A statement from Memery Crystal said the co-operation agreement will ‘will increase access for clients of both Memery Crystal and Yingke to new business opportunities’ and added it was the ‘perfect catalyst for UK and international clients of Memery Crystal aspiring to expand into China and for Yingke’s Chinese and worldwide clients interested in doing business in the UK and beyond.’
The move is Memery Crystal’s first foray into Asia. Beijing-headquartered Yingke currently has 57 offices and over 4,000 lawyers with a focus on real estate, employment, TMT, corporate M&A, and energy.
Over the last three years Yingke has expanded its international office network with openings across New York, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, London, Warsaw, Istanbul, Verona, Seoul and Taiwan. It also became one of the first Chinese firms to set up a presence in eastern Europe by establishing a joint venture in Budapest with Hungarian firm Varnai & Partners in 2010.
Memery Crystal specialises in AIM listings for SMEs and entrepreneurial clients and recently reported completing £1bn of retail and corporate mini-bonds in the last 18 months.
Yingke will also establish The Yingke London China Centre, a separate corporate entity to promote trade and investment and give commercial advice to business and high net worth individuals. The Centre will be run by British China International Consulting founder Marie Li.
Memery Crystal chief executive Lesley Gregory said: ‘Central to this exciting partnership are our clients and those of Yingke. In a rapidly evolving international market in which Memery Crystal is increasingly active, we are determined to offer inbound and outbound access to our clients and this, in conjunction with the new China Centre, delivers exactly that.’
Yingke global managing partner Xiangrong Mei said: ‘As a firm with many international clients and constant involvement in cross-border transactions, we have established close relationships with professional service firms in financial centres around the world. London is a major financial centre and Memery Crystal is a high quality law firm with whom we are delighted to work exclusively.’
The play follows news by Dentons in early November that it intends to create a tripartite union with Australian firm Gadens and Singaporean firm Rodyk & Davidson, taking its lawyer headcount to well in excess of 7,000 lawyers.