With investments from Germany and Europe pouring into Asia, and Chinese investments flowing into the United States and the euro zone, markets are increasingly moving away from one-way investment relationships into more solid two-way partnerships.
Bridging Asian and European businesses, GvW Graf von Westphalen offers expert legal advice for small and medium enterprises, state-owned corporations and multinational companies worldwide.
"We are an independent German firm with strong international links," says managing partner Dr Robert Theissen. "We are flexible and we can move quickly in line with the needs of our clients. We offer first-class legal services with a high level of industry expertise at less cost than international law firms."
Covering a wide spectrum of areas, GvW specialises in corporate mergers and acquisitions, international trade and real estate transactions. It also caters to companies that need advice on anti-dumping, construction, intellectual property, public procurement and employment law.
The firm opened an office in China several years ago. In addition to assisting European businesses navigate the mainland's legal landscape, it increasingly supports Chinese companies as they enter Europe.
With a 15-person strong multilingual team of German, US- and PRC-qualified attorneys in its offices in Germany and Shanghai, GvW helps Chinese companies manoeuvre Germany's social, economic and political scenes. "Our clients and lawyers speak the same language - nothing is lost in translation," says Patrick Heid, head of GvW's Shanghai office and a fluent Putonghua speaker.
As they explore business opportunities in Asia and Europe, the firm's pool of 130 attorneys guides clients through the legal, cultural and regulatory aspects of international business. This assistance extends to aiding clients in forming relationships with governments and other institutions.
"It's not only about providing legal advice, but about business development ideas, which come from lawyers who make use of good networks," says Dr Dominik Ziegenhahn, partner and head of GvW's International Business Development Team. "We want GvW to be the first stop for Chinese investors in Germany."