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KENYAN AMBASSADOR MEETING WITH THE LEADING CHINESE LAW FIRM



Beijing¡ªChina¡ªJune 25, 2009. H.E. Mr. Julius L. Ole Sunkuli, Kenyan Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary invited the leading Chinese law firm Lehman, Lee & Xu on June 25 to visit the embassy offices in Beijing. Attorneys Andrew Lillis, Charles Chan and Lily Han met with the distinguished representative to introduce him to various aspects of Chinese Law.

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Andrew Lillis
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Charles Chan
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Lily Han

The Kenyan Embassy has expressed high interest in services provided by Lehman, Lee, & Xu and its professionals since the successful meeting. Attorney Andrew Lillis is ¡°looking forward to assisting the embassy and the Kenyan citizens as they navigate Chinese laws on foreign investment, employment, and criminal matters.¡±

Lehman, Lee & Xu is a prominent Chinese law firm with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, along with foreign branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Chicago. The firm is managed by Mr. Edward Lehman, who is recognized as a leading expert on Chinese law with 20 years of practice experience in China. Lehman, Lee and Xu have a proud history of representing and offering legal services to foreign embassies and missions. As a result, and in combination with our business immigration team, we have achieved a recognized reputation among Beijing¡¯s foreign community. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.lehmanlaw.com/ or contact us at mail@lehmanlaw.com. We would be more than happy to discuss with you in more detail.

-Published by Lehman, Lee & Xu, June 30, 2009
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China News 0 Comment June 30, 2009, 6:11 pm

ANGER AND TEARS OVER COLLAPSE OF BUILDING

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By Cao Li (China Daily)

Zhou Xuejun, 60, burst into tears and demanded a refund for her residential unit, which she says is unsafe after a nearby building collapsed in Shanghai's Minhang district.

"I can't live there," she cried as she pounded on a desk yesterday at the government reception center set up to deal with the accident. Standing behind her were hundreds of other angry homeowners, who spent millions on similar apartments priced at about 14,300 yuan ($2,090) per sq m.

Sheng Shunchang, a homeowner, said: "I want my money back and compensation for the price gap when I buy a new property, considering the soaring property prices."

The residents have bought units at 11 apartment blocks in the "Lotus Riverside" residential community, which is under construction on the eastern outskirts of Shanghai.

About 5:40 am on Saturday, one of those buildings fell on its side, almost intact. Pillars that were supposed to be buried deep under the earth were uprooted. A 28-year-old worker surnamed Xiao from Anhui province was killed as he collected his tools from the falling building.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the developer, Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Company, has been working illegally because its construction license expired in 2004.

Zhang Suping, who lives across the river from the collapsed building, said his family and neighbors were woken at dawn by the falling building.

"I thought it was an earthquake and I ran downstairs, where I found other neighbors looking at the collapsed building," he said.

About 132 households across the street were evacuated, and 120 families moved to hotels paid for by the district government.

Shanghai mayor Han Zheng and Party secretary Yu Zhengsheng have ordered an investigation into the collapse.

An initial investigation found that the rest of the buildings are safe. "An investigation team formed by experts found that by 6 pm of Saturday, none of the other 10 buildings have tilt, shift or sank," the report says.

"And government departments have also found no leaking, cracks or moving of gas pipes, power wires or water pipes. They all meet the safety standards and chance of a secondary disaster is low."

However, Xu Jianping, who signed a contract for an apartment in one of those buildings only 10 days ago said: "I dare not move in."

Most residents are demanding refunds and compensation, but experts doubt whether their claims will be successful. Zhang Qi, a man in his 50s, said he wants his money back and compensation of an equal amount. Zhang and his new wife bought a property in February with a loan of 450,000 yuan.

"We are paying back the bank," he said. "I won't be able to afford another property nearby even if I get my money back."

Zhou Xuejun, another owner, said she was devastated because she had spent her life savings and borrowed 400,000 yuan to pay for the unit that she not dare to move into now.

Si Weijiang, a lawyer, said the refund and compensation claims would depend on the result of investigations.

"Buyers of the collapsed building will definitely get their money back, but it is not sure if others who still have their property will," he said.

"According to Chinese law, they cannot have their money back or be compensated unless it is proved that their properties are too dangerous to live in even after renovation.

"And as I see it, courts rarely support compensation claims for price gap in such situations."

An architect surnamed Meng with Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group told the Shanghai Morning Post: "The builder should have taken into consideration the riverside location and loose soil."

On Friday, some residents said they saw that the anti-flood bank of nearby Dianpu Lake was broken after days of rainfall.

It is also suspected that piled-up mud, about the height of 3 to 4 floors, which had been dug out from under the buildings had caused the ground tilt, and that this led to the bank break and the building collapse.

Sub-standard construction has been a major concern in the building sector, as the country rolls out enormous city expansions and finishes off vast infrastructure projects to keep pace with fast economic growth.

The Shanghai government yesterday ordered developers to ensure safety during the construction of all projects.

Source: China Daily...

China News 0 Comment June 30, 2009, 9:46 am

US TRADE AND CUSTOMS LAW FIRM MEETS WITH THE LEADING CHINESE LAW FIRM

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(left to right)
John Lee, Sophie Tan, Jeffrey S. Neeley, Li Hong, Brian F. Walsh, Lily Han, Eric Langland

Brian F. Walsh and Jeffrey S. Neeley, attorneys from Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, visited Lehman Lee & Xu at its Beijing office on June 25, 2009.

On June 25, 2009, two attorneys from one of leading US trade law firms Barnes, Richardson & ColburnBarnes, Richardson & Colburn visited Lehman Lee & Xu. The two parties exchanged views on the issuance of recent US anti-dumping petitions against Chinese enterprises and exporters. The two firms look forward to cooperating with each other in the anti-dumping area.

¡°Our firm has been focused on trade and customs since it was established in 1919. We have a long history of working with Chinese enterprises on antidumping investigations. Furthermore, we have good relationships with the related US and Chinese authorities. ¡± said Jeffrey S. Neeley.

Since the financial crisis and the economic downturn, more and more US enterprises submit anti-dumping petitions to US International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce against certain Chinese enterprises and exporters. Barnes, Richardson & Colburn is willing to cooperate with a Chinese domestic law firm in anti-dumping area. As one of the leading Chinese law firms, Lehman Lee & Xu has an active practice in the anti-dumping area.

The two parties discussed cooperation on antidumping investigations in the areas of steel£¬chemicals, paper, furniture and others. Furthermore, the two firms can also work together in the area of general corporate, foreign direct investment and intellectual property.

Barnes, Richardson & Colburn shared practical anti-dumping experience with Lehman Lee & Xu and the two parties also discussed the tips of handling anti-dumping cases.

The meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere. Both parties expressed their confidence for future cooperation.

