Today, every law firm claims to have China expertise. This is certainly true in the case of large international law firms with a significant footprint of offices in China, focused nearly exclusively on assisting large multinational corporations. Other than these large international law firms, how many US-based firms actually have partners with significant, on-the-ground legal expertise gained in China? We do. Firm partner Enoch Liang has “been there, done that” with the leading domestic PRC law firm, as well as with one of the leading international law firms in China. Mr. Liang lived and worked in Shanghai and Beijing—the two largest and most advanced cities in China—for over 3 years, with his cases taking him to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, and Chengdu.
Who do we assist with legal issues in China?
We focus our China Practice on two types of clients. First, we counsel US based businesses with their “China issues.” Due to the overhead involved with maintaining offices in China, the market for legal services in China is almost always priced out for many US companies. Precisely for this reason, smaller and medium sized US companies often fail to secure the best legal advice before entering into business deals with Chinese counterparts. Accordingly, they may fall victim to unfair and unethical business practices, including blatant breaches of contract, hijacking of intellectual property, and flat-out refusals to pay. Second, we cooperate with US-based law firms (without China offices). We can assist these firms on a wide range of matters relating to China, ranging from initial pitches for work to assisting existing clients with legal issues in China. We are just the right size to advise US-based law firms as a specialist boutique firm.
How can we assist our clients in navigating the legal system in China?
Initial contract negotiations are important. We seek to assist US companies during this stage, structuring the contracts to best protect their interests. We also advise US companies on how best to protect their IP rights. Should a dispute arise, we can counsel them on the best way to resolve the dispute, be it a face-to-face meeting with the Chinese partners, a mediation, or initiating arbitration or litigation. We always seek the most practical, cost-effective solution. However, should it come to litigation or arbitration, we can draw on our extensive experience as well as our professional network in both US and Chinese matters to achieve the best result possible for our clients.
Who do we partner with in China?
Many lawyers may not tell you this fact: Chinese Courts only recognize PRC-qualified attorneys in litigation matters. This “barrier to entry” effectively means that, when it comes to litigation in China, all international lawyers must partner with local PRC counsel to try a case. With our extensive experience in China, we have identified leading PRC counsel. Like in the US, different PRC counsel may have different specialties. For litigation and arbitration of general commercial disputes, we work closely with experienced commercial litigators with extensive contacts at the highest levels in the PRC Judiciary. Our China “partners” serve clients which include some of the world’s most recognizable companies, including Motorola, Seagate, and Bloomberg. For IP matters, we have worked with a number of IP agents, each with different strengths. We can choose the appropriate agent to fit each client’s needs, whether in obtaining IP rights or seeking to enforce IP rights.