Jack Yu, international policy adviser, The Law Society

Opinion: Chinese firms are gearing up for new legal world order

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  • A very impressive article!

    Although we cannot deny that some not-so-good or sometimes very odd things are happening in China, the legal environment of China has become much better, especially in commercial cases. The State’s attitude of encouraging various forms of firms, enlarging lawyers’ service scope and introducing some efficient methods from other countries including UK have shown us its decision of administering the country by law. Having felt the drastic competition in the opened market, the government is also trying to put Chinese companies in better positions in their disputes with foreign rivals, the solutions of which include providing a more healthy litigation environment, making the local arbitration commissions accepted by foreign companies and making the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards easier. As a Chinese lawyer, I think we shall think more about how to provide professional service to local enterprises, especially in the litigations or arbitrations held abroad. In my opinion, the cooperation with foreign firms shall not be misunderstood as acting like a broker as some people think. I feel very pleased that the Law Society is creating an efficient, effective, sustainable and win-win communication channel for the firms in UK and China. I am fairly sure some successful results will be approached, with the efforts of us all.

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  • At what point do the Chinese get exposed for their protectionism on this. Foreign firms cannot practice in China and chinese citizens working in foreign firms have to give up their qualification even if the pass the PRC Bar. The Chinese ministry of Justice makes it difficult for foreign firms to send people here by imposing hideous difficulties in getting work permits, they clamp down from time to time and subject the foreign firms to annual inspections.

    The world seems keen to deal with China, because of a perception that there is money to be made, but then forget that there are very few people out there who have any level of depth in their understanding of China.

    The Chinese Government are not a very pleasant bunch of fellows. And I say fellows because there are very few woman.

    Sure the PRC commercial firms will make it big in their own backyard, they are well protected, but when it comes to anyone other than mainland Chinese accepting PRC law or arbitration on a routine or comfortable basis, there is a very, very, very long way to go....just ask Stern Hu and Rio Tinto what they think of Chinese justice. Or ask any foreign firm who has arbitrated against an SOE.

    The only way Chinese firms are the new frontier is if people are too stupid to look more deeply at what's coming.

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  • Well, we have a brilliant record of diversity here! The number of women in politics, women partners in law firms and in this white male dominated legal profession??? The very pint about ‘fellows’ is quite double standards, dare I say?

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  • If the PRC firms are going to compete globally, then they will have to force the MoJ in China to allow foreign firms to compete in China as well. The only way the PRC firms can open offices outside China is because they're protected from real competition within China. The biggest PRC firms know this, but the MoJ has to keep too many shoddy PRC firms happy.

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