Getting a foot in the door

Despite having a slowing economy, China’s economic growth is still exceeding that of many Western Countries. Slowing economies have had adverse effects on the legal industries within those countries and now many lawyers and firms are looking to China for growth and development opportunities.

However, things in life are rarely simple. One can’t just move to China and set up a law firm on a whim. Many opportunities are restricted to local lawyers and law firms. Recently, there has been official action taken towards international firms that have encroached on the territories of local firms.

The China Law Blog – written by Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson of Harris & Moure — views the actions taken as follows:

It is important to note that China’s legal practice laws relating to foreign lawyers are not draconian. They are not too dissimilar from the laws in most other countries. Foreign lawyers are not allowed to practice in any of the 50 U.S. states. Korea does not allow foreign law firms at all (I do not understand how this is not a WTO violation). I have been told China’s laws on this are actually quite similar to those in Japan.

So is China doing the same things as other countries? Well the answer is no, not entirely.

China is actually going through a period of liberalization with regards to its legal services sector. An example of this can be found in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, where foreign law firms can enter into Joint Ventures with local law firms to exchange staff and to share their income on a joint agreed basis.

The rules for joint venture law firms were promulgated by the General Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, in Hu Fu Ban Fa [2014] No.63….. Click on the link below to read more.

Getting a foot in the door

Published by Christopher Fung on November 19th, 2015 tagged China News

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