Fladgate to support Merlin Entertainments plc with China expansion plans


Our team: Ian Smith


As part of their ongoing relationship, Merlin Entertainments plc (Merlin) has instructed Fladgate LLP’s (Fladgate) construction team to assist with its expansion plans in China.

Having previously worked on Merlin’s five existing attractions in China (Madame Tussauds in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Wuhan, and Chang Feng Ocean World aquarium in Shanghai), Barry Hembling (Fladgate construction partner) and his team including Ian Smith, Alex Elmer, Katie Hill and Saya Lee have now been instructed on Merlin’s three further China attractions which are due to open in the next 18 months (LEGOLAND Discovery Center Shanghai, and a Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE aquarium in Chongqing).

The news follows Merlin’s announcement of a joint venture with China Media Capital to create world-class visitor attractions in China. That partnership was announced in the presence of China’s President Xi Jinping and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at a high-profile creative event at Lancaster House hosted by UK Trade & Investment as part of the President’s State Visit.

Fladgate is Merlin’s global portal construction law firm on projects outside USA and will be working with Chinese law firm Fangda and Partners.

Fladgate has an established practice acting for public attraction clients, including the V&A and the Science Museum. In addition, some of the firm’s earliest instructions relate to this sector, including acting as solicitors to the Commissioners for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and an instruction from Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in 1862, to help set up the Smithsonian Institution.

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