Foreigner (Dutchman) appointed as global partner in Chinese magic circle law firm
Dutch law firm merges with Chinese mainland partners into DeHeng Civil Code NV
The Hague/Beijing, February 2, 2011- Dutch corporate lawyer and lecturer Dr Victor Meijers (1964) is the first foreigner to have been appointed global partner by the top tier Chinese law firm DeHeng Law Offices. At the same time, DeHeng Law Offices and boutique law firm Civil Code NV merged into DeHeng Civil Code NV in Holland. Prestigious DeHeng Law Offices, at incorporation in 1993 still named China Law Office, counts over 1,000 lawyers and experts and not only handles major IPO and M&A cases in the People’s Republic of China, but also contributes actively to law making and Chinese law societies.
In 2010, DeHeng Law Offices have raised over EUR 28.7 billion for clients. A recent example of an IPO is the listing of the Agricultural Bank of China last summer, raising EUR17.2 billion for the former owners. A recent example of a creative piece of legal work is the successful introduction a few months ago of the RMB bond issued by Chinese state owned companies through HongKong, by which instrument foreigners can legally invest in RMB.
The appointment of Dr. Meijers is remarkable because no Europeans or Americans have until now been admitted into the upper echelons of the Chinese legal system. Dr. Meijers was recently involved with the incorporation of an international joint venture structure for the expansion of Rotterdam harbour (2e Maasvlakte); the structuring of MERLIN, a clearing house for e-royalties of Indy music producers and co-founder of Spotify; the global re-structuring of KPMG as well as drafting Dutch legislation including the Trade Register Act (Handelsregisterwet 2007).
After years of building natural trust and common understanding, DeHeng Civil Code N.V. now constitutes part of the communist spirited Chinese law firm with global ambitions. This merger is interesting because since the start of the ‘go global’ politics in 1999, Chinese investments abroad have exploded (in 2010 USD 60,000,000,000.00). Investments are also realized in the Netherlands. Rotterdam harbour relates 25% of it’s turnover to Chinese business. Chinese investments abroad are not limited to logistics and commodities, but now also move towards the service industries. The appointment of Victor Meijers gives Holland a direct link to a countryman in this Chinese powerhouse.
Dr Victor Meijers: “Doing business outbound to China is not the most important for the Netherlands. It’s the other way around: China invests enormously in the rest of the world. They do that scholarly and precise and preferably with insight into governance of structures in which they invest. In the service industry China may also seek a top position. The domination of the merchant banking and the legal industry by common law jurisdictions is not written in stone. As for Holland, Chinese people like our country as a place to work and to live, some Chinese even catching up quickly on the concept of “gezellig” as Dutch expression for a warm and nice homely interaction between friends.
The DeHeng Civil Code team in Holland consists of 8 lawyers and 5 paralegals and support, including Chinese and Dutch native speakers. Victor Meijers founded Civil Code NV in 2005.
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