FOR those interested in art but lacking the financial resources to bid at Christie's or Sotheby's, auctioneer and valuer Henry Butcher is providing an alternative: an auction geared towards Hongkong's middle class. In its third auction in less than eight months, the British-based company Henry Butcher yesterday sold a varied collection of 20th century Chinese art, 60 per cent of which was expected to realise up to $8,000 per item. ''Whereas Sotheby's and Christie's handle art for the very wealthy, no one handles art for the middle class bracket,'' said Mr Chris Major, general manager of Henry Butcher Hongkong. The auctions are proving increasingly more popular. The first auction held in October attracted only a small number of people, but since then has attracted increasingly bigger interest. Yesterday's auction, held at the Pacific Place Conference Centre, was the first that was actively marketed. Because of its success, the firm is planning to hold such auctions twice yearly: once in the autumn and again in the spring. Those interested in putting their work up for auction need only contact the company's offices and bring over their work. It can be helpful if the owner knows something about the artist who created the work, but if not Henry Butcher will research the piece. Once authenticated, the piece will be put up for auction. While yesterday's auction was confined largely to 20th century oil paintings composed by living artists, the auctions are open to other mediums as well. INTERNATIONAL law firm Clifford Chance has been granted approval by the Chinese Government to open an office in Shanghai. The new office is due to be opened in May. The law firm will be providing professional advice for clients doing business in China. TOWRY Law International's retirement workshops designed for those living in Hongkong and seeking retirement out of the territory will be held twice weekly from May 18to June 22, not as reported last week from June 18. FIDELITY Investment has become the first mutual fund company to introduce an automated phone investment service. Fidelity's Automated Service Telephone, FAST, enables investors to obtain information on fund prices, foreign exchange rates and investment balances on Fidelity's Hongkong authorised funds.