The Law Society of England and Wales would like to thank its members and participants from China for making the Chinese legal market visit to London 2015 such a resounding success.

“China, the world’s second largest economy, represents an enormous opportunity for members dealing with cross border matters as well as helping their clients to manage inbound/outbound investment” says Law Society president Jonathan Smithers.

To help English and Welsh law firms tap into some of these opportunities, the Law Society, through its extensive network in China, organised a four-day programme for like-minded commercial lawyers to meet and share pertinent and up-to-date information about legal and business developments in the UK and China.

The Chinese delegation was made up of 14 highly impressive lawyers from well-known firms based in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, all with international experience in a range of different specialist areas.

They took part in an extensive programme at the Law Society which included attendance at our annual International Marketplace conference, targeting SME and regional firms from England and Wales, as well as bespoke help in arranging one-to-one business development meetings with Law Society members. We also organised a panel discussion on ‘Solving international disputes using English law’ which gave English and Welsh solicitors the opportunity to pitch their expertise to Chinese firms.

We would like to give particular thanks to English and Welsh firms Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Holman Fenwick William LLP and Rubenstein Philips Lewis Smith for hosting lunches at their offices, as well Colin Davey, from the University of Law for providing a taster session on English Contract law.

The visit provided a valuable opportunity for Chinese firms to gain insights in to how to do business in the UK, and for English and Welsh law firms to meet potential partners and clients that they may not have necessarily met otherwise.

Read what solicitors who participated in the programme had to say:

“This is yet another good example of where the Law Society has greatly helped English firms in expanding their international reach, in particular, to the increasingly more important emerging markets, including China. It was a great opportunity to be able to have direct conversations with the Chinese delegation in relation to both doing business in the Chinese legal market and how English firms may assist Chinese law firms and companies in the UK. The delegation was a good mix of high quality lawyers from a wide range of law firms with various practice areas, and covering different regions in China. Overall it was an excellent and very useful experience.” Yang Zhao, Associate, Holman Fenwick Willan LLP

“Our meeting with the Chinese lawyers was exceptionally inspiring, it helped my colleagues understand and appreciate the characteristics of another culture as well as its complexity and diversity. Whilst we developed a sense of cross-cultural acceptance, we also gained valuable insight into the Chinese legal market as well as the opportunities for cross-border collaboration for mid-market English and Chinese law firms. We made valuable friendships which we are going to develop further, special thanks to Donna and Sonam from the International team for their invaluable contribution!” Puiyee Tang, Head of China Desk, Rubinstein Philips Lewis Smith

“As a firm strongly committed to business both in and from the PRC and with our office in HK SAR, we were delighted to take part in helping to make the delegation visit a success. It is always a pleasure to meet with lawyers from a number of major PRC cities, old friends and new, to exchange ideas, thoughts and best practice.” Jonathan Tattersall, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard LLP

“I thought the visit was brilliantly organised; very interesting and with extremely good speakers. Thanks to Sonam and Donna for all their efforts.” Sheldon Cordell, Joelson Wilson LLP

Thoughts from the Chinese delegates:

“The Chinese legal market visit to London, organised by the Law Society of England and Wales, was truly fantastic! I found it even more insightful and fruitful than other events (like the IBA and IPBA) I have attended previously, since it focused entirely on English and Chinese law. I also found it very useful to discuss Chinese law during the ‘Doing legal business in China’ session, as I was able to explore with solicitors the practical differences between the laws and lawyers of China and E&W. It was also very impressive to visit and meet with various London law firms. Being an arbitrator and mediator in various arbitration commissions myself, I found the ADR under English law panel discussion very insightful and a great opportunity to exchange views with English experts.” Pan Li Dong, Partner, Wang Jing & Co (Shenzhen office)

“We definitely made the right decision to participate in this fantastic and valuable visit, which was very well-organised by the Law Society. All workshops, networking events, panel discussions and working lunches were very informative and practical. We had one-to-one meetings with several UK firms of various size and expertise, which have helped us to establish mutual cooperation. This is exactly as I experienced five years ago in a similar visit organised by the Law Society. We really appreciate all efforts made by the Law Society for the event.” David Wan, Senior partner, Beijing Guo & Partners

“Thank you to the Law Society for this excellent opportunity – I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and will treasure the memories!” David Wang, Senior partner, Yingke

If you are interested in viewing the presentations slides from the Chinese and English and Welsh firms please email Sonam Khan. Additionally, if you are interested in receiving the contact details of the Chinese delegates please do get in touch.

We have plenty of new China-related opportunities and events coming up in 2015. To keep up to date sign up to the International Update newsletter or join the International Division today.