Legal Business

The China conundrum – why so many US law firms are pulling out

Once seen as the next big thing for all self-respecting international law firms, China is now seeing a wave of retrenchment by US firms, with Morrison Foerster the latest to close an office in Beijing – Alex Ryan spoke to those who know the market to find out why

As statements of intent go, they don’t come much bolder than Dentons’ groundbreaking 2015 tie-up with China’s Dacheng. In one move the firm became the biggest in the world by headcount, with the verein combination bringing together more than 6,500 lawyers and granting Dentons access to what was then seen as the must-have market for truly global firms, dwarfing the efforts of many UK and US players to build up a presence in the country.