17 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS CHINA • 亚洲法律杂志-中国版 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM/CHINA REGIONAL RANKING legal services market. Based on ALB’s survey, many local firms are expanding beyond their home markets, venturing into other areas within the west and even expanding nationwide and overseas. Simultaneously, large firms from firsttier cities have been targeting key cities in the west for expansion in recent years. In this year’s ALB list, the number of winning firms has increased to 25 from 20 last year, comprising ten local firms and 15 non-local outfits. Among them, fifteen are second-time winners, while the remaining ten are new entries, reflecting the intense competition and rapid evolution of the legal services market in West China. Another notable addition in this year’s list is the inclusion of “rising lawyers,” featuring 25 exceptional young lawyers. These rising stars are based in locations similar to those of the winning firms, with the majority situated in the economically developed cities of Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xi’an, and a few in Kunming and Guiyang. These young lawyers specialize in various areas, including litigation and non-contentious services, with focuses on dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law, mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring, investment and financing, construction engineering, real estate, and more. Some of them specialize in emerging fields such as environmental, social, and governance (ESG), cross-border services, and international law, which are relatively new in the western legal services market. SIZING UP THE SITUATION As previously mentioned, the economic and social conditions of various provinces, autonomous regions, and cities in West China vary, resulting in differences in the depth and breadth of the development of the legal services market in each location. Several firms and a rising lawyer on this year’s list have shared their unique “western experience” with ALB. Hui Ye Law Firm, based in Shanghai, opened its Chengdu office in 2010, marking 13 years of operation. Yates Bi, senior partner and director of Hui Ye’s Chengdu office, explains that the Chengdu office has undergone three stages of development. Initially, the focus was on adapting to the market and exploring the firm’s future directions. The office gradually expanded its services in various fields while actively seeking growth opportunities. In the second stage, which spanned from 2015 to 2021, Bi led the Chengdu office in reflecting on its development and practice areas. Based on factors such as team size, they strategically shifted focus, giving up certain traditional practice areas and zeroing in on areas where they could exert greater influence, such as finance, securities, international business, and specialized teams in financial leasing, private equity investment, securities and bond issuance, banking, nonperforming assets, international investment and financing, dispute resolution, and financial regulation and compliance. Entering the third phase in 2021, the Chengdu office embraced a “specialization + industrialization” approach. They introduced and built several practice teams specializing in areas such as cybersecurity and data compliance, government and public affairs, environmental resources and energy, intellectual property, criminal defense and compliance. They aim to provide comprehensive legal services throughout the entire lifecycle of an industry, expanding beyond their previous focus on pure financial services. Du Xiaocheng, a “Rising Lawyers” winner and partner at TianTong Law Firm, successfully established the Xi’an office in a short period of time. As TianTong adopts a corporate management model, regional office heads are expected to find solutions independently. Du worked tirelessly on cases, pitched for business, recruited team members, and secured new clients. The competitive market environment transformed him from a “tactical talent” with expertise to a “leadership talent” capable of leading a team. Taking advantage of Shaanxi province’s geographical advantages, Du emphasized the development of legal services in the energy sector. The Xi’an office expanded its scope of practice from Shaanxi to neighboring provinces and autonomous regions such as LOCAL FIRMS 西部地区本地律所 Chongqing Baijus Law Firm 重庆百君律师事务所 Faxian Law Firm 四川发现律师事务所 Help Reaching Law Firm 海普睿诚律师事务所 K&H Law Firm 重庆坤源衡泰律师事务所 Ning Ren Law Firm 宁人律师事务所 Shaanxi Jiaxuan Law Firm 陕西稼轩律师事务所 Sichuan Mingju Law Firm 四川明炬律师事务所 Tahota Law Firm 泰和泰律师事务所 Yong Jia Xin Law Firm 陕西永嘉信律师事务所 ZHH & Robin LLP 中豪律师事务所 NON-LOCAL FIRMS 西部地区非本地律所(西部地区业务) AllBright Law Offices 锦天城律师事务所 City Development Law Firm 建纬律师事务所 DeHeng Law Offices 德恒律师事务所 Dentons China 大成律师事务所 Duan & Duan Law Firm 段和段律师事务所 Grandall Law Firm 国浩律师事务所 Hui Ye Law Firm 汇业律师事务所 Jincheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm 金诚同达律师事务所 Kangda Law Firm 康达律师事务所 King & Wood Mallesons 金杜律师事务所 Long An Law Firm 隆安律师事务所 SGLA Law Firm 中联律师事务所 Tian Yuan Law Firm 天元律师事务所 W&H Law Firm 炜衡律师事务所 Zhong Lun Law Firm 中伦律师事务所