Gowling WLG appoints new partner and head of the firm's Guangzhou office

31 October 2019

Gowling WLG has appointed Vivian Desmonts as a partner within its China Practice and to the role of head of the firm's Guangzhou office.

As Gowling WLG's new Chief Representative Officer in Guangzhou, China, Vivian will focus on building relationships with Chinese businesses entering or expanding in international markets, as well as international companies looking to do business in China. He will also be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Guangzhou office.

He takes over the reins from partner Jamie Rowlands who returned to the firm's London office last month, where he will continue to lead on complex, multi-jurisdictional IP disputes for international clients.

Vivian said: "I am excited to become part of the Gowling WLG team and to build on the great achievements the firm has already made in growing its China practice and supporting clients in the region. I look forward to working with the highly-skilled team here and embracing the challenges and opportunities that will come from working within the world's fastest-growing major economy and the surrounding region."

David Fennell, Chief Executive at Gowling WLG, said: "It's been an exciting time for the firm over in China and with two offices, one in Beijing and another in Guangzhou we are well positioned to serve our clients within the region or looking to the region for opportunities. We are thrilled to be welcoming Vivian to the firm. His wide-ranging experience, global expertise and background make him an ideal addition to our team in Asia."

Vivian has joined from DS Avocats after serving for a number of years as the firm's Chief Representative in Guangzhou, having been instrumental in establishing the office there in 2007. He previously worked as an associate lawyer in the Paris office of DS Avocats and spent some time with the firm in Shanghai.

Licensed as a French attorney at law admitted to the Paris Bar, he is also a registered foreign lawyer with the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Justice and arbitrator at the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration.

Vivian brings with him broad expertise across a range of legal services and particular experience in advising clients on the establishment, acquisition, operations and restructuring of joint venture companies and wholly foreign owned enterprises in China. He has extensive knowledge of the Chinese market and wider region, is fluent in English, French, Mandarin and Cantonese, and has worked with national and international clients from all sectors.

With a representative office in Guangzhou and a wholly foreign owned enterprise in Beijing - as well as an established market presence internationally - Gowling WLG offers a crucial combination of legal expertise and cultural awareness through our dedicated China practice. From foreign direct investment, to dispute resolution, to regulatory affairs and intellectual property concerns, our professionals in China and around the world deliver successful outcomes to clients of all sizes and across multiple sectors.

Gowling WLG is an international, sector-focused law firm with more than 1,400 legal professionals in 18 cities worldwide. It is known for providing clients with in-depth expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services at home and abroad. The firm's specialist teams collaborate across borders, service areas and sectors to help businesses succeed - no matter how challenging the circumstances. Learn more about our structure.