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The A-List 2021 |

The A-List 2021 |

Immediately after unprecedented current market feedback and extensive editorial analysis, China Business Regulation Journal offers this year’s elite legal professionals in the Chinese legal marketplace. Kevin Cheng reviews

This year has witnessed the obstinate pandemic largely below handle in China but sporadically rearing its head, as very well as the quick intensification of the regulatory ecosystem subsequent a collection of seismic lawful shake-ups, producing a backdrop versus which companies are settling into irrevocably altered roles and experiencing unfamiliar difficulties. For these reasons and far more, exterior legal knowledge from equally domestic and worldwide regulation companies is even additional really valued.

For the sixth calendar year in a row, China Business enterprise Regulation Journal has attained out to lawful practitioners, in-residence counsel and corporate administration, inviting nominations of non-public apply attorneys that, in their viewpoint, deserve recognition for their contribution and excellence about the earlier 18 months.

The reaction was on a scale that went further than all anticipations. The 200 elite attorneys in the A-Record comprise 100 practitioners of Chinese legislation and 100 worldwide lawyers fully commited to China-associated organizations, and ended up selected just after meticulous exploration from more than 2,000 nominations from across the globe.


When questioned to recommend attorneys who have lent their exclusive knowledge and assisted their client firms navigate by significant moments, corporate counsel ended up fulsome in their praise.

Chen Wei, a Beijing-based mostly companion at JunHe, obtained compliments from Huang Yeping, an govt director at Morgan Stanley, for his speciality in elaborate task structuring and shipping and delivery.

Chen was also described as “a excellent lawyer in the telecom sector and M&A-associated sectors” and “a top lawyer in web knowledge centre (IDC) businesses” by Frank Lover, the working director at I Squared Capital, a private fairness agency concentrating on world wide infrastructure investments headquartered in Miami.

Hu Jin, the president of Harbin Gloria Group, managing shareholder of Shenzhen-listed Harbin Gloria Pharmaceutical, was amazed by the lawful services delivered by Jin Chengfeng, a Beijing-based husband or wife at TianTong Legislation Organization, throughout the company’s intense personal bankruptcy and reorganisation.

“Jin is a very experienced and dedicated lawyer, one of the best that I’ve experienced the satisfaction to do the job with,” states Hu.


Joy Jiang, a senior legal manager of Xiaomi Mobile Computer software, considers Hu Gaochong, a partner at the Beijing head business of Zhonglun W&D Regulation Company, a “trustworthy partner” and “an excellent specialist in dispute resolution”.

“In lawsuits, Hu Gaochong can acutely determine the weak hyperlinks of the adverse occasion and exploit them to his edge, which usually yields remarkable results,” claims Jiang.

Hu Gaochong was further praised by Diao Yunyun, the legal director of Tencent, for his substantial practical experience in labour disputes, and by Gu Yajing, the legal director of BNP Paribas, for powerful authorized analytical potential.

With his expertise in overseas listing, Liu Zhenguo, running director at the Shenzhen business office of DeHeng Regulation Places of work, managed to impress Jiang Keyang, board secretary and main fiscal officer of Ming Yuan Cloud Team, a electronic solution service provider on the serious estate price chain. “From environment up the general overseas structure to streamlining our corporate background, Liu was instrumental in the company’s IPO in Hong Kong,” claims Jiang.


Zhang Tianyu, compliance supervisor at the London branch of China Retailers Bank, determined Paul Li, a husband or wife at the London workplace of Zhong Lun Regulation Business, as a very skilled English Regulation law firm with major expertise in the banking and financial sectors. Li is their very long-time period authorized counsel in drafting, commenting on and negotiating syndicated and bilateral financial loans.

This has been a historic year for China’s lawful practitioners for various motives, starting with the implementation of the nation’s initially Civil Code, and followed by the step-by-stage maturation of its thorough information regulation, with the Data Stability Regulation using result in September and the Personal Information and facts Security Regulation two months later on.

The upheavals in China’s authorized landscape without doubt posed issues to lawful practitioners all all around, but they also represented alternatives for the well-prepared. Li Chunyi, a lover at the Beijing head office environment of Zhongzi Regulation Office, proved to be one particular of them. “Proficient and responsive, Li Chunyi excels at locating the appropriate and feasible resolution in intricate conditions,” claims Wang Na, a authorized supervisor at Beijing’s Funds Airport Holding, who also explained to us that Li hosted a amount of Civil Code-themed teaching sessions for their subsidiaries.

