07 December 2021

King & Wood Mallesons opens a new office in Hengqin, Zhuhai to enhance its regional and global presence

On 6 December 2021, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) set up its Zhuhai office, the firm’s 30th office worldwide. Located on Hengqin Island, the Zhuhai office is KWM’s sixth office under the KWM International Center, and 15th in China’s Mainland. Zhuhai office was approved for establishment by Zhuhai Municipal Bureau of Justice in September 2021.

In the same month, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued the General Plan for Building a Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (the “Plan”). The Plan defines the strategic position of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (the “Cooperation Zone”) as a new platform to boost Macao’s appropriate economic diversification, a new space that provides convenience to Macao residents’ life and employment, a new model to enrich the practice of “one country, two systems,” as well as a new high ground for building the GBA. The Plan prioritizes the development of industries concerning people’s livelihood by implementing more effective institutional innovation and opening-up measures.

Echoing the call of the State to develop the Cooperation Zone and the west GBA market, as well as the demand of new clients, KWM established the Zhuhai office as an active response to the national Guangdong-Macao integration strategy. KWM offices in the GBA and its global network put KWM in a better position to contribute to global collaboration in connection with the Belt and Road Initiative. In capital markets, finance, corporate, intellectual property, customs and foreign exchange, export control, dispute resolution, and other practice areas, we provide world-leading legal services for clients in financial investment, manufacturing, modern agriculture, technology, infrastructure, culture, and tourism and other industries. Zhuhai office boasts a team of counsels and associates led by Zhao Xiaohong, Liu Xinyu, James Zeng, Linda Liang, Hu Guangjian, and other partners. With extensive experience, leading expertise, and in-depth understanding of different sectors, we help clients achieve better local development.

“Congratulations on the opening of Zhuhai office,” said Zhang Yi, Chairman of KWM China Management Committee, “As a major institutional innovation to enrich the practice of ‘one country, two systems’, the Cooperation Zone represents the greatest support from the Central Government for the diversified economic development of Macao, and also a historic opportunity for the economic development of Hengqin and Macao. The firm has always focused on its planning and development in the GBA. Since the establishment of KWM International Center in 2018, the firm’s continual investment in the GBA has somewhat paid off in client development, team building, and other aspects. Now, Xiaohong and Xinyu bring a team of our experienced partners and associates and our rich global legal resources to Hengqin Island. This move will not only further improve our strategic planning and practice strength in the GBA, but also contribute to the development of Hengqin Island and Macao.”

“I am delighted to witness with you all the opening of the Zhuhai office, the 6th office under the KWM International Center!”, said Wang Lixin, Managing Partner of KWM International Center in the GBA, “the Zhuhai office was approved for operation on 9 September, just days after the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued the Plan on 5 September, demonstrating our swift response to the national development strategy and our readiness to play a part in the GBA development. As we can see, there is a solid foundation for Guangdong and Macao in-depth cooperation facilitated by Hengqin. After years of development and construction, a highway network of ‘five horizontal and three vertical’ trunk roads on the Hengqin Island has been basically completed. The Hengqin Bridge and other major external connections have been opened to traffic. The development of key industries such as tourism, leisure, healthcare and high technology is gaining momentum. Given the strategic positioning of the Cooperation Zone as a ‘new platform’, ‘new space’, ‘new model and ‘new high ground’ and the related industry development priorities, we expect that the Zhuhai office will focus on related practice and strengthen communication with administrations and enterprises in the Cooperation Zone, and give full play to its strengths in supporting corporate entrepreneurship, financial innovation and regulatory practices. At the same time, the Zhuhai office and the other five offices under the KWM International Center will further integrate to create synergy. Together, we will make the Zhuhai office an office that adheres to KWM culture and has both an international perspective and GBA characteristics.”

“We are very happy to work with clients and partners in Hengqin,” said Zhao Xiaohong and Liu Xinyu, Managing Partners of Zhuhai office, “The beautiful island not only connects Zhuhai and Macao, but also facilitates the exchanges between Hong Kong and Qin’ao. As the only free trade zone in the Mainland that is connected to Hong Kong and Macao by road and bridge, the Cooperation Zone, benefiting from favorable policies introduced following the Plan, is attracting a large number of international talents, enterprises and industries that provide fresh impetus for the development of the Cooperation Zone and the GBA. We will fully understand the needs of local enterprises, and explore local development opportunities. We will work with our offices in the GBA to drive the intensive integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, moderately diversified economic development of Macao, as well as economic take-off of the vast hinterland on the west bank of the Pearl River Estuary in the GBA.”

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