a period of growth in the bank's China operations.
"His breadth of experience across the legal and corporate sector and deep knowledge of the region provides him with the ability to help lead KWM through its’ next stage of development in China, and to help to integrate the China practice into the global KWM firm,” said Stuart Fuller, KWM's global managing partner in the statement.
Shao joined JP Morgan right around the time the US bank started discussions with Shenzhen-based First Capital about establishing a securities joint venture. During his tenure JP Morgan also invested in a Chinese credit guarantee company and in trust company Henan-based Bridge Trust.
His time at the bank also coincided with a probe into JP Morgan's hiring practices. He was chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan China when both the SEC and Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption began to scrutinise the bank's hiring practices in March last year.
In April of that year Shao took up a more regional role at the bank as vice chairman for Asia Pacific. Shao was replaced by David Li, who became senoir country officer for China.
Neither the bank nor its executives were charged with any wrongdoing, although its chief executive for China investment banking, Fang Fang, retired amid allegations the bank hired the children of China’s government officials in return for lucrative business contracts with state-owned firms. Frank Gong stepped in to replace Fang in March 2014. Gong stepped down after a year in the role in January.
Shao continues to be a senior advisor with the US bank, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Shao is a specialist in China-related mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and foreign direct investment. He is moving back into law.
Linklaters named Shao Asia managing partner in May 2009. Before that he was managing partner for Greater China since 2003 and headed the firm's China practice from 1998 to 2003.