On the frontier of data security, Ramon Huang, a Shanghai-primarily based senior associate at Hui Ye Legislation Firm, emerged as a reliable extensive-expression option company on personal information and facts security and info compliance for CloudWalk Technology, a Chinese developer of facial recognition application, in accordance to Tao Fuwu, the standard manager of its authorized division.

Hannto Know-how, an clever business components company and provider in Shanghai, selected Yang Xun, a community associate at Llinks Regulation Business, to provide its lawful counsel. “With profound insight in mental home protection and details stability, Yang is able to stay on top rated of legal and economic developments,” claims Lee Ying, chief of staff of Hannto. “He is normally exact, timely and useful with his advice, safeguarding our firm interests to the biggest attainable extent.”

Ramon Huang also offers common legal counsel on private details safety and facts compliance for CloudWalk Engineering, a Chinese developer of facial recognition software package, in accordance to Tao Fuwu, the typical manager of CloudWalk Technology’s legal office.

Intellectual assets security is another lawful place that saw huge shifts in China through the yr, for which Guan Rui, lawful common supervisor at New Oriental Instruction and Engineering, turns to Guo Chunfei, a senior lover at the Beijing office environment of Tiantai Legislation Agency. “Guo is thoroughly expert in mental assets, equipped to deliver specialised and powerful authorized companies,” suggests Guan.

Emil Zhang, director of the European IPR section of Huawei Technologies, gave significant marks to Gao Xiang, a Shanghai-centered husband or wife at AllBright Regulation Places of work, for his insights in mental residence and essential technologies. “Gao strategises from the client’s point of view, which typically prospects to him directing the client’s aims to a satisfying conclusion.”

With mergers & acquisition, litigation and funds markets continuing to guide in exercise areas in which the most A-Listing legal professionals display the benefit of their products and services, legal counsel in additional specialised or even area of interest places can be really useful but reasonably challenging to arrive by.


“Not only a seasoned and licensed pro on maritime and transport, Loh has loaded experience in the broader discipline of worldwide trade,” claims Wang Zhenming, basic counsel of China Global United Petroleum & Chemical compounds (Unipec), of Loh Wai Yue, husband or wife and chief consultant of the Beijing business office of Ince & Co. “He targets clients’ needs with utter precision, is fast to occur up with solutions, and exhibits maturity and specialist advantage in complicated multi-jurisdictional disputes.”

In conditions of the rapid-escalating life science field, Zhou Zhenyang, deputy legal director of Roche Diagnostics (Shanghai) commends Katherine Wang, a Shanghai-centered partner at Ropes & Grey, for her know-how in NMPA (Countrywide Medical Goods Administration), HGRAC (Human Genetics Means Administration of China) and healthcare knowledge regulation, as properly as her consumer-centric ethic.

Victor Gallo, typical counsel at PlayAGS, was capable to protected the know-how of Gao Jun, a lover at the Shanghai business office of Zhong Lun Law Company who, in addition to his corporate authorized awareness, was nicely-versed and up-to-day in China’s gambling laws. PlayAGS is a on line casino activity and program developer, maker and provider headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the instances of some attorneys, their route to excellence can be difficult to imitate. Victor Liu, senior director and senior lawful counsel at NBA China, nominated Zou Wen, the founding partner of GEN Law Company, believing that Zou’s special expertise as a former judge granted her intimate familiarity with the litigation method.

Outside of LAWYERING

Intuitively, we attribute an in-depth knowing of authorized provisions, the ability to continue to be one phase in advance of marketplace shifts and turns, and broad-ranging practising experience as the top rated features embodied by an elite attorney. But these are by no signifies the only aptitudes enabling attorneys to stand out.

“Zhang shows the best level of professionalism, with strong ethics and a responsibility of care to the customer that exceeds usual sector specifications,” observes Nicholas Erekose Sim, the CEO of Fiduciary Securities (Hong Kong), who goes on to describe Chris Zhang, senior spouse at Jincheng Tongda & Neal Regulation Organization to be “very pushed, and despite a large amount of success, functions long several hours each working day and responds quickly and to the point”.

