Dezan Shira & Associates Partners Meet For First Time in 3 Years

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dezan Shira & Associates Equity Partners: L-R: Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Sabrina Zhang, Alberto Vettoretti, Adam Livermore.

Dezan Shira & Associates main board equity partners have been able to meet together personally for the first time in over three years due to the Covid pandemic. Meeting in the firm’s Hong Kong office, Chairman Chris Devonshire-Ellis flew in from Singapore to join Sabrina Zhang, Adam Livermore, and Alberto Vettoretti in from the firm’s Beijing, Dubai, and Hong Kong offices, respectively. The practice remains privately held in the hand of the equity partners.

Dezan Shira & Associates handle foreign direct investment and tax issues into Asia and have done since 1992. The practice has 38 offices across China, ASEAN, India, and the Middle East, with a strong Western client base but an increasing Chinese ODI mix as well.

In contrast to recent media concerning Western trade with China, Dezan Shira & Associates Q1 2023 figures showed an increase of 6% in the amount of FDI the practice had handled in China compared with the same period last year, according to Devonshire-Ellis.

Some US businesses had left the China market, he said, but these had either relocated to other countries where the firm had offices, such as Vietnam, meaning the practice had not suffered when firms left, as the service cashflow revenue merely transferred elsewhere within the group. Northern China had seen most US companies leave, with Sabrina Zhang saying that much of this was politically motivated.

Devonshire-Ellis also shrugged off the recent Chinese investigations on US consulting companies in China, saying the attention was overhyped and that provided consulting firms didn’t attempt to collect personal data and remained within their agreed scope of business, they should not face problems. He mentioned that the scope of consulting work was well known in China and that investors knew where the red lines were.

Vettoretti commented on the practice development focus, with Dezan Shira’s Middle Eastern presence growing and showing good potential. The practice there had only been open 6 months, just was generating clients while the marketing aspect to it, Middle East Briefing, had already attracted a readership of 40,000 in the same period. A return on that investment could be expected a year earlier than previously thought.

The practice owns the Asia Briefing platform, which also includes regionally specific business intelligence concerning China, India, ASEAN, Russia, and the Belt & Road Initiative. It has a readership in excess of 20 million. Subscription is free and can be obtained here.

Elsewhere, the Partners highlighted steady growth in China and excellent results in India and Vietnam. Indonesia was also starting to heat up, they said. A merging in trade between the Middle East and Asia was also occurring and would continue.

Investments would continue to be made into the practice, with new hires across Asia, as well as in the United States. IT-developed systems where key to growth, while innovation, such as AI drafted legal documents, would emerge in time, they said, although regulatory issues as concerning the use of AI generated tax and law documents needed to be well established.

Dezan Shira & Associates can answer Asia development questions. For assistance please email

About Us

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, and Russia, in addition to our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative. We also have partner firms assisting foreign investors in The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh.