Royal Mail’s in-house legal team, supported by Addleshaw Goddard, has advised Royal Mail Group Ltd on a unique tie-up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Tmall Global that will see Royal Mail launching an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global e-marketplace - the largest business-to-consumer retail platform in Asia, connecting 302 million online Chinese consumers with virtual store fronts and payment portals.
The platform will offer online Chinese consumers the opportunity to buy distinctive British products from British companies, with Royal Mail providing the fulfilment services to deliver products ordered through the storefront.
The team was led by Royal Mail's senior legal advisor, Emma Park, supported by a team from Addleshaw Goddard led by commercial partner, Paul Bentham. Paul was supported by managing associate Marlon Cohen, as well as corporate partner Andrew Rosling. Brett Stewien's team in the firm's Hong Kong office also played a significant role, advising on the Hong Kong law aspects of the transaction for Royal Mail.
Commenting on the deal, Paul Bentham said: "We are delighted to have supported Emma and the Royal Mail team on this strategic transaction. Currently, British retailers and exporters do not necessarily have the opportunity to do business in China so this will open the doors to a whole new market for them. It's timely that the deal could be announced by Royal Mail's CEO Moya Greene at the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai, China, last week. The Great Festival is a UK Government-led initiative to showcase the innovative and creative edge that British businesses bring to markets across the globe and we are very proud to have played a role in this."