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Overview

The past year saw a general reduction in China-related M&A activity, with the weak global economy, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and China’s leadership change all being contributing factors. The private equity sector in Greater China has also struggled in recent times, and the continued uncertainty in the global economy and shifting investment strategies have led to an increase in divestments by multinational companies and other foreign investors.

Nonetheless, the enthusiasm of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for energy and resources assets continues to drive outbound investment, as indicated by several significant oil and gas deals announced by Chinese oil companies in relation to assets in Latin America, Canada, the US, Australia and Africa, as well as increased activity in the renewable sectors, both on the inbound and outbound sides.

King & Wood Mallesons again provided the legal market’s breaking news, in July 2013 sealing a merger with UK legal practice SJ Berwin LLP; the tie-up is set to go live in November 2013. Other highlights included Norton Rose LLP’s combination with US law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP to form Norton Rose Fulbright, adding Hong Kong and Beijing-based Jeffrey Blount and Jie Zhang to the practice.

Recently opened mainland China offices for international firms include Eversheds LLP launching in Beijing with two new partner hires in corporate energy law expert Ingrid Zhu-Clark, who joined from the Beijing office of Morgan Lewis LLP, and corporate lawyer Jay Ze; and Seyfarth Shaw LLP opening a new Shanghai office after hiring DLA Piper’s Wan Li as its chief representative. DLA Piper also recruited, bringing in Hong Kong based China energy head Carolyn Dong from King & Wood Mallesons.

Among other developments, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. announced the closure of its Shanghai office; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP appointed new leadership in China, with Anthony Root, the former head of its Asian corporate practice and Greater China offices, retiring in May 2013 and corporate partner Edward Sun, the chief representative of the firm’s Beijing base, set to leave before the end of the year; and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP bolstered its Beijing corporate practice with the addition of Chen Li, who joined from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

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Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in China

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Foreign Investment Opportunities in Medical Service Sectorin the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

    On November 13, 2013, the Shanghai Municipal Government issued the Tentative Measures on the Administration of Foreign Owned Medical Institutions in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone [Hu-Fu-Ban-Fa [2013] No.63] (" Measures "). According to the Measures, a foreign investor, who has engaged in medical institution investment or management for 5 years or more, may, upon the approval by the relevant local government authorities, set up a wholly foreign owned medical institution (" Medical WOFE ") in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (" Shanghai FTZ "). Also, the Measures might open up an investment opportunity for foreign capital to enter the nursing home market in China.
  • China Customs Further Reforms Import & Export Clearance Procedures

    The General Administration of Customs (" GAC ") issued Announcement [2013] No. 58 (" Announcement ") on October 30, 2013, announcing its decision to further reform the customs clearance procedures for importation and exportation, whereby as from November 1, 2013, an AA Category enterprise in China Customs' AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) program, after filing application and signing an MOU with the customs, may choose to file import/export declarations and have the goods cleared at the local customs office of the place where such enterprise is located rather than where the port of entry or exit is located (" Privileged Model ").
  • Multinationals urged to watch out for customs duty risks in royalty payments

    Chinese customs authorities have recently stepped up price investigations focusing on cross-border payments of intellectual property ("IP") royalties or license fees. More and more multinational companies ("MNC") have been chosen by the customs as principal audit/investigation targets for their royalty arrangements between Chinese subsidiaries and foreign parent companies or other associated parties. HaoLiWen customs practice lawyers have been approached by some of MNCs to advise on dutiability of such royalty payments and any risk exposure to customs law violation or even smuggling.
  • The hot season of apricots and almonds in China

    On August, 2013, a consumer filed a complaint for misleading advertising with Dong Xin AIC (Zhejiang province) against Hangzhou-based roasted nut and dry-food producer Yaotaitai.
    - HFG
  • China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area:Foreign Investors’ Investment Opportunities

    The State Council has approved establishment of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area ("SHFTA") and more flexible, efficient and open economic administration will be carried out within SHFTA. In summary, two aspects of breakthroughs are relevant to foreign direct investment in SHFTA.
  • Shanghai Special Customs Supervision Zones Upgraded as National Pilot Free Trade Area

    On August 22, 2013, MOFCOM announced that the State Council of China approved the establishment of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Area ("SHFTA") to cover four customs supervision zones (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Park, Yangshan Bonded Port and Shanghai Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone), with a total area of 28.78 square kilometers. It was reported that SHFTA will be formally established by the end of September, 2013. Early in September, the NPC StandingCommittee will determine adjusting some administrative examination and approval measures under some laws to be applied to SHFTA.
  • Small Labels, Big Matters-- Product Labeling under P.R.C. Law

