Morning Briefing: New law firm will be the largest in the world

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New law firm will be the largest in the world
A newly agreed merger will create a law firm with almost 50 per cent more lawyers than the current largest. Dacheng Law based in Beijing will merge with Dentons, which mainly has teams in the US and Europe, to form a firm with around 6,600 lawyers. Baker & McKenzie is the current largest with 4,425. It is understood that the merged firm will take a similar form as King & Wood Mallesons. The deal is subject to the approval of regulators in China.

Reed Smith helps pop star win IP lawsuit
Reed Smith and barristers from Hogarth Chambers have won a £3 million (AU$5.58m) intellectual property lawsuit for pop star Rihanna. The singer sued the parent company of UK retail giant Topshop over its use of her image on a T-shirt. The image was an unauthorised picture taken during an official photo shoot and lawyers argued that the retailer had used it without permission that fans would assume her endorsement of the clothing. The court agreed but the retailer appealed. On Thursday the High Court in London upheld the original court decision. 

New corporate partner for Gibson Dunn in Singapore
Robson Lee is joining the Singapore office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Lee is an M&A and capital markets transactions specialist and joins from Shook Lin & Bok in the city. The firm says the hire will help with its expansion in the Asia-Pac market.

Marine practice hire for Clyde & Co
The marine practice of Clyde & Co has hired Dean Norton from Ince & Co to add to the firm’s global transactional practice. Norton has more than 20 years experience in the shipping and energy sectors.

Chinese firms increase their knowledge of foreign affairs
As China begins to open up more to foreign businesses lawyers in the People’s Republic are reporting an increase in cases involving foreign individuals and businesses. With foreign law firms unable to advise clients on RPC law the local firms are expanding their knowledge of foreign affairs to better enable them to advise clients on both domestic and overseas matters. Fang Shanshan who heads the Legal Service Center for Foreign Individuals told The Global Times that more law firms are now employing lawyers who speak English or another international language: “some clients, especially those who are the victims of a legal dispute, will not give their full trust to a Chinese lawyer unless there is a lawyer of foreign nationality who is their assistant."