Increase in Ohio Companies Doing Business in China Drives Expansion to Better Support Clients
Cincinnati, OH, April 25, 2008 – Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, announced today that the law firm will open a representative office in Beijing, China, in May. The expansion into China represents the first Cincinnati-based law firm to open an office there. The Beijing addition brings the number of Taft offices to seven, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Northern Kentucky and Phoenix, Arizona.
“Beijing was a natural next step for us as we have seen an increase over the past couple of years in the number of clients who need legal expertise on the ground in China to counsel them on the practical aspects of doing business there,” said Ross Wales, a partner at Taft Law and who heads the firm’s international practice. “We’re excited to bring this new level of service to our clients interested in expanding into China.” The firm currently has both a Chinese and Japanese practice, and also provides services to clients who need legal counsel around the world. Wales plans to be on site in Beijing for six months over the next year.
The new office will be led by Russell K. L. Leu who has been with Taft’s Chinese practice for the past two years. Originally from Hawaii, Leu is co-editor of the China Law Reporter, published by the American Bar Association. “Russell’s ability to speak Chinese (Mandarin), his understanding of Chinese culture and legal practices, as well as his existing relationships in China, will all enhance our clients’ ability to operate effectively there,” said Wales.
“China is by far the fastest and largest developing market in the world, and there are tremendous opportunities for Midwest businesses to benefit,” said Leu. “This is an opportune time for Midwest companies to enter the Chinese market,” said Leu, citing the Ohio Department of Development’s recent announcement that it is opening a new trade office in Beijing.
Key professional services to be provided to clients by Taft’s new office in Beijing include:
- Counseling U.S. and other foreign business on the practical aspects of doing business in China including insights into local legal and business customs
- Advising on governmental relations and assisting with approvals
- Assisting with due diligence on prospective business partners
- Providing cultural insights
- Counseling U.S. businesses on entering into joint ventures and other business partnerships and contractual relationships with Chinese entities
“I applaud Taft’s decision to open an office in China,” said Doug Moormann, vice president of economic development, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “As our global economy begins to encompass more and more local businesses, those businesses will rely on service providers with an international presence and global expertise. Taft will be looked at as an example of, as well as a resource for, other companies interested in doing business in and with China.”
Moormann said one example of that rapid growth can be seen in the increase in just exports alone from Ohio to China. Between 2003 and 2006, trade increased 40% and China moved up to be the 4th largest importer of Ohio goods, according to the U.S. Census.
About Taft Law
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP is a full-service law firm with offices in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Ohio; Covington, Kentucky, Phoenix, Arizona and now Beijing, China. With over 200 attorneys, the firm provides a broad range of legal services to businesses and individuals, including litigation, corporate and business law, securities and municipal financing, tax and estate planning, labor and employment law, real estate and environmental, health care, intellectual property and unfair competition and antitrust law.