Global law firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques says it has strengthened its China practice by picking up the services of Stuart Valentine. The China M&A and corporate lawyer will be a partner in the firm's Hong Kong office.

Valentine arrives at Mallesons from the Hong Kong office of Clifford Chance. His association with Clifford Chance stretches back to 1988 and has included advising clients in the corporate and finance sectors on cross-border M&A, restructurings, technology transfer and regulatory issues relevant to foreign businesses in China.

In addition, Valentine also brings fluency in Mandarin to the firm and a solid familiarity with the Chinese government. Outside of the global legal world, Valentine also honed his China experience as a diplomat with the Australian foreign service. During the mid-1980s he spent three years in its Beijing Embassy.

He is qualified to practice as a solicitor in Australia, England and Wales, and Hong Kong.

Mallesons describes his hiring as consistent with its ongoing efforts to meet client demand in the China M&A space and his arrival boosts the firmÆs capability in the Greater China area to 75 fee earners.

In January, the firm lured Steven Christopher to its Hong Kong offices as partner from Linklaters. At this firm, he was head of the Asian Banking group and bolstered MallesonsÆ asset finance, banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, telecommunications and energy and resources practice in Greater China.