March 13, 2019:
PSL Advocates & Solicitors has set up a small office in China’s fifth-larges city, Hangzhou.
The firm is currently in the process of hiring a local lawyer there to capitalize on increasing outbound work to India.
As far as we’re aware, it will be the first Indian law firm with an office in the country, which India has traditionally had a rather complicated relationship with. It appears Remfry & Sagar used to have a “presence” in China at some in time.
Co-managing partner Sameer Jain, who had founded Delhi-based Pamasis Law Chambers that had merged with Mumbai-based SanAd Legal in 2017 to form PSL, said that PSL currently had at least five regular clients in China, including a local consulting firm, which has agreed to use PSL as its preferred Indian law firm.
“There’s a crazy amount of work happening in China. There was an opportunity for China and we realised […] a lot of firms are focusing on China, but without an office there,” said Jain, citing Link Legal India Law Services partner Santosh Pai, in particular. “Having an office there gives more opportunities.”
Jain added that while PSL’s overseas jurisdictional focus had mainly been on Japan, Israel and Russia work, he and his co-managing partner Sandeep Bajaj had been spending a lot of time in China and would continue to do so with the new office, in which they were finalizing one local law hire.
However, the firm would only advise, broadly, on India-inbound investment advisory and international arbitration disputes work.
“Once we have a Chinese national set up there, we will [evaluate] whether we would require a licence to practice Indian law there.” explained Jain.
“But it’s more of a representative office, we’re not doing Chinese courts, but purely India advisory work.”