Charles Li, Han Kun Law Offices, Beijing

I studied law in Canada and worked briefly in Canadian firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson. As a result of this experience I was able to develop a greater understanding about Western culture and how people in different places think.


Charles Li
Charles Li

Name:

Charles Li Chaoying

Position: Founding partner of Han Kun Law Offices

What was your first-ever job?

Legal assistant in the Beijing office of US firm Cha & Cha LLP

Where did you study?

July 1995, Bachelor of Science, Peking University, China

July 1996, LLB, Peking University, China

July 1999, LLM, Peking University, China

August 2003, LLM, University of Ottawa, Canada

Where did you train?

I began my practice since 1995 in the Beijing office of US firm Cha & Cha LLP. From 2000 to 2001, I joined a start-up internet company Bookoo.com as an in-house lawyer to gain valuable experience in understanding the legal demands of entrepreneurs as well as how to best serve clients and their needs.

Have you lived or worked outside your home jurisdiction? What did you learn from it?

I studied law in Canada and worked briefly in Canadian firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson. As a result of this experience I was able to develop a greater understanding about Western culture and how people in different places think.

When did you become partner?

In 2001, I became a partner at Beijing-based T&C Law Offices.

What deal/case in your career stands out the most and why?

Advising NHN to acquire Ourgame’s 50% equity from SeaRainbow in 2004. This deal represented my first time in advising two publicly listed companies on a cross-border acquisition with complex deal structure. During the deal, we had to consider the regulatory requirements in both China and Korea, structure the whole deal offshore, and complete the transaction all within three months.

What have been your recent deals?

Recently, I assisted Baidu in its $1.5bn note offering and Hopson in its $300m note offering.

What is the biggest challenge facing your market at the moment?

The capital market is not favourable for Chinese companies both on the domestic side and the overseas stock exchanges.

What has been the most significant development in your sector in recent years?

I think that more and more PRC law firms have been playing active roles in advising cross-border transactions. For example, some PRC law firms lead offshore VC/PE deals, while others coordinate in choosing different international counsels to work as a team when Chinese companies go aboard to make investments or do M&As.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer, what would you have been?

I would have been a journalist focusing on IT and financial businesses.

Which country do you travel to most frequently and which country do you like the best?

Due to the nature of my work, I most often travel the US. However, I like Canada the most, because the people are really friendly, nice, peaceful, and easy-going.

What is your favourite book?

History and politics related books

What is your favourite restaurant?

The restaurants that really deliver high-quality food like Made-in-China in the Grand Hyatt Beijing.