The deal will see U.S. specialty chemical maker Rockwood Holdings Inc. and China's Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group form a joint venture to share ownership of Australia's Talison Lithium Pty Ltd.
Former King & Wood Mallesons global litigation head Beau Deleuil will join the U.S. firm in April.
The Australian firm has brought aboard a 13-lawyer practice group from rival Herbert Geer.
Peter McDonald was previously a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills.
Rebekah Gay was previously a partner at Sydney boutique firm Shelston IP.
Energy and resources specialist Simon Panegyres was previously a principal at Allion Legal.
For international firms, China has generally been a tale of two cities: Beijing and Shanghai. But a number of firms are starting to eye second-tier markets like Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Qingdao.