Armstrong Teasdale is initiating a significant expansion of its Asian practice to handle the growing demand for intellectual property, dispute resolution, transactional and franchising services. The expansion will be led by International practice partner Thomas Bottini, who will become the firm’s Chief Representative of its Shanghai, China office, while continuing to serve his U.S. based clients. As part of these efforts, Steve Yu, a Chinese corporate lawyer experienced in mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing and international joint ventures, has joined Armstrong Teasdale as partner in Shanghai.
“We are taking these initial steps in response to a steady influx of international transactional business and increasing opportunities for investments both in the United States and Asia,” said Michael Chivell, managing partner. “The explosive demand for legal services in this area, especially intellectual property, is the driver for allocating additional firm resources to Asia and adding more lawyers.”The move is part of the firm’s overall growth strategy that includes building our Intellectual Property practice and increasing our numbers in Missouri and Nevada.”
The overseas expansion, which also includes the addition of two associates and a business consultant, will allow Armstrong Teasdale to serve clients with Asian-based business. Because of the firm’s U.S. offices and affiliations with other law firm networks, attorneys are available 24/7 throughout the world. Armstrong Teasdale is also a founding member of the China Alliance, a group of independent law firms that collaborate in the development of their respective China practices. Office facilities in Shanghai and Beijing offer clients on-the-ground capabilities in China’s primary business and regulatory centers.
“I am excited by the prospect of shepherding the firm’s growth in the rapidly developing Asian market,” said Bottini, who spearheaded the creation of Armstrong Teasdale’s China practice in 1994. “As Chief Representative I will be responsible for managing our Shanghai office and expanding that office as a springboard for a broader Asian practice as well as solidifying and expanding relationships with U.S. based companies having Asian needs.”
Bottini explained that these expansions will provide clients with an increased array of legal skills to deal with the challenges of conducting business in more countries in this area of the world.
“Asia has consistently produced the highest rates of business growth for over a decade,” he added. “A larger staff benefits clients not only in offering greater diversity in skill sets but also increased depth for handling larger client projects.“
Bottini, who has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2005 for his work in international trade and finance law, previously served as Chief Representative in the firm’s Shanghai office from 2001 to 2003. He has extensive experience in advising clients on manufacturing and high technology investments in other countries, establishing representations and distributorships abroad and in the legal, tax and practical business details of international trade and investment.
Last year, Bottini was inducted as an honorary member of Saint Louis University’s Alpha Kappa Epsilon-Zeta Chapter in recognition of his contributions to international business in the St. Louis community. He received his LL.M in International and EU Law from the University of London, J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and B.S. from Saint Louis University.
Yu, one of the first Chinese lawyers to advise western clients on China’s emerging anti-trust law, has handled cross-border transactions and international investment relating to China for over 14 years. His practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, international joint venture, franchising, business consolidation and restructuring. He was nominated by GlobalLaw Experts as a recommended M&A lawyer in China (2012), and was individually recognized in "Country Survey - China Competition Practice" by Global Competition Review (2009).
In addition to his corporate practice, Yu assists on cross-border intellectual property licensing, establishment and operation of research and development centers, commercialization of intellectual property rights, and enforcement by civil and criminal actions. Yu received his LL.M from Northwestern University School of Law and LL.B. from the Law School of North China University of Technology.