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“Grexit” and the legal market

Posted by: Laurence Simons 06/07/15

Continuing the country’s international expansion, Chinese law firm Yingke has opened a branch in Greece – now its 27th overseas. It will work in a strategic partnership with Machas & Partners, an Athens-based law firm which also operates in London and Monaco. Advising clients in both China and Greece, its primary focus will be on arbitration, antitrust, banking and finance, labour law, litigation, mergers and acquisitions.

Although a possible “Grexit” looms,  Mei Xiangrong, managing partner of Yingke, has assured that, “China has become a comprehensive strategic partner of Greece, not only assisting the country to overcome its financial crisis and debt problems, but also contributing to the stability of the Eurozone and providing solid support though bilateral and multilateral relationships.”

As tensions rise between the government and its people, the future of business looks dubious at best. A severance from the European Union would have a drastic impact on the legal sector’s international relations and its mobility of legal professionals. However, this may not be the same in its dealings with China. Perhaps this firm will not be fazed by the coming decision – it may even profit with unhindered funding and a slowdown in its competition.

However, it has been acknowledged that China wishes for Greece to stay within the European Union, partly because it is on the route of China's proposed New Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. He Maochun, director of the Economy and Diplomacy Research Center of Tsinghua University, has commented: "As a responsible, long-term holder of Eurobonds and a major trade partner of the EU, China would not like to see Greece leave the Eurozone. China will continue to talk with EU leaders to find better ways of solving the problem."

So what will this mean for the legal market, both in Greece and internationally? It seems that we will be finding out very soon…