Coudert partner Owen Nee, a trailblazer in legal and business circles in the People's Republic of China, has been named Legal Personality-of-the-Year by Asian Legal Business .
Mr. Nee has played a central role in the establishment of the firm's industry renowned China Practice, which celebrated 25 years of continuous service in the People's Republic of China in 2004. Coudert was the first foreign law firm to practice in China when it opened an office in the Peking Hotel in 1979 at the request of Chinese government officials, just as the United States and the People's Republic of China established full diplomatic relations. Mr. Nee was then a young attorney on staff in Coudert's office, and since then he has spent most of the past 25 years servicing Coudert clients in China.
Many of the transactions Mr. Nee has documented were the first of their kind in China, including the handling of the first major equity joint venture, the first large scale project financing, the first offshore oil concession to an American petroleum company and the first syndicated loan to China.
Mr. Nee has also been instrumental in expanding Coudert's presence in China. In addition to the Beijing office, he opened Coudert's office in Shanghai.
Over the past 25 years, Coudert has built important and long-standing relationships within China business circles. The firm's China Practice has been called "A brand name for excellence" by a leading legal industry publication, and Jingzhou Tao, a China Practice colleague of Mr. Nee's, was named one of the 100 most influential people in the globalization and commercialization of China.