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Miller Canfield Files Application to Open Office in China

March 17, 2008

The law firm of Miller Canfield announced today that it has filed an application with the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China requesting approval to open a representative office in Shanghai.

A Shanghai office will serve Miller Canfield’s North American and European clients in a number of sectors including life sciences, and automotive and non-auto manufacturing, and will expand the firm’s services in intellectual property, environmental law, and corporate and securities including cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and foreign direct investment.

Miller Canfield principal Thomas Appleman will lead the new office. 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 a Chinese national life sciences attorney fluent in Mandarin and English.

“Shanghai is China’s technology hub 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 international practice and for our growing work in the Asian Pacific Rim.”

“It is time to have a physical presence in China,” said Richard A. Walawender, leader of the firm’s Corporate and International Business practices. “With our NAFTA experience, offices in the heart of the automotive industry in Michigan and Canada, and now an office in China, we believe we’re uniquely positioned to help Chinese and other foreign companies expand and protect their interest overseas, especially in the North American market.”

He said the Shanghai office will likewise help Miller Canfield’s Midwest clients expand their global markets.

If approved, Miller Canfield expects to open the office in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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. Last year, the firm opened new offices in Chicago and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The firm was established in Detroit in 1852 and currently employs 800 in offices in Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, New York, Canada and Poland. For more information, visit

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