    Normally perceived as a very small piece in the whole picture of production and distribution, product labeling is seldom taken seriously by distributors. However, the consequences of improper label are exceptionally severe in serious cases, including but not limited to:
  • Novel food, new regualtion

    China's regulation of so called " Novel food " is changing.
    - HFG
  • CHINA gossIP - Intellectual Property Journal - July/August 2013

    In this issue:
    - HFG
  • Dilemma and options for the Intellectual Property protection of product design

    Product design is playing an increasingly important role in commercial competition nowadays. Other than product quality, it is the design of a product that draws consumer's attention. A well designed product is more likely to impress consumers with its fashion appearance.
    - HFG

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Hengeler Mueller advises GlaxoSmithKline on its major multiple-part interconditional transaction...

    Hengeler Mueller is advising GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on German corporate and real estate aspects as well as German employment and pensions aspects on two parts of the major three-part interrelated transaction with Novartis announced on 22 April 2014. The two parts of the transaction include GSK and Novartis combining their respective Consumer Healthcare businesses to form a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare business and GSK acquiring Novartis' global Vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines) for an initial cash consideration of US$5.25bn with subsequent potential milestone payments of up to US$1.8bn and ongoing royalties.
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Talanx on first secondary listing of a German company on the Warsaw Stock E

    Talanx AG today successfully completed its listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Following its IPO in Germany in 2012, Talanx shares are now also tradable in Warsaw (with a market capitalisation of just under €6.9bn). Talanx is the first German company with a secondary listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The transaction was carried out by way of a special transaction structure concerning tradability and certification of the shares.
  • Mikhail Aleksandrov was a moderator of the discussion in the International Forum...

    Mikhail Aleksandrov, Partner of DS Law, moderated the panel discussion «Capitalising on New Large-Scale Opportunities in the Russian Infrastructure Sector».
    - DS Law
  • DS Law participated in the Lawyers Career Day in the MSLA

    On April 4 DS Law.Attorneys participated in the 8th exhibition-forum "The Lawyers Career Day" in the Moscow State University of Law by the name of O.E.Kutafin (MSLA) dedicated to the professional growth and career of associates.
    - DS Law
  • Mikhail Aleksandrov moderated the discussion in the Forum "Private Equity and Venture Capital"

    Mikhail Aleksandrov, Partner of DS Law.Attorneys, moderated the panel discussion "Capitalising on Large-Scale Opportunities in the Russian Infrastructure Sector" in the 10th International Forum "Private Equity and Venture Capital". The Forum was organized by C5.
    - DS Law
  • Pepeliaev Group at the 10th annual Legal Forum

    Pepeliaev Group has become the partner at Vedomosti newspaper's 10th annual legal forum, which will be held in Moscow on 17-18 April 2014. It is noteworthy that, 10 years ago, it was Pepeliaev Group that was the driving force behind the first forum. Now the event has become a landmark occasion in the Russian legal calendar. Over the last decade, major business figures have come together every year, hosted by the newspaper Vedomosti, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the legal sector and Russia's judicial system. The first day of the conference will feature a plenary session ‘Deoffshoring the economy and creating a favourable business environment', with Sergey Pepeliaev, managing partner of Pepeliaev Group, taking the chair.
  • Round table “Improvement of the transparency and effectiveness in the work of the Supreme Administ

    A round table was held on 15/04/2014 in "Sheraton" hotel in relation to the financed by OPAC project  "Improvement of the transparency and effectiveness in the work of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC)". /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
  • “Popov and partners” will consult the Supreme Judicial Council

    In the beginning of April 2014 the Supreme Judicial Council chose "Popov & Partners" Law Office for consultant in the preparation of documentations according to the Public Procurement Act for selection of contractors for the supply of goods and services to ensure the institution's activities in the period between 2014 - 2015.
  • Kim & Chang: Korea Law Firm of the Year – The Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2013

    Kim & Chang was selected as ‘The Korea Law Firm of the Year' at the Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2013, surveyed and announced by ALB (Asian Legal Business), a renowned legal publication in Asia owned by Thomson Reuters.
  • Kim & Chang recognized as one of world’s top 10 pro bono firms- Who’s Who Legal Pro Bono Survey

    Kim & Chang was recognized as one of the top 10 pro bono leading law firms in the world according to Who's Who Legal Pro Bono Survey 2013 , published by Who's Who Legal, an international legal media. Kim & Chang is the only Asian firm to be selected.