McDermott Will & Emery, a 1,000-lawyer firm founded in Chicago, entered an alliance with Yuan Da Law Offices of Shanghai, which has 25 lawyers. It is the first such arrangement between a Western and a Chinese law firm. Under the alliance, Yuan Da will perform marketing functions for MWE China Law Offices inside and outside China. The firms will also share some clients, but not profits. As current regulations prohibit international firms from fully merging with Chinese ones, MWE China Law Offices will function as a separate legal entity owned by its Chinese partners.