Miller Canfield Opens Office in ChinaNovember 3, 2008
The law firm of Miller Canfield announced today that the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China has approved its application and granted it a license to open a representative office in Shanghai. The new office opened November 1.
Miller Canfield principal Thomas Appleman will lead the Shanghai office and the firm’s Asia initiative. He will continue his practice in the U.S. Appleman is a 27-year veteran in corporate and securities law with extensive experience assisting global automotive and manufacturing firms with domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, inbound and outbound investments, financings, regulatory compliance, licensing, contract negotiations and dispute resolution. He will be joined by life sciences attorney Weisun Rao, Ph.D., who specializes in patent law and intellectual property transactions, and is a Chinese national and fluent in Mandarin and English.
“Shanghai is China’s technology gateway and its largest commercial, financial, industrial and communications center,” said Michael W. Hartmann, CEO of Miller Canfield. “Opening an office in China is a natural expansion of our established international practice and for our growing work in the Asian Pacific Rim.”
The Shanghai office serves both North American and European clients doing business in China, as well as Chinese clients interested in doing business in North America and the E.U. It will reach a number of sectors including life sciences, automotive and other manufacturing, and will expand the firm’s services in intellectual property, environmental law, international arbitration, and corporate and securities including cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and foreign direct investment.
“It is time to have a physical presence in China. Our clients are expanding in the global marketplace and are expecting their lawyers to be on the ground with them,” said Richard A. Walawender, leader of the firm’s Corporate and International Business practices. Miller Canfield plans to increase its representation of Chinese companies expanding into Europe and North America.
Walawender continued, “With our extensive NAFTA experience, offices in the heart of the automotive industry in Michigan and Canada, a growing presence in the financial center of Chicago, Illinois, and in the biotechnology hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we’re uniquely positioned to help Chinese and other foreign companies expand and establish operations overseas, especially in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”
Both Walawender and Rao anticipate growth in intellectual property work. “With greater worldwide confidence in the Chinese government’s support and enforcement of IP rights – and more companies coming to the U.S. – we believe our firm is well positioned to protect our clients’ patents worldwide,” said Rao.
Miller Canfield’s Asia initiative includes more than 25 international business attorneys who have years of experience representing companies with interests in the global marketplace. Environmental attorney Anna M. Maiuri, who is part of a team that specializes in air, water and land environmental law issues, will present the “Status of Environmental Laws in the U.S. and Implementation Procedures” at the Hefei University of Technology in China in mid-November.
The firm sees opportunities in international arbitration as well. “Miller Canfield clients are increasingly making international arbitration the method of choice for the resolution of multinational disputes,” said Michael P. Coakley, leader of the firm’s Litigation/Trial Practice Group. “Our commercial trial lawyers are at home in international arbitration forums—from New York to London to Stockholm to Asia. He added, “Shanghai offers another opportunity for us to zealously protect our clients' interests around the globe.”
The new office address is:
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. Shanghai Representative Office
29/F, Shanghai Kerry Centre
1515 Nan Jing West Road
Shanghai 200040, China
Telephone: +8621 6103 7488/7489
Fax: +8621 6103 7070
One of the country’s largest and oldest firms, Miller Canfield has progressively accelerated its strategic growth plan. The firm opened international offices in Eastern Europe in the early nineties, then expanded to Canada in 2002. In 2007, the firm opened new offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Earlier this year, the firm opened a second Canadian office in Toronto.