Course aims to train UK lawyers to crack China

LAW firms sending staff to China are being offered courses on undertaking business in the country by the University of Glamorgan Law School, which has just signed a partnership deal with China's top law school.

Under the agreement signed on 7 June, Glamorgan will become the first European partner of the100-year-old University of Peking.

The two schools agreed:

to create a European Law Study Centre at Peking University;

from January 1997, one Chinese law teacher will be seconded every year to Glamorgan's European Law Unit to assist in lectures and undertake a research topic on European Law. This teacher will also be made available to large UK law firms wanting to teach their lawyers the best way to do legal business in China;

to develop a joint masters degree in Sino-European law. Chinese students would do two years at Peking followed by a year at Glamorgan.

Glamorgan University's head of law, Professor Duncan Bloy, said: “We already have a close working relationship with Hong Kong's Shue Yan Law School, which in turn has links with Peking. That is how this agreement came about.

“A lot of UK firms have sent out staff to China, but the offices are not doing as well as expected.

“The problem is, the staff are very committed but it takes them quite a while to understand the workings of the system and start earning fees.

“The thinking is, if we can help lawyers before they go out, they will start earning before they would normally do.”