Lehman, Lee & Xu, established in 1992, is at the forefront of international law practice in China. The firm has more than 200 lawyers in offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, along with foreign branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Chicago. Over the past sixteen years, the firm has built a strong reputation in banking, foreign direct investment, mergers & acquisitions, international trade and dispute resolution. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.lehmanlaw.com/.

Barnes, Richardson & Colburn is one of the leading US trade and customs law firms.. Barnes, Richardson & Colburn¡¯s practice centers on international trade regulation and customs law. Barnes, Richardson & Colburn began its practice in this area in 1919 and has focused on international trade matters since its establishment. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.barnesrichardson.com.

If you are interested in learning more about our service for anti-dumping legal service and/or other legal services, please give us a call at 86-10-8532-1919, or email us at elehman@lehmanlaw.com or mail@lehmanlaw.com, and we would be more than happy to discuss the program with you in more detail.
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China Law 0 Comment June 29, 2009, 2:50 pm

VETERAN LAWYER URGES COLLEAGUES TO FIGHT FOR THE RULE OF LAW

Vivian Wu
Jun 25, 2009

Zhang Sizhi may be 83, but he is still firmly on the front line of the battle between the mainland's lawyers and the law.

In recent months these battle lines have been laid bare to the public like never before thanks to the case of hotel waitress Deng Yujiao . Accused of murdering a cadre, her plight became a national cause fed by netizens impatient with officialdom and social injustice, and last week she was allowed to walk free, albeit with a guilty verdict.

Mr Zhang said Deng's case was proof that lawyers could play a bigger role in helping the public safeguard their rights, and pave the way for the rule of law. Describing lawyers as "dancers in irons" in a judicial system subject to Communist Party whims, Mr Zhang said they could still achieve more through heightened professionalism, political awareness and strategic thinking.

"Deng's case showed that lawyers could actually become an important force to educate the public with legal knowledge," said Mr Zhang. "By safeguarding the correct implementation of laws, they prove themselves the pillar for a nation's rule of law.

"They are not dissidents nor hostile forces, they are a bridge between the government and the public. By helping people solve their problems, they actually help drain off threats to social stability."

Mr Zhang's career has spanned everything from the establishment of the modern legal system in the 1950s to its total breakdown during the Cultural Revolution, and today's fight for an independent judiciary.

Deng fatally stabbed an official in early May after he reportedly demanded sexual services. As news of the case leaked out - thanks in part to a group of lawyers and bloggers - public sentiment came down firmly on her side. The local government in Badong county, Hubei , began to alter its story, and despite gagging the press, it succumbed to public pressure and allowed Deng to avoid a jail term. However, she was found guilty of using excessive force to defend herself.

"Under the current political system and judicial environment it is impossible for the court to find Deng, an ordinary woman, free of guilt based on the facts," Mr Zhang said.

"I believe the verdict was a result of instructions by senior officials. It was a wise action to soothe public anger, and such an outcome can be regarded as a limited victory for her."

The experiences of two Beijing lawyers, Xia Lin and Xia Nan , who travelled to Hubei to represent Deng, brought the hurdles facing lawyers into the spotlight.

After meeting Deng at a detention centre, Xia Lin said they had discovered crucial evidence - torn underwear - which showed she had been the victim of an attempted rape.

Concerned the evidence could be destroyed by police - a common practice - Mr Xia appealed for public help to track down the items. Local officials reacted by sacking the pair.

"There isn't any article of law that forbids lawyers publicising information about the legal case," Mr Zhang said. "Lawyers should grasp the chance to release information.

"More importantly, the media and the internet played a very important role in bringing public support."

Mr Zhang said throughout his career authorities had commonly prevented lawyers from defending clients in politically sensitive cases.

"Dealing with politically sensitive cases or cases with wide public attention, lawyers should try to avoid politicising them and giving authorities an excuse to cut down the legal channels," he said.

Source: South China Morning Post
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China Law 0 Comment June 25, 2009, 9:38 am

Leading Chinese Law Firm to meet with key Africa/China Intellectual Property Delegation

Beijing ¨C Top 3 China Law firm, Lehman, Lee & Xu will host a delegation of leading IP experts from the African Intellectual Property Organization and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People¡¯s Republic of China to discuss the development of intellectual property in China and future cooperation between the organizations.

¡°While the trade relationship between China and Africa has been growing exponentially it is clear that the cooperative nature of the relationship has increasingly been entering the legal and political sphere¡± stated Ed Lehman, Managing Director of the law firm. ¡°This delegation is true sign of the increasing importance of intellectual property in a development and trade context¡±

The OAPI was established in 1962 to provide a body to oversee the patent laws in a number of former French colonies. The members of the organization are Cameroon Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo. ¡°Together these countries cover a large portion of Africa with a population of over one hundred million¡± relays Ed. ¡°a coherent approach relating to Intellectual Property is a key requirement for successful globalization. Delegations such as this one are at the front line ensuring that the IP laws of different regions develop in a harmonious way¡±.
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China Culture 0 Comment June 24, 2009, 10:29 am

Leading mass tort Chinese law firm examines redress for Chinese passengers of doomed Air France flight

Lehman, Lee & Xu, a top 3 China law firm, is investigating possible legal recourse for the families of the 9 Chinese victims of the air crash that claimed the lives of 226 on June 1st. The firm, a pioneer in mass lawsuits in China, has been active in obtaining redress for the victims of the 2004 China Eastern Baotou Air disaster. "It is important that the families Chinese citizens are able to efficiently and transparently seek redress for their loss. We have been fighting for over 5 years for redress for the families of the 25 victims of the China Eastern crash in Baotou. We don¡¯t want the Chinese victims of this crash to have to wait so long " states Ed Lehman, Managing Director and long time China resident.

The flight, traveling from Rio Di Janeiro in Brazil to Paris in France had passengers from 33 countries; a true representation of how globalized the world has become. With so many nationalities litigation can be expected for some time to come. "Although the plane was a French aircraft which crashed in international waters with an international passenger manifest" relays Ed. "This will mean litigation in a number of countries as the families of the victims of the tragedy seek legal recourse.

"The most important aspect of this case is to ensure that such an incident doesn't happen again. Holding the relevant parties responsible is a central part of this" states Ed. Our main aim here is to fight for ordinary families. There are a lot of unsavory plaintiffs lawyers out there whose only motivations are their potential fees while at the same time corporations are rushing to limit their liability in these cases. Our goal here is to help the victims of the families make an informed decision on how they want to proceed on a pro bono basis. We have the experience and will operate on a pro bono basis".

