New Partner Will Bridge Reed Smith's U.S., China Offices

Maya Meinert

Daily Journal

February 12, 2008

Jinshu "John" Zhang, who was actively involved in developing Greenberg Traurig's China practice and presence, has left the firm to join Reed Smith's Los Angeles office as a partner in the corporate and securities practice group.

Zhang, 48, a native of Hangzhou, China, will serve as Reed Smith's bridge between its U.S. and Chinese offices, which include outposts in Hong Kong and Beijing through its recent merger with Richards Butler Hong Kong. The firm has also applied for a license to open an office in Shanghai.

"It became evident once we started negotiations with Richards Butler that we needed to build out the U.S. side of our practice," said John Iino, leader of Reed Smith's corporate and securities practice group. "Not having been in Hong Kong in a significant way [before the merger], it was critical that we had somebody experienced. To be able to find a significant leader like John and to get him to move here was a real coup for us." .

Zhang's practice is focused on mergers, acquisitions, private placements and public offerings of securities for Chinese companies doing business or involved in disputes in the United States. His clients include U.S. companies with Chinese-speaking management and/or China-related work. .

"The biggest draw for me is that Reed Smith has got a very impressive global footprint," Zhang said. "My practice is focused on U.S.-China business and having a strong presence in China can be critical. Reed Smith has overnight become one of the largest players in the China market." .

Though its merger with Richards Butler, Reed Smith has 110 lawyers in China. Greenberg Traurig has three attorneys in its newly opened Shanghai office, led by partner Peter A. Neumann, and is affiliated with a firm in Tokyo. .

"I think highly of John Zhang and we wish him well," said Richard A. Rosenbaum, New York-based president of Greenberg Traurig. "He was a member of our China team, and as Peter Neumann took the lead with our China presence, assisted by [New York partners] George Lee, Rich Edlin and others, we found John to be of great assistance and we will miss him." .

Zhang, who graduated from Boalt Hall in 1993, described himself as having been "the China guy" during his stint at Greenberg Traurig, where he had been since 2000. .

"People would refer to me all matters related to China - corporate, mergers and acquisitions, IP licensing, offerings, dispute resolution - and I would work on it," Zhang said. "I have since refined my focus, at least for this year, on mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in areas outside China, in particular North America." .

He said he is representing two major Chinese companies in separate acquisitions in the United States and sees this kind of investment continuing, as such companies "take advantage of the good pricing" in the United States. .

Zhang declined to name any clients and said he left some matters behind at Greenberg Traurig "because some of my [former] colleagues have been very helpful in assisting those clients." .

However, "I have been able to generate some new business from the get-go," he said. "Everyone recognizes the name [Richards Butler with Reed Smith], so it's very encouraging." .

Gary Miles of legal recruiting firm Alan Miles & Associates brokered Zhang's move. .

"He plugs into a very strong group of practitioners that will enhance his ability to service his clients and go after other clients," Miles said. "And it gives Reed Smith someone in the U.S. that is very well respected and can handle the needs of Reed Smith's clients here. It's the best of both worlds.

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