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Editorial

PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Zhen Lu - JunHe LLP
    • Wenyan Xu - Zhong Lun Law Firm

Shanghai-based employment law boutique Baohua Law Firm continues to be instructed on some of the largest legal issues concerning labour dispatch (a contract model utilising agency workers) and human resources. It has an impressive list of multinational clients in the fashion, healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries, among others. Baohua Dong is ‘commercial, practical and a pleasure to deal with’, John Dong is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and Jay Chen, Anson Gu and Jie Yang are other names to note.

JunHe LLP’s seven-partner team regularly advises foreign-invested enterprises on employment aspects of M&A, restructuring and liquidation transactions. A team, led by group head Dongpeng Wang and Hongjuan Bai – both in Beijing – and Shanghai-based Jianjun Ma, handled two collective disputes in labour arbitration tribunals and courts arising from terminations over non-compliance issues. The team also acted on a number of mass layoffs. Shanghai-based Gordon Feng has particular expertise in termination, mass layoff and compliance issues.

King & Wood Mallesons is ‘highly experienced in handling complex labour issues during mass layoffs’. In 2015, Linda Liang assisted a Fortune 500 company with adjusting its labour dispatch model, and acted for a Sino-foreign joint venture company regarding disputes over pay equality. Lucy Lu ‘knows how to handle difficult relationship and is able to figure out the dynamics on different projects quickly’, Junlu Jiang and Shenzhen-based Juquan Yin are also recommended, and Guangzhou-based Ai Luo was promoted to the partnership in July 2016.

River Delta Law Firm’s ‘attention to detail is second to none’, and the team is particularly recommended for its employment law training expertise