The firm has been instrumental in obtaining justice for the families of the victims of the China Easter Airlines crash in Inner Mongolia in 2004. "The case was wrongfully dismissed in the United States and the victims¡¯ families are still pursuing their rights through the Chinese courts. It has taken almost 5 years. We don't want the families of the victims of the Air France tragedy to wait that long. We hope that our experience in that case will help the families in this case"

Anyone interested in more information can contact lehmanlaw@lehmanlaw.com
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China Law 0 Comment June 23, 2009, 1:52 pm

ENGINEERS KIDNAPPED BY TALEBAN LAST YEAR SUE TELECOMS COMPANY

Kristine Kwok

Jun 23, 2009

Two mainland engineers who survived a kidnapping by the Taleban in Pakistan last year have sued a leading mainland telecommunications-equipment supplier.
Zhang Guo , 29, and Long Xiaowei , 28, are both unemployed and still recovering from injuries sustained in the ordeal.

They said Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE (SEHK: 0763)) had not fulfilled its responsibilities for what they had gone through since last August.

They also sued Jiangbo Group, a company based in Xian with which they signed contracts, for failing to pay their salaries and medical fees. ZTE outsourced the project in Pakistan to Jiangbo.

The pair were kidnapped by Pakistani Taleban militants last year in the notorious northwestern region of Dir, while returning from work to their dormitory.

Mr Zhang managed to escape in mid-October, while Mr Long injured his ankle during the attempt and was recaptured by the Taleban. He was released only in February.

"For ordinary men like us, such an experience is a nightmare that will remain in our memory forever," said Mr Zhang, who has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. But only when the two men returned to their homes in Shaanxi province did they realise that their salaries had not been properly paid and their medical fees were not being covered by Jiangbo.

Mr Long said Jiangbo had agreed to pay them on a monthly basis but after their kidnapping paid on a daily basis, which translated to a wage reduction of almost one-third.

A mandatory insurance fee of roughly 1,000 yuan (HK$1,135) each, which mainland law requires companies to sign for employees sent overseas, was deducted from their salaries, Mr Long said.

Mr Zhang said he had to cut short his stay in a hospital to treat his emotional problems because he could not afford the costs, which Jiangbo refused to pay.

Mr Long said he was advised by doctors to undergo an operation to remove a steel plate in his ankle months ago, "but Jiangbo would not even talk about this with me".

ZTE said in a statement that it would seek to resolve the problem rationally and would work to achieve consensus with all the parties involved. ZTE said it had been closely following the incident and the aftermath and had been urging Jiangbo to settle the issues with the two engineers.

Jiangbo was not available for comment yesterday.

Although Mr Zhang and Mr Long were not hired by ZTE, their lawyer Yang Jun said the company was sued as well because it still had liability, as the engineers went to Pakistan for its project.

ZTE reported a net profit of more than 1.6 billion yuan in 2008.

Source: South China Morning Post...

China Business 0 Comment June 23, 2009, 9:13 am

UK FRANCHISE FOCUSED LAW FIRM MEETS WITH THE LEADING CHINESE LAW FIRM



Jonathan Chadd, attorney from Leathes Prior visited Lehman Lee & Xu at Lehman Lee & Xu¡¯s Beijing office, June 16, 2009.

On June 16, 2009, Jonathan Chadd, the Head of the Commercial Department at one of leading UK franchise law firms Leathes Prior Solicitors visited Lehman Lee & Xu. Two parties exchanged views on the most cutting-edge information and the most key issues in franchising practices.

¡°For our international approach, we need a great local partner to provide reliable ground services here in China to our clients. We understand that to have things done effectively and efficiently, you should find the right person from the very first beginning. I feel that you are the one we are looking for¡± said Jonathan Chadd.

¡°I note that your firm has employment and data protection services. According to your introduction, we understand that your practice on these two areas are also franchising related which is really impressed. This kind of pinning-down strategy is really creative and we hope that we could adopt the same to improve ourselves.¡± said Edward Lehman, the Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu.

The meeting was hold in a friendly atmosphere. Both parties expressed their confidence for the future cooperation. ¡°We are confident that with Leathes Prior¡¯s expertise in Franchising and Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s professionals, we could better service our clients at the most competitive cost with best services and thus further expand our global reach.¡± said Jonathan Chadd.

Lehman, Lee & Xu, established in 1992, is at the forefront of international law practice in China. The firm has more than 200 lawyers in offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, along with foreign branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Chicago. Over the past sixteen years, the firm has built a strong reputation in banking, foreign direct investment, mergers & acquisitions, international trade and dispute resolution. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.lehmanlaw.com/.

Jonathan Chadd is one of the leading UK franchise law firms and is affiliated to the British Franchise Association. For more than 25 years they have been involved in assisting clients in the expansion of their business through franchising or licensing both in the UK and internationally. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.leathesprior.co.uk/.

If you are interested in learning more about our service for franchising and/or other legal services, please give us a call at 86-10-8532-1919, or email us at elehman@lehmanlaw.com or mail@lehmanlaw.com, and we would be more than happy to discuss the program with you in more detail.

-Published by Lehman, Lee & Xu, June 17, 2009
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China Culture 0 Comment June 19, 2009, 10:03 am

BEIJING SINGLES OUT GOOGLE IN ATTACK ON PORNOGRAPHY

Minnie Chan
Jun 19, 2009

Beijing's war to control internet content intensified as a government-backed internet watchdog yesterday condemned the mainland version of Google for disseminating online pornography and appealed for internet users to send in complaints about the website.
In an unusual move, the condemnation was broadcast nationwide on China Central Television's prime time news at 7pm. Meanwhile, a highly popular CCTV programme, Topics In Focus, aired an interview with youth experts, teachers and a university student about half an hour later, saying pornography links on Google China were distracting students from their studies.

The China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre has previously blacklisted groups of websites over obscene content, but this is the first time an internet giant was pinpointed for such a severe warning.

A notice posted on the centre's website said yesterday that it had complained twice to Google in the first four months of this year about the "pornographic and vulgar links" available through its search engine.

"The centre received public reports and proved that Google China has still kept large amounts of unhealthy information, including extremely vulgar and ugly pictures, videos and articles," said the watchdog, which is backed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

"Google China has not conducted the oversight required according to China's laws and regulations, and a large volume of foreign internet pornographic information has entered our borders through this website."

It urged Google to conduct a "thorough cleanup" of its mainland website and suggested relevant mainland authorities step in and punish the internet giant. "Google China has severely harmed the physical and psychological health of our youth," the centre said. "It goes against our social moral concept and harms the public interest."

In the popular current affairs talk show Topics In Focus, university student Gao Ye said a classmate of his could not concentrate after he started looking at pornographic websites using Google China's search engine. "After the government crackdown on these websites, [my classmate] stopped viewing these links and later recovered," Gao said.

The media campaign against Google China caused a furore in the internet community last night with many expecting a new storm of internet crackdowns. Many questioned why the government had targeted the mainland version of Google, since it had already blocked many sensitive websites.

The condemnation comes amid heightening tension between the government and the burgeoning netizen community over an order for computer manufacturers to provide software called Green Dam-Youth Escort. The software is officially to filter out pornography, but many see it as a government tool to control politically sensitive content.

Google's China headquarters did not comment yesterday. Beijing had shut 1,600 websites by the end of February, citing pornography.

