The final anniversary party celebrating the 15th anniversary of Dezan Shira & Associates in China was held in the firm’s Shanghai office last night, on the 18th floor of the prestigious Tian An Centre on Nanjing Xi Lu, overlooking People’s Park and the municipal government headquarters. The event, sponsored by the national China Daily newspaper, saw 200 guests from the Shanghai government, consular officials from the U.S., Britain, Germany, India, Sweden, Austria, Italy, France, and Poland, and many of the firm’s clients and friends entertained with traditional lion dancing, fine wines and dinner laid on by the restaurant Kathleen’s 5 on site.
As Chris Devonshire-Ellis, the firm’s founder remarked, Dezan Shira & Associates presence in Shanghai and China has affected all aspects of peoples lives, on a daily basis. From getting to Shanghai by air, where the firm’s clients GE and Servex provide engines and flight simulators, or train, with Bombardier carriages, to auto, with Fiat, Peugeot, Volvo and Mercedes all being serviced in legal and tax advice throughout the PRC by the firm. Eating, with local Shanghai restaurants M on the Bund, Element Fresh, Sasha’s, Kathleen’s and KFC’s outlets, and wines (ASC Fine Wines, Torres) to glasses (Reidel) and cutlery (Christofle), just eating out or drinking in the city involve businesses the firm handles. On the luxury goods market, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffanys and Gucci are all national clients of the firm, a fact that led many female guests to enquire as to the identities of the firms male consultants, especially as Christmas is coming. As was additionally pointed out, China Briefing is the largest provider of English language text in China, with the book series selling more copies of technical guides than Harry Potter installments do in Hong Kong, while the magazine is additionally published in eight languages internationally.
Moving forward into 2008 it was announced the practice will open a fourth Indian office in Calcutta, plus two new offices in Vietnam, (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) with the launch of a new Vietnam Briefing title in the spring and the provision of the India Briefing publication in Chinese from March. In all, Dezan Shira & Associates in China have built up a practice with 1,700 retained multinational clients from 80 different countries, from some nine China locations where the firm has full presence offices (Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Shenzhen and Hong Kong) and over 150 legal and tax employees.
Possibly as a sign that the firms staff may be potential clients, Porsche opened their new showroom next to Dezan Shira’s Shanghai offices the following day, while the firm’s national regional managers, despite partying until 4am in the Glamour Bar on the Bund, still managed to make a full breakfast meeting the same morning to view the new cars at the opening.
Dezan Shira & Associates meanwhile would like to thank all clients, friends of the firm and all staff past and present for their help in developing what has become the largest independent legal and tax services firm in China today.
Dezan Shira & Associates resources:
China Briefing magazine: www.china-briefing.com
China Briefing books: shopping.china-briefing.com
China Expat: www.chinaexpat.com
India Briefing: www.india-briefing.com
China-India bilateral trade: www.2point6billion.com