China’s Ministry of Commerce forms two new sub-panels

China’s Ministry of Commerce has established two sub panels for legal services in relation to trade investigations.

The latest sub-panels were formed two weeks after the government body launched its first formal panel (24 October 2013). Through public competitive bidding procedures, conducted by procurement agent CMC International Tendering Company on behalf of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), a total of 13 Chinese firms and 12 international firms have won spots on the new panels.

The first of the new sub-panels enlisted 10 Chinese firms and 10 international firms, which are qualified to advise the ministry as well as the Chinese enterprises it represents in Section 337 investigations conducted by the US International Trade Commission (USITC). Those investigations relate to intellectual property rights, including allegations of patent infringement and trademark infringement by imported goods.

The second panel consists of five Chinese firms and five international firms, which are selected to provide legal services in relation to foreign trade remedy investigations, such as anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguards measures.

Five firms have won a spot on both panels. They are Chinese firms Co-Effort and Zhong Lun, and international firms Mayer Brown, Perkins Coie and Sidley Austin.

According to MOFCOM’s newly issued measures for instructing external counsel, the panels will be reviewed and re-appointed every two years through public tender. Other key guidelines include prioritising internal resources before considering instructing external lawyer and only instructing foreign counsel when necessary, as well as internal approval procedures when instructing external counsel.

Sub-panels for trade barrier investigations and response:

  1. US section 337 investigations

International firms:

PRC firms:  

  • Co-Effort
  • Zhong Lun
  • Lan Tai
  • Shidai Jiuhe
  • Jun He
  • Rui Yin
  • Jiarun Daohe
  • Anjie
  • JT & N
  • Deheng
  1. Trade remedy investigations

International firms:

  • Dentons
  • Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan
  • Mayer Brown
  • Perkins Coie
  • Sidley Austin

PRC firms:

  • Co-Effort
  • AllBright
  • Zhong Lun
  • Huan Zhong
  • Gaopeng & Partners