Source: South China Morning Post
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China News 0 Comment June 19, 2009, 9:57 am

EUROPEAN LAWYERS NETWORK CHOOSES TO MEET WITH TOP THREE "RED CIRCLE" LAW FIRM IN CHINA'S CAPITAL

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(from left to right)

Eddie Hon, Sophie Tan, Lily Han, David Clifton, Suzanne Davies and Edward Lehman



European Lawyers Network (ELN) Attorneys from member firm Joelson Wilson LLP, David Clifton (Partner) and Suzanne Davies (Partner) visited Lehman Lee & Xu at Lehman Lee & Xu¡¯s Beijing office, June 15, 2009.

On June 15, 2009, two attorneys on behalf of ELN and Joelson Wilson LLP visited Lehman Lee & Xu. Two parties discussed to build a strategic alliance to allow both firms' corporate finance and international securities practices to expand their global reach and to respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of PRC companies as they seek to enter foreign capital markets and engage in cross-border transactions. The two firms will maintain their separate identities and will serve as co-counsel on specific matters. Two parties believe, even under the present severe international economic situation, China's economy has survived the worst period and is now on its way to recovery. They also believe there will be more and more Chinese enterprises to go public in London exchange or AIM in the near future.

¡°Our domestic Chinese clients have recently become more active in seeking foreign investors to raise capital for their companies. We are confident that Joelson Wilson LLP¡¯s strong corporate and securities practice will complement our firm's strengths in working with Chinese companies and our expertise in the PRC regulatory environment,¡± said Edward Lehman, Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu. ¡°Two firms can also work together in the area of general corporate, real estate, employment, licensing, gaming and as well as intellectual property. ¡±

¡°We are looking for a reputable firm working together to provide the best, cost-competitive legal services to our clients," said David Clifton, Partner and licensing and gaming attorney of Joelson Wilson LLP.

The two parties consent to join hands and move forward with close cooperation.

Lehman, Lee & Xu, established in 1992, is at the forefront of international law practice in China. The firm has more than 200 lawyers in offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, along with foreign branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Chicago. Over the past sixteen years, the firm has built a strong reputation in banking, foreign direct investment, mergers & acquisitions, international trade and dispute resolution. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.lehmanlaw.com/.

Joelson Wilson is a specialist business orientated law firm which has been based in the heart of London's West End for more than 50 years. Joelson Wilson has substantial experience in AIM listings and corporate transactions in the UK, including, but not limited to, mergers and acquisitions and foreign direct investment into the UK. To learn more about the firm, please visit http://www.joelsonwilson.com/.

If you are interested in learning more about our service for AIM compliance and/or other legal services, please give us a call at 86-10-8532-1919 to set up a no-fee consultation with Lily Han and Sophie Tan in our Beijing office, or email us at elehman@lehmanlaw.com or mail@lehmanlaw.com, and we would be more than happy to discuss the program with you in more detail.

-Published by Lehman, Lee & Xu, June 16, 2009...

Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 16, 2009, 1:11 pm

FOREIGN INVESTMENT FREEFALL EASES

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-16 07:34

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been in decline for eight months, but the size of the fall in May was smaller than the one in April, probably signaling an easing off.

Workers prepare for the opening of an international trade fair in Shanghai. [File photo]

In comparison with other economies, China is still poised to be among the first choices for global investors in the next five years, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said.

According to the figures released by the ministry Monday, in May, the FDI dropped 17.8 percent compared to a year earlier - equaling $6.38 billion. The number of newly approved foreign enterprises contracted by 32 percent to 1,649.

The figures exclude those in the financial sector.

But May's performance was better than April's, when the FDI registered a negative growth of 22.5 percent.

Between January and May, the FDI fell by 20.4 percent year-on-year to $34.05 billion and newly approved foreign enterprises dropped by 33.8 percent to 7,890.

In the same period, foreign investment in China's central and western regions fell by 35.7 - more than the national average. Newly approved foreign enterprises fell 30.2 percent. For several years prior to the financial crisis, the regions had seen higher rates than the national average.

Yao Jian, a MOFCOM's spokesman, noted the central and western regions' sharp decline: "The coastal areas have the advantage of having gathered a much larger number of foreign investment enterprises in the last three decades."

Encouraged by confidence from global investors in China's 4 trillion yuan stimulus plan, the "decline in FDI will probably be slowing during the rest of the year," predicted Li Jianfeng, macro-economics and trade analyst with Shanghai Securities, a domestic brokerage.

"There is a good chance that the FDI will register a positive growth in the last quarter, given the low reference point in 2008," he added.

During the first quarter, the FDI decline showed some signs of bottoming out. But in April, the performance went down again by 22.5 percent, compared with a decline of 9.5 percent in March.


At the same time, the International Monetary Fund predicted China's GDP would grow by 6.7 percent this year, 1.3 percentage points lower than the Chinese government's target, but higher than the 5.25 percent of India and 5 percent for Vietnam, two countries vying for FDI.

The stimulus plan is having an effect, said Yao, who pointed out that retail volume rose to 4.88 trillion yuan in the first five months, up by 15 percent year-on-year.

Yao predicted that in 2009, China's FDI will contract by an annualized 20 percent in contrast to last year's growth of 27.65 percent.

Source£ºChina Daily...

China Business 0 Comment June 16, 2009, 10:03 am

Apology for TV anchor accused of being a spy

Kelly Chan
Jun 15, 2009

The Peking University associate professor who accused a China Central Television presenter of disloyalty has apologised on his weblog, writing that he had not said she was a spy for Taiwan, only that she was "leaking secrets".

Zhou Yijun , of the School of Journalism and Communication, also said in his entry on Saturday that he did so only as a metaphor in an article about students cheating on the National College Entrance Exam.

But Professor Zhou refused to say where he obtained the news and the details about Fang Jing .

"I will keep my mouth shut. Please don't keep calling me," he wrote. "Even if I am being irresponsible, I only said [Fang] was leaking secrets instead of being a spy."

The Oriental Guardian, based in Nanjing , reported that Fang had applied to host Defence Watch, a panel discussion programme on military issues, to gather intelligence.

Fang said in a video interview with Web portal Sina.com: "I have no reason to betray my motherland [and] sell my soul.

"I have unlimited love and loyalty to the country and its people ... The truth will prove it all."

Fang, 38, said she heard of the "groundless rumour" in mid-May and read it in Professor Zhou's blog on Thursday after a colleague had her about it. "I was shocked when I read the news. I can't understand why a public figure would spread rumours in public."

The Southern Metropolis News reported that Professor Zhou on Friday sent an e-mail to newspapers saying he was not in a position to give more details. "Wait for the information from the government, court and CCTV."

Fang, however, said no one from any governmental department had approached her.

She said she would not talk to interviewees, mostly military experts, before the cameras were turned on because she wanted to have a real interview with them. She said she obtained military knowledge via "open channels" like everyone else.

