Jun He faces rare legal challenge

Jun He, one of China’s top-ranked elite firms and a close friend of Slaughter and May, has found itself in the hot seat over a legal opinion it issued a few years back in relation to the now collapsed Sino-Forest Corporation.

Two of its top domestic rivals, Commerce & Finance and Jingtian & Gongcheng, have launched a suit against it in the Third Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing, requesting that it cough up RMB150m (£15m) for allegedly defaming their right of reputation.

The dispute centres on questions over the Chinese legal qualification belonging to a Jun He partner and whether his legal opinion should be valid. The two claimants are currently the subject of a major lawsuit in Canada over their roles in numerous capital markets transactions by Sino-Forest in Canada.

The case highlights some of the emerging issues Chinese firms will increasingly face as the local profession matures and compliance and internal control pressure on the country’s leading legal practices grows.

Separately, as another year draws to a close, The Lawyer has compiled a comprehensive month by month review of the year. It should keep you going over the Christmas holidays.

PS. This is the last Lawyer Asia email for 2013, so we’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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