About Me

I am a partner in the international Corporate Group based in Shanghai and have been living and working in China since 1999, and based in Shanghai since 2003. I have close to 20 years' experience practising law in China.

My experience includes corporate transactions, commercial and regulatory advice, with a focus on advising clients in relation to the implementation of their technology driven, highly regulated or otherwise complex business models in China.

During my career I have also been based in both London and Munich with a remit to develop China inbound and outbound work.

Over the years, I have acted for businesses from all over the world helping them set up, expand, operate and close their presence in China. This work has given me profound insights into the challenges and opportunities when doing business in China. I have seen the various investment structures and vehicles commonly used, and I have a particular interest in helping clients structuring partnerships with Chinese businesses by forming joint ventures or entering into contractual arrangements such as licensing, franchising, distributing.

The industry sectors I am often involved with are automotive, retail & consumer and life sciences & healthcare. Most of our projects are driven by IP or technology as a core consideration or are highly regulated. This requires careful consideration of investment structures and contractual relationships.

Compliance and anti-bribery matters have become a strong focus for many companies in China. My team and I have worked with many of our clients on the prevention of and reaction to compliance and anti-bribery incidents.

I joined Bird & Bird in January 2014 from another international law firm in Shanghai. I am fluent in German and English, and speak proficient Mandarin Chinese.


  • Universität Hamburg, Ph.D, Law
  • The University of Hong Kong, LLM in Chinese law and international finance
  • Universität Hamburg, undergraduate degree in law


  • Munich Bar, Germany in 2004
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Winner, General Corporate, China

Client Choice Awards 2017

Sven-Michael is 'highly rated'.

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018

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