Assiduousness is a virtue to several firms in need of exterior lawful expert services because of to the possible workload associated, as was the scenario with Shanghai Movie (Team) Company, which enlisted the support of Michael Liu, a senior husband or wife at Dentons, for organising and streamlining their substantial film and Television library.

“Liu has aided us organise in excess of 1,500 films and Tv set solutions in the span of 6 months, which was a enormous amount of money of get the job done, unheard of in our company’s history,” suggests Peng Yong, the lawful director. In addition, Liu well prepared a specific report with tips on upcoming day-to-working day copyright functions and safety.

Michael Liu’s willingness to go the more mile is a reminder of a lawyer’s fundamental function as issue solver.

Other than appreciating the legal analytical capabilities of Anthony McKenzie, Singapore-primarily based handling companion and head of corporate at Carey Olsen, Alan Cheung, the general counsel of a family members office, praises him for getting equipped to “offer assistance that not only weighs in on the execs and downsides of some difficult problems but is commercially executable, even when it is not asked of him”.

Proficiency in communications, or people abilities, is an space at times taken for granted but must in no way be underestimated in a lawyer’s get the job done, particularly when involving cross-jurisdiction disputes, the place anything from linguistic and cultural limitations to politics threatens to get in the way.


Ermanno Vitali enjoys a close functioning romantic relationship with D’Andrea & Partners in his ability as the CEO of FAAM China, praising Carlo D’Andrea, founder and handling lover of the worldwide firm, as a “leading Italian lawyer” that “assists a lot of Italian multinationals in their small business in China”.

His commendation extends to Matteo Zhi, senior lover at D’Andrea centered in Shanghai. “Matteo is just one of the few Chinese attorneys who have studied in Italy and could do the job with the consumer right in the Italian language,” claims Vitali. “His deep knowledge in inter-cultural knowledge normally can help in important negotiations of cross-border transactions.”

The price of lawyers’ capabilities to carry people together in spite of cultural and jurisdictional gaps has not long gone unnoticed. Aaron Shao, the head of legal (Higher China) of Abbott, a US-headquartered multinational medical unit and health care firm, conveyed to us his significant feeling on Tiana Zhang, a Shanghai-based mostly litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis.

“Tiana has an intimate knowing of law and tradition in each the US and China, as well as substantial investigation and litigation experience in both equally jurisdictions,” he claims. “She is properly positioned to work on matters that have prospective cross-border legal implications.”

In inter-jurisdictional dealings, attorneys should be ready to not only prolong their skills to a diverse established of guidelines and polices, but also be ready to switch their way of thinking at a moment’s recognize. Rossana Chu, managing husband or wife at LC Attorneys, is explained as perfectly-versed in the two regards.

“Her knowledge of Chinese establishments and tradition, and the complexity included, is unrivalled,” suggests Philip Ng, handling director and head of lawful and compliance of CMB Global.

Daphne Tse, CFO and organization secretary of Greenheart Group, a Hong Kong-based multinational forestry firm, echoes those sentiments. “[Chu’s] experience and information give us a perception of self esteem that a accurate skilled is usually standing shoulder to shoulder with us to safeguard our company’s interests.”

Professionalism, in the perception of both of those know-how and devotion, can get the job done miracles in keeping attorney-shopper interactions. Wang Ran, head of China personal debt funds markets department at UBS, credits Renee Xiong, a associate at Sidley Austin’s Hong Kong workplace, as one of their most honest long-phrase companions for her expertise in the Asian money sector and her effectively-recognised professionalism.

A taking care of director of a leading Asian study institution was also amazed by the attentiveness to detail of Bill Wu, controlling partner at Hairuo & Associates in Shanghai. “Wu is extremely empathetic,” he states. “He conveys both legal sense and sensibilities.”


As the world-wide economy continues to face uncertainties along several fronts, dependable and insightful authorized counsel able to steer businesses properly as a result of the mist in a constructive, deliberate method can exceed the deal with benefit of these types of solutions.

Alec Orudjev, standard counsel of FT World-wide Funds, puts his believe in and self-assurance in Justin Chen, founder and taking care of partner at PacGate Law Team, whom Orudjev describes as acquiring a fantastic, extremely helpful and reassuring approach to consumer issues.

“In these unstable financial moments and demanding worldwide regulatory environment, Chen is a person of a handful of remarkable authorized specialists I sense snug turning to for tips and direction on quite a few complicated, multi-faceted and time-delicate matters,” suggests Orudjev.