Foley Opens Office In China

04 December 2007 Media Contact: Dan Farrell News

Catherine Sun To Lead Shanghai Office & Advise Clients On Intellectual Property Strategy, Asset Management & Litigation

CHICAGO – Foley & Lardner LLP announced today that the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China has approved the firm’s application and granted it a license to open a representative office in Shanghai.  

Catherine Sun, chair of the firm’s Asia Practice, will lead the growth and development of the Shanghai office. Sun joined Foley earlier this year as a partner from the Shanghai office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP where she managed the firm’s intellectual property (IP) practice in China.

She recently led Foley’s first legal work for the Chinese government, overseeing the firm’s role as international legal counsel for the organizing committee of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Shanghai on October 2-11. Sun’s team provided international intellectual property counseling to the committee for the Opening Ceremony, which was staged and broadcast worldwide on October 2.

“China’s growing presence in the global marketplace coupled with its evolving legal system presents a unique business environment for our clients. Foley is well positioned to help them navigate Chinese business culture and address various legal issues related to corporate structure and protection of intellectual property assets,” said Ralf Boer, the firm’s chairman and CEO. “Just as important is our commitment to be involved in the Chinese community. Our relationship with the Special Olympics has been extremely rewarding and illustrates the responsibility we feel to be involved outside of our legal work.”

Foley will leverage its nationally recognized Intellectual Property Department to provide value-added IP services based upon decades of experience to companies doing business in China. The firm will focus on counseling companies on creating effective IP strategies for enforcement and protection of patent, trademark, and copyright assets; structuring business transactions in China and the importance of cross-border IP counseling; and international technology transfer, licensing, and portfolio management

“Recent studies indicate that eighty percent of market capitalization in publicly traded companies is tied to intellectual property assets,” said Sharon R. Barner, chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department. “As a result, businesses are placing more value on their intellectual property assets making it more important for them to protect and enforce their rights in China.”

The Shanghai office will serve the firm’s U.S., Asian and European clients in a number of industries including life sciences, manufacturing, automotive, media and entertainment, and high-technology.     

Sun has fifteen years of experience in IP strategy, counseling and litigation, IP issues related to cross-border M&A, international technology transfer, licensing and portfolio management. She earned law degrees from both Beijing University Law School and the George Washington University Law School. She has practiced at several international law firms in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the U.S., and as an in-house counsel at a U.S. high-technology company.

Sun joins several Foley attorneys, including three Chinese nationals, with proven experience in understanding Chinese business issues, working with Chinese in-house counsel and building strong relationships with local Chinese law firms.

Some of the primary attorneys include Sharon Barner, Stephen Bent, Hal Wegner, Zhu (Julie) Lee, Ken Duck, Tianjun (T.J.) Hou and Xueqing (Linda) Ji, who have years of experience in handling intellectual property and corporate matters for U.S., European and Japanese companies with interests in China.     

Foley will move into office space in Jin Mao Tower, a Shanghai landmark. Jin Mao Tower is located in Lujiazui, Pudong, the city’s financial center, which is conveniently located near Shanghai’s high-technology zone. The Shanghai office is Foley’s second office in Asia following the Tokyo office, which opened in 2003.

Foley & Lardner LLP provides the full range of corporate legal counsel. Our attorneys understand today’s most complex business issues, including corporate governance, securities enforcement, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property counseling and litigation, outsourcing and information technology, labor and employment, and tax. The firm offers total solutions in the automotive, emerging technologies, energy, entertainment and media, financial services, food, golf and resort services, insurance, health care, life sciences, nanotechnology, and sports industries.