艾迈修律师：即使在疫情爆发期间，我们在亚洲的业务也一直非常忙碌，其中大部分业务来自于老客户的常规工作。而现在，我们已经开始看到有越来越多由疫情直接导致的案件——从支付和交付争议，到融资和企业重建资产负债表、并为新的机会做准备等等。以此为基础，我们看到了极佳的增长空间。我们还将积极创新服务方式，例如：我们的全球替代性法律服务 (ALT) 部门，已经在中国市场为客户提供高效、经济的解决方案。预计在未来几年里，我们将在对业务进行数字化升级改造方面做更多的工作。
‘OUR STRATEGY NOW IS TO CONSOLIDATE AND STRENGTHEN’
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF’s) recently appointed Matt Emsley as its China managing partner. The corporate finance lawyer, who most recently acted on Chinese biotech firm Peijia Medical’s HK$2.34 billion (US$302 million) Hong Kong IPO, succeeds May Tai, who recently became the firm’s Asia managing partner. Here Emsley talks about HSF’s strengths in China, as well as his immediate priorities.
ALB：Congratulations on your new role. What are your immediate and medium-term priorities for HSF in Greater China?
Emsley: 2020 has been a busy year for Herbert Smith Freehills in China despite the pandemic. Significantly our joint operation with Kewei in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone celebrates its first anniversary in August. In less than a year, both firms have collaborated closely on multiple cross-border transactions and disputes, along with a number of partner promotions and new hires on both teams. Our strategy now is to consolidate and strengthen through this platform and deepen our presence in Chinese legal market further.
ALB：What are some of the strengths of the firm in Greater China? Conversely, what are some of the areas for improvement that you feel you can work on?
Emsley: We have spent the last five years expanding our platform and people across Asia, and China has been a critical part of this expansion. We are market leaders in transactional and disputes matters across multiple sectors. With almost four decades of experience in China, our local teams have innate advantages in legal know-how and cross-jurisdiction experience. Building a strong talent pool in local offices has benefitted clients, and we will continue to invest in our people to meet growing demand.
ALB：The past few weeks have seen a few international firms cut back on their Greater China presence. How well-placed do you feel HSF is for stability and growth in the region? What more would you like to do to cement it?
Emsley: Our business has remained busy in Asia even through the pandemic, with much of the work coming from established clients on business-as-usual matters. Now we are beginning to see an increase in work directly from the pandemic – from disputes over payments and deliveries to financing and corporate work to rebuild balance sheets and prepare for new opportunities. We are in an excellent position to grow from here. Adding innovation to our service delivery – such as our ALT managed legal services business in China – has already given our clients efficient and economical solutions. I expect that we'll we be doing even more to digitally transform our business in the years ahead.
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