"For example, if we talk about F-16 flights today, [I would] google it."

Source: South China Morning Post
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China Culture 0 Comment June 15, 2009, 9:50 am

China ¡°critical¡± for the future of General Motors

As American consumers have tightened their purses in recent months, moving away from the new car industry, automakers are turning to international markets to keep afloat. Most recently, GM announced plans to focus on the Chinese auto market in hopes that the thriving industry will revive the troubled company.

According to GM, the Chinese auto industry was the leading market in the world for the first half of 2009. The company also maintains that domestic sales of GM vehicles in China have risen considerably for each of the first five months of 2009, as compared to 2008. By the end of 2008, GM claimed a 12% market share in China, and hopes to increase that figure over the next 5 years.

As economic development spreads throughout China, more people will be able to afford to purchase cars. The overwhelming population throughout the nation is indicative of the potential that large companies hope to tap in the emerging Chinese markets. While GM has been unsuccessful in securing a top-spot in the American auto market for many years, the company¡¯s new restructuring plan sets realistic goals for the future. GM management hopes to produce more efficient vehicles that will appeal to thrifty spenders in the US, and plans to introduce new and improved vehicles worldwide to stimulate global sales. Many people believe this is a last hope for GM, but if the company¡¯s reported numbers are correct, the Chinese market will play a substantial role in revitalizing the auto industry.


Source: China Daily (via lawinfochina.com)
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China Business 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 5:24 pm

Re: Race to China¡¯s 3G Mobile Market, Trademark Dispute Gives iPhone Competitors a Leg Up

Despite the misconception that China does not have effective IP laws or that the laws are not adequately enforced, the first to file rule for registration has shown otherwise for Apple¡¯s iPhone. I was surprised to learn that despite having registered their computer software and hardware¡ªApple failed to register their mobile phone trademark. Taiwanese manufacturer Hanwag registered the iPhone trademark forcing iPhone to either use another name or negotiate to gain entry into the market. However, this sort of enforcement seems to be formalistic and a bit removed from the reality and purpose preventing intellectual property appropriation: adhering to the letter of the law in this case seems to be a difference without distinction. And regardless of my personal sentiment¡¯s about iPhone, if it does not qualify for the Well-Known Trademark exception for the first to file rule, what would?

Senayt...

China Business 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 3:40 pm

China Sees Potential in Trade Litigation

Trade disputes with China have been commonplace since its accession to the WTO in 2001. Chinese manufacturers are consistently the target of antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) from trading partners like the US and EU. For years, Chinese manufacturers, taking their cue from the Ministry of Commerce, have decided largely to forego litigation and settle disputes outside of court. Recently, however, due to the financial crisis and China's prominent new role in the global economy, the Ministry of Commerce is starting to challenge AD/CVD and other safeguard measures at the WTO. An illustration of this newly found desire to counter claims of unfair trade practices is China's challenge to US antidumping duties on steel pipes, which is currently at the expert panel stage.

Perhaps an even more drastic departure from previous policy is China's decision to initiate its own trade litigation against notoriously litigious trading partners like the United States. Illustrative of this new trend is its recent challenge to US health restrictions that effectively ban the importation of Chinese poultry. China's decision to pursue trade litigation signals several shifts taking place in its approach toward international trade. First, China is seeing the WTO dispute settlement system as less of a restriction on its economic aims and more of an avenue to pursue its goals. Instead of developed countries using litigation to stymie the flow of imports from China, litigation can be used to secure access to those markets by proscribing illegal trade barriers. Second, China will no longer play the role of a sheepish trading partner. When claims of unfair trade practices are made against its industries, China will defend the practices in court. When illegal barriers are erected to its imports, China will challenge those barriers in court. Several keen observers have noted that China does not possess the legal infrastructure--Chinese WTO trained attorneys--to accommodate the rise in trade litigation. For the short term, at least, China will continue to rely on WTO-savvy American firms to handle the bulk of its international trade law workload.

Eric Langland...

China Business 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 3:30 pm

Are new light bulbs in China enough to catch up to the West?

China has recently announced plans to increase its use of solar and wind power over the next decade in order to produce one fifth of its energy needs through renewable power by 2020. While this goal sounds very aggressive, Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, believes China will easily reach this target. This 20% target matches the European goal, and would be impressive considering China¡¯s relative poverty.

Despite China¡¯s announcement, the U.S. still believe China is not doing enough. "Even if every other country in the world cut its emissions 80 percent by 2050¡­China¡¯s business-as-usual emissions alone would cause global average temperatures to increase by 2.7 degrees centigrade," warned U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy David Sandalow earlier this week in a speech delivered in Beijing.

I agree that more steps need to be taken, not just by China but by the world. I can understand the US wishing to push China to lead the world in sustainable power generation, but I feel as though they are throwing stones in a glass house. The US has been the world¡¯s largest polluter, by a large margin, for many years. And only very recently has China overtaken the US for the dubious honor of world¡¯s dirtiest economy. I do not, however, see this as the Chinese government¡¯s final move addressing climate change. This is just one of many steps to address the environment. China also announced recently they were beginning to promote the use of over 100 million energy-efficient light bulbs this year. According to one report, replacing ordinary bulbs with these compact energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs will help save 6.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.2 million tons.

Jackson Moller...

China Business 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

Trademark protection in the Facebook username registration

Facebook Inc. has announced that beginning at 12:01 am EDT on June 13, 2009, Facebook users will be allowed to create personalized usernames for their Facebook pages, in the form facebook.com/yourname?

There is a risk that some Facebook users will attempt to incorporate third party brands into their personalized Facebook usernames.

To address this potential problem, Facebook has provided an online procedure for brand owners to prevent their trademarks from being registered as Facebook usernames. Information for brand owners is available online at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=899. The online procedure for registering trademarks is at http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights.

The relevant registration form should be completed for each trademark by no later than Friday, June 12, 2009.

For more information about this topic, please contact Wang Donghui or anyone in our trademark department.

Followed is our contact information:

Attorney Wang Donghui: dhwang@lehmanlaw.com
Trademark Department: trademark@lehmanlaw.com
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China Law 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 1:29 pm

New Interns at Lehman, Lee & Xu

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Senayt Rahwa is a 2007 graduate from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in Finance and International Business. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, her research on racial and ethnic identity and contemporary African immigration was published in the spring of 2007. Additionally, in her post graduate years Senayt had the opportunity to work with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs exposing her to work in more than 7 sectors in three different cities. Among those, she was able to implement a cross-sector collaborative program for principle leadership training during her time with Boeing as well as working with the largest health care foundations in Missouri to design and implement several new initiatives in inner-city St. Louis. Senayt is currently pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Georgetown University with a concentration in international law.



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Eric Langland is a Juris Doctor candidate at Tulane University Law School. His core areas of interest are international trade law, international business transactions and international commercial arbitration. Mr. Langland's primary task this summer involves organizing, researching and writing parts of the trade law treatise Trade and Customs Law of China. In addition to the treatise, Mr. Langland is assisting attorneys in advising foreign businesses on investment enterprise structures in China and reviewing contracts for the sale of goods. Reflecting on his work with US antidumping petitions against Chinese steel producers, Mr. Langland said, "It was interesting to see how the Ministry of Commerce took a lead role in responding to the antidumping petitions. I am also curious to know what the near future holds for China and international trade litigation. It appears that due to the financial crisis more and more industries from developed countries are seeking recourse against Chinese exporters through trade remedies. This trend could have significant consequences for the practice of Chinese international trade law and Sino-US economic ties."



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Richard Fleming completed his undergraduate studies at Marist College in New York, where he received a degree in Psychology and International Relations. As a sophomore in college he traveled to Rome, Italy, for an intensive international relations program with St. John¡¯s University. Richard enjoyed traveling so much that during the winter of his senior year at Marist he studied interpersonal communication in Barbados. Before beginning his legal studies at Brooklyn Law School, Richard worked as a corrections counselor for the New York State prison system. He also began development of a web-based business.



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Jackson Moller will graduate in May 2010 from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA, USA. He is most interested in international and environmental legal issues. Before attending law school, Jackson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer on a small island called Onoun in Chuuk, Micronesia. During his stay on Onoun, Jackson monitored the nesting habits of sea turtles, read many books, and took even more naps in his hammock. He has also taught SCUBA diving in South East Asia and the Caribbean. Jackson is honored to be part of the Lehman Lee & Xu team in Beijing this summer....

Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 11, 2009, 12:08 pm

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN CHINA

¡°I was not aware of the growing problem with the current healthcare system in China until I began researching the new healthcare reform plan. Under the new plan, 90% of Chinese citizens will have basic healthcare within the next several years. The plan also provides that many doctors from rural areas will receive advanced medical training, which will improve conditions throughout China. The most interesting aspect of the new plan is the implementation of a National Essential Drug List, which will drastically cut prescription medicine prices on essential medicine. The plan has also revised the laws that hospitals and medical institutions must follow regarding drug mark ups and patient care charges, with the goal that basic care and medicine will be available to everyone. These advancements in the healthcare system will help pave the road for further economic and legal development throughout China. It will be very exciting to follow the pilot and trial implementation through 2011.¡±

By Richard Fleming, Intern at Lehman, Lee & Xu...

China News 0 Comment June 11, 2009, 10:07 am

PR-Class actions against Google's Adwords Progarm

Recently in the United States, two class actions have been filed against Google and other famous websites including You Tube and My Space in the Eastern District of Texas which is famous for its speedy processing of intellectual property cases.

Plaintiffs in the 2 actions are PFXS LLC, a small software company in Texas representing all Texas-based owners of federally-registered trademarks and John Beck Amazing Profits LLC in California representing all US-based owners of federally-registered trademarks. The two class action complaints¡¯ allegations are similar. Both allege that Google¡¯s act of allowing Competitors to buy advertising space triggered by ¡°Adwords¡± (keywords) and Keyword Suggestion Tool programs consisting of a registered trademark is to allow Competitors to intercept and divert consumers who were looking for the trademark owner¡¯s website or goods and such use may result in consumer confusion. Based on these points, the plaintiffs seek to hold Google and other defendants directly liable for trademark infringement, as well as contributory trademark infringement, inducement of trademark infringement and related claims.

If all procedural hurdles are cleared and the class actions proceeds well, the potential exists for damages amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and could affect the rights of all federally-registered US trademark owners. However, these 2 cases remind people to enhance their trademark protections regardless of the eventual outcomes and are important as regards similar such lawsuits in China.
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China Law 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 5:53 pm

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES IN BEIJING MEETS LEADING GOVERNMENT RELATIONS CHINESE LAW FIRM, LEHMAN, LEE & XU

Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s associates Lily Han and Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili, and summer associate Eric Langland, were invited by the Embassy of the Philippines in Beijing to hold a presentation session on labour and employment, family and criminal law at the Embassy on June 7, 2009. On the occasion of the pleasant lunch shared with Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s associates, Embassador Ms. Soia Bradi has pointed out the importance of promoting awareness of duties and rights under Chinese law for foreigners living in China.

The presentation aimed to provide China-based Philippines citizens with a practical understanding of their rights and duties as employers and employees of foreign and domestic companies in Beijing, and with an overview of relevant provisions of the Chinese family law and criminal law systems. More than one hundred people attended the event.

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Attorney Lily Han discussing the topics with the Philippines citizens

In particular, the labour and employment field in China is becoming more and more sophisticated due to recent legislative reforms which have included, amongst others developments, the promulgation of the new Employment Contract Law in 2008 and subsequent implementing regulations. However, the system maintains several uncertainties and it is extremely important to know how to navigate the ambiguous provisions of the law.

Lehman Lee & Xu, the only Chinese law firm in Beijing with a government relations practice group is constantly busy with the organization of seminars and presentations to diplomatic authorities in China about legal issues relating to a variety of fields, and is proud to serve as counsel to various Embassies in Beijing, including the US Embassy, the Embassy of Brazil, the Embassy of South Africa, the Embassy of Mexico, the Embassy of Argentina, the Embassy of Nigeria, the Embassy of Qatar, the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of Liberia, and the Embassy of Singapore.

Above, the lunch with Embassador Ms. Soia Bradi, Attorney Lester Flores, and our associates Lily Han and Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili (and summer associate Eric Langland, who was taking the picture!). Below (from left to right) summer associate Eric Langland, associate Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili, Embassador Ms. Soisa Bradi, and associate Lily Han.
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China Culture 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 3:50 pm

MIDWEST UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SET ¡°REAL WORLD¡± LECTURE ON DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA FROM THE LEADING CHINESE LAW FIRM LEHMAN, LEE & XU

Lehman, Lee & Xu was asked by the US Viterbo University to host on June 6, 2009, a class of students from various disciplines, including MBA and law programs, visiting Beijing for a research project on Chinese business and culture. The goal of the firm is to educate both Chinese and foreigners on the value of the Chinese rule of law. Viterbo University was established in 1937 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and represents one of the fastest-growing education institutions in the US, providing a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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Summer associate Senayt Rahwa discussing labour law issues

Foreign legal counsel Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili and summer interns Eric Langland and Senayt Rahwa delivered a series of lectures on the Chinese business culture and legal system, analyzing main issues that foreign investors face when investing in the Chinese market and their respective solutions from a law firm¡¯s perspective. The feedback from the students was rewarding for the law firm, which is regularly invited by overseas universities to organize lectures for students on Chinese law and customs. The event also presented a good opportunity for our summer interns Eric and Senayt to develop their public speaking skills and to improve their knowledge of Chinese law.

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Summer associate Eric Langland reviewing China investment vehicles

The right approach to the Chinese market, intellectual property protection and a practical understanding of employment law are all issues that China-oriented businesses face. To effectively establish a commercial presence on the Chinese territory, businesses must be knowledgeable in these areas and our presentations work toward this end.

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Viterbo University students, professors and directors, and our professionals Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili (on the right) and Eric Langland (in the middle)...

Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 1:50 pm

OUTBOUND FUNDS RULE TWEAKED

By Zhang Ran (China Daily)

Updated: 2009-06-10 09:21

China's foreign exchange regulator yesterday announced revised rules relaxing controls on companies' overseas investments in a bid to support more enterprises to venture out of the country.

Domestic companies can use their existing foreign exchange reserves or purchase fresh foreign exchange to fund the operations of their overseas subsidiaries from Aug 1, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on its website yesterday.

According to an October 2004 SAFE rule, large multinational companies were allowed to use their foreign exchange reserves to lend to overseas ventures but with heavy restrictions.

"Now, with the new rule, SAFE will allow all companies, including privately owned smaller firms, to purchase foreign currency to fund their overseas subsidiaries," Liu Guangxi, director of SAFE's capital account management department, said.

The new rule states that the total money the parent can lend to its overseas subsidiary should not exceed 30 percent of the former's equity base.

Overseas subsidiaries also will not be permitted to borrow more than the total amount of their investment registered with the administration, from their parent companies.

SAFE said the rule aims to support the overseas expansion of domestic firms, which have had trouble raising funds abroad due to the financial crisis.

The new rules will also simplify approval procedures for outbound investment.

SAFE also said it would establish a risk control mechanism to monitor these outbound investments and ensure the money was being properly used.

"The ease of control on foreign currency outflow will not have any major impact on China's foreign reserves position," SAFE said in the statement.

China has ample cash on hand to support overseas investment, with $2.9 trillion in foreign financial assets, including both official foreign exchange reserves and private holdings, at the end of 2008.

"We had done a stress test, and the maximum possible capital outflow from this new mechanism will be $30 billion," another SAFE official, Sun Lujun, said.

China's outbound investment has been very tepid compared with inflows from foreign investors, but the pace has started to pick up, nearly doubling to $52.2 billion in 2008 from $26.5 billion in 2007....

China Law 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 10:01 am

LEADING VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY LAW FIRM INVITED TO THE 11TH CHINA VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY FORUM

With the business sector in the midst of braving a financial storm of unprecedented scale, foreign legal counsel Charles Chan of Lehman, Lee & Xu attended the 11th China Venture Capital and Private Equity Forum in Shenzhen on June 5 and 6, to evaluate how law firms should adopt and operate on these tenuous business grounds, where this year¡¯s theme being ¡°Enhancing VC/ PE Core Competence and Forging the New Growing Engine for Chinese Economy.¡±

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The Forum analyzed the macroeconomic environment in China at present, evaluated the consequences of the financial crisis, discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by VC/ PE institutions and start-up companies. Panel sessions were held by academic scholars and industry experts on topics that included, inter alia, ¡°The Post-Financial Crisis Era: VC/ PE¡¯s Investment Strategies,¡± ¡°The Way to Become Bigger and Stronger for Chinese Start-up Enterprises,¡± and ¡°The Investment Hotspots in Clean Technology, Medical and Healthcare Industries.¡±


¡°This Forum offered a much-needed platform through which government officials, private investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals of various walks of life can gather and discuss fundamental issues that are not merely unique to the Chinese domestic markets, but also to the world economy at large,¡± Charles noted.

¡°The business world remains in an unstable, if not poor, health condition, although showing pockets of signs of recovery,¡± Charles commented. ¡°There is a thick layer of uncertainly still obstructing our foresight, where businesses are scrambling and searching for the next foothold from which to re-group and reload, and that hopefully will project them well for the years to come.¡±

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¡°As an integral part of our client¡¯s business, we at Lehman Lee and Xu must be acute and sensitive to the changed legal requirements in order to offer tailored and timely legal services to our clients, who depend on our expert advice and recommendations to succeed. In times like these, our alert response is critical,¡± Charles continued. ¡°This Forum is just what the doctor ordered, where ideas could be exchanged, new plans could be hatched, and new strategic alliances could be formed.¡±...

China Law 0 Comment June 9, 2009, 3:50 pm

Lehman, Lee & Xu as a new data partner for C&R

CORK, IRELAND, May 28, 2009 ¡ª Compliance & Risks (C&R) announced today that is has appointed China-based law firm Lehman, Lee & Xu as a new data partner. Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP will join the growing network of C&R¡¯s data partners, contributing to C&R¡¯s regulatory tool, C2P (Compliance-to-Product).

Head of C&R Legal Data Services, Sarah-Jane Denton, comments: ¡°Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP, one of China¡¯s top law firms, will be an excellent contributor to C2P. China¡¯s environmental landscape remains opaque for many companies. With its national coverage, Lehman is exceptionally well placed to provide guidance on the realities of Chinese regulation.¡±

About Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP
Lehman, Lee & Xu is a prominent Chinese law firm with affiliated offices across all mainland China and branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, and Mauritius. The full-service law firm has core expertise in intellectual property, foreign direct investment, corporate and commercial law, and energy and the environment.

About C&R
Compliance and Risks (C&R) is a Regulatory data, services and software company that helps businesses manage the impact of regulations and get compliance products to market. C&R was founded by Irish lawyer Damien McGovern, and has its headquarters in Cork, Ireland and the UK, with offices in California.

About C2P
Compliance-to-Product (C2P) is a web-based Compliance Knowledge Management system that currently includes more than 3,300 global regulations across key policy areas such as WEEE, RoHS, REACH, EPEAT, batteries, labelling, and packaging, all of which are updated on a daily basis. C2P provides compliance news, key dates, deadlines, exceptions, and exemptions, along with commentary from regional experts in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
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China Culture 0 Comment June 9, 2009, 3:40 pm

Warmest Welcome

We are pleased that we have an intern Mr. Jackson Moller, who is from Boston, to place his internship in our firm since today. Jackson is a Juris Doctor candidate. He will working as intern for the following 8-10 weeks at our Beijing office.

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Also pleased that we have an intern Mr. Richard Thomas Fleming, who is from New York, to place his internship in our firm since today. Richard is a Juris Doctor candidate. He will be working as intern at our Beijing office for the following 8 weeks.

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Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 8, 2009, 10:30 am

WOMAN WHO KILLED CADRE DEMANDING SEX CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

Kelly Chan

Jun 08, 2009

The hotel worker who killed a cadre who demanded sex in Hubei has been charged with assault instead of murder, mainland media have reported.

On May 10, Deng Guida , a low-level town official in Badong county, and two colleagues demanded that 21-year-old pedicurist Deng Yujiao have sex with them. Although Deng Yujiao told them she was not a prostitute, Deng Guida slapped her head with a pile of cash and twice pushed her onto a sofa.

Deng Yujiao fought back and, in the chaos, fatally stabbed Deng Guida and wounded his colleague, Huang Dezhi , with a fruit knife before she called police and turned herself in.

She was later detained on a charge of murder, which sparked public outcry because many believed she was defending herself against officials who were abusing their privileges. Last week police said Deng Yujiao had acted in self-defence, albeit with "excessive force".

County prosecutors charged Deng with assault on Friday, according to an indictment sent to the two Hubei lawyers who represent her, China News Service reported.

Beijing-based human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said public pressure had contributed to the change.

"An assault charge denies that Deng had a motivation to kill someone; instead, the defendant wanted only to affect a person's health," Mr Pu said. "This is closer to the facts."

He added that Deng would not be given the death penalty or a life sentence because the case was being handled by a county-level court.

The case escalated into a social issue because Deng was dubbed a heroine struggling against the authorities and their unbridled rights. Many netizens, volunteer lawyers, women's rights groups and other civil rights groups showed support and sympathy. Two Beijing lawyers were willing to defend for her free of charge, but they were dismissed by Deng's mother.

Last week, authorities in Enshi prefecture, which includes Badong county, ordered a crackdown on prostitution, gambling and drug abuse among officials amid public criticism of the officials' misbehaviour. Police said they would charge cadres who visited or provided protection to brothels.

South China Morning Post

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China News 0 Comment June 8, 2009, 9:30 am

CHINA'S FOREIGN TRADE SET TO DECLINE IN FIRST HALF

(Xinhua)


China's foreign trade sector now faces unprecedented difficulties and is set to decline in the first half year, said Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan Wednesday.

It's increasingly difficult to make a quick turnaround and the situation will remain gloomy in the second half year, Zhong said.

He made the remarks at a national meeting on export credit insurance held by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corp (Sinosure) - a policy-oriented insurer.

China should extend export credit insurance coverage and lower insurance rates to help exporters cut risks and insurers should help realize the State Council's aim to allocate $84 billion of short-term export credit insurance scale this year and allocate special funds for large equipment exports, Zhong said.

Zhong urged more focus on exports of labor-intensive products and high-tech products and stressed the importance of upgrading trade structure.

Exports in April fell 22.6 percent from a year earlier, the sixth straight monthly decline, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed.

"There is no doubt China's foreign trade will decline this year as global demand remains sluggish," Zhuang Jian, a senior economist with the Asian Development Bank office in Beijing, told Xinhua Thursday.

"Though there are some positive signals, for example growing shipping, they are not likely to be sustainable. If obvious recovery signals from major economies could be seen at the end of the year, China's trade might start to grow," Zhuang said.

Source: China Daily
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China News 0 Comment June 5, 2009, 9:10 am

CHINA, US TEAM UP TO TACKLE CRISIS

Cary Huang in Beijing
Jun 03, 2009

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday that Beijing would work with Washington to battle the global financial crisis, and announced cabinet-level meetings between the two countries in the US next month.

Mr Hu and Mr Wen met Mr Geithner on the final day of a whirlwind visit aimed both at winning Beijing's co-operation in tackling the economic downturn and at reassuring the central government that its massive investment in US government debt is safe.

"As influential nations in the world, China and the United States share comprehensive common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in tackling challenges from the global financial crisis and promoting the recovery of the world economy, as well as resolving global hot-button issues and maintaining world peace and security," Mr Hu said in a statement on a government website. He said China would like to work with the US to strengthen dialogue at all levels and expand exchanges and co-operation for fresh progress in bilateral relations. He announced that the two nations would start their cabinet-level strategic and economic dialogue in the US late next month.

Mr Hu described the dialogue mechanism as "an important platform for both nations to deepen understanding, mutual trust and co-operation". State Councillor Dai Bingguo , who is in charge of China's diplomacy, will hold strategic talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Vice-Premier Wang Qishan will hold talks with Mr Geithner.

Mr Hu said Sino-US relations had developed momentum because both sides had kept in close contact since the new US administration took office.

Mr Wen said the most important task for both countries was "to work more closely to address the international financial crisis, resolutely oppose protectionism in trade and investment, promote reform in the international financial system and tighten oversight of the international reserve currency so as to ensure the stability and growth of the Chinese and the American economies and the world economy".

During his meetings with mainland officials, Mr Geithner sought to reassure China that its US$768 billion of US government debt remained safe, even as investors dumped Treasury bills. There is growing concern among policymakers as well as academics about whether Washington has spent too lavishly in its attempt to haul the US economy out of its deep recession, at the sacrifice of Beijing's investment in US debt.

In an interview with mainland media yesterday, Mr Geithner said Chinese officials were confident in the US economy and the Obama administration's actions to restore financial stability and shore up the economy. "I've actually found a lot of confidence here in China, justifiable confidence, in the strength and resilience and dynamism of the American economy," Mr Geithner told the national broadcaster China Central Television.

In his speech to Peking University on Monday, Mr Geithner reiterated the US commitment to cut spending and reduce government aid to the financial system once stability returned. "We have a strong, independent central bank which is committed to keeping inflation stable and low over time," he said.

Source: South China Morning Post
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China News 0 Comment June 3, 2009, 9:46 am

Exposure Draft of the Interpretation of the Supreme People¡¯s Court on Several Issues about the Application of Laws for the Trial of Labor Dispute Cases (III)

Since the promulgation of the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, the labor dispute cases accepted by China¡¯s labor arbitration institutions and People¡¯s courts at all levels have been rising. Although the Regulation on the Implementation of the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China has been promulgated after the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, some specific problems still lack the support of more practical rules in the judicial practices.

The Exposure Draft of the Interpretation of the Supreme People¡¯s Court on Several Issues about the Application of Laws for the Trial of Labor Dispute Cases (III), issued a few weeks ago may be of great help in this aspect . The Exposure Draft, in accordance with the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, the Employment Contract Law of the People's Republic of China, the Civil Procedural Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations based on civil trial practices, gives the interpretations on several issues about the application of laws for the trial of labor dispute cases, including definition of employers, acceptance of cases, scope of social insurance disputes, determination of litigation subjects, confirmation of labor relationship, signature of labor contracts without fixed term, working life and number of times for signing contracts, compensation for competitive restriction, labor relations for foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, definition of labor dispatch entities, definition of higher management, dissolution and termination of labor contracts, arbitration acceptance and time limitation period for arbitration, burden of proof and other issues employees and employers are generally concerned about.

The provisions of the Interpretation on the issues about the application of laws possibly involved in labor dispute cases are more specific, practical and feasible. We believe the Interpretation, based on the opinions through extensive consultation with all parties, will provide a practical and unified legal basis for the people¡¯s courts and labor arbitration institutions at all levels to deal with the increasing labor disputes so as to promote the timely resolution of labor dispute cases around the country and be in favor of maintaining and promoting the realization of a harmonious socialist goal....

China Law 0 Comment June 2, 2009, 8:46 am

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