The Lawyer

Deep impact —​ international law firms fight hard for place at Asia Pacific table

By Jonathan Ames, The Lawyer

During his six years as director-general of the CBI from 2000, Digby — now Lord — Jones was fond of saying that if British governments took their eye off the competition ball, “India will have our lunch and China will have our dinner”. There’s no doubt that the Chinese, over the time since Lord Jones stood down from the CBI top spot, have been getting stuck into a global economic feast.

In 2007, when the rest of the world hurtled towards a catastrophic financial crash, China’s GDP growth eclipsed 13.5 per cent. Of course, the country has suff ered a well-publicised slowdown in the fallout from the global financial crisis, dropping to 7.2 per cent growth last year. But it is the sort of slowdown for which Western Europe and the US would give an arm and a leg.

With established economies stagnating, corporations and their advisers are rushing east. There is not a Western lawyer in the region who doesn’t wake up every morning, stare in the mirror and utter the mantra: “This is the Chinese century”…

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