Chinese firms show huge improvement

The quality of Chinese law firms has undergone a huge improvement over the past few years, according to leading international Chinese lawyer Fei Ning, a partner at Beijing firm Haiwen & Partners.

Ning, who is currently in the UK on a six-month secondment with Dibb Lupton Alsop, said the improvement was a result of Chinese firms being freed from government control.

Ning's firm was one of the first in China given a licence to practise as a private firm. He said Chinese lawyers had been forced to improve their services because they now had to survive on their own without government support. He added that 90 per cent of Chinese firms were now private partnerships based on UK and US models.

Ning said the Chinese also had to provide better services to win international clients. “Now that China is increasingly open to the outside world, the legal market has become highly competitive,” he said.

“To win business in the international arena you must offer a high quality service.”