Pillsbury today announced the opening of its Beijing office. This is Pillsbury’s second office in the People’s Republic of China, along with its office in Shanghai.
The office opened with the arrival of two new partners, David Livdahl and Jenny Jia Sheng, who joined the firm’s Corporate & Securities practice. Both partners are veterans of the Paul Hastings office in Beijing, which Livdahl led. Three associates, also from Paul Hastings, are expected to join the Beijing office as well. All five attorneys will join a firmwide China team that has members in virtually all of Pillsbury’s offices.
“Opening an office in Beijing is an expression of the firm’s ongoing and consistent commitment to China’s growing role in the world economy and is a recognition of our growing China practice and our desire to meet and exceed our client expectations there,” said Pillsbury Chair James Rishwain, Jr. “As the center of government and as a leading destination for financial services and industry, it is the headquarters for many of our clients, including state-owned enterprises. It is essential that we have experienced lawyers like David and Jenny on the ground there and around whom we will grow.”
“Having David and Jenny in Beijing will strengthen us throughout Asia and diversify our corporate China practice, with a particular focus on assisting clients with their inbound investments in China and advising increasingly active Chinese investors and companies throughout the world,” said Christopher Zochowski, leader of Pillsbury’s firmwide Corporate & Securities practice.
In addition to his three decades of experience in Asia, Livdahl has been on the official arbitration panel for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) since 2000. Sheng spent five years as a legal counselor in the Treaty and Law Department at the Beijing Commission of Commerce before entering private practice more than 15 years ago.
Livdahl advises multinational companies on structuring investments in China and has extensive experience in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, most frequently for industrial sector clients. He has been recognized by Chambers and IFLR 1000 as a leading lawyer in mergers and acquisitions and was named China Corporate Lawyer of 2011 by the International Law Organization. Livdahl also assists clients with arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution in China and has represented a number of clients in international arbitrations at CIETAC. In addition to speaking Mandarin, David speaks Japanese.
Sheng represents clients in various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, real estate, telecommunications, construction, mining, shipping and foreign trade. She focuses on PRC legal issues, investments and transactions including antitrust reviews, strategic investment alliances, incorporations, real estate purchases and sales, private equity investments, international trade matters, intellectual property, and operational contracts. Sheng is a native speaker of Mandarin who is also fluent in English.
“Pillsbury’s platform offers excellent opportunities for us to grow and further develop our own practices as part of the firm’s multi-office and multidisciplinary approach to serving international businesses in China and the legal needs of Chinese companies,” Livdahl said. “With many contacts in Japan, I also look forward to integrating Pillsbury’s China practice with its long-standing and robust Japan practice—a cross-border capability few firms possess.”
“We look forward to working in a firm that is well-known for its team-oriented and collaborative culture, and in particular with our new China practice colleagues located throughout Pillsbury,” Sheng noted.
Livdahl earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and is admitted to practice in California. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Sheng earned her Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Peking University Law School, as well as a second LL.M. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. She is admitted to practice in New York State.
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