Baker & McKenzie became the first foreign law firm to acquire a license to operate in Shanghai’s free trade zone in cooperation with a Chinese partner, the Beijing-based law firm FenXun Partners.
Baker & McKenzie成为第一家在上海自由贸易区获得许可证，并可以与中国伙伴合作的外国法律公司，该公司合作方是北京一家法律事务所FenXun Partners。
The two firms entered a joint operation in the free trade zone, enabling them to offer both international and domestic law advice to their clients, according to a statement yesterday.
Under the joint operation regulation, the two firms can serve a client together but should operate only within their respective business scope.
Offshore law firms are only allowed to offer international law-related services on China’s mainland.
The application to form the joint operation is the first approved by the Shanghai Bureau of Justice.
"We are extremely pleased to be the very first firm to be granted approval for joint operation by the Shanghai Bureau of Justice, and are looking forward to this close collaboration with FenXun Partners,” said Danian Zhang, Baker & McKenzie's Chief Representative in Shanghai. “Our Firm has a long-term commitment to China, and we welcome and look forward to the new opportunities that this joint operation affords.”
“我们非常高兴能成为第一家通过上海司法局批准联合经营的公司，并且很期待和FenXun Partners的进一步合作。” Danian Zhang，Baker & McKenzie的上海首席代表人这样表示，“我们事务所长期服务中国，我们很欢迎也很期盼这次联合经营带来的新的机会。”
The Shanghai FTZ is the only area in China where joint operation between offshore and Chinese mainland law firms is allowed.
The measure aims to explore a mechanism to allow closer cooperation between mainland and offshore law firms without opening up the domestic law advice services, according to a blueprint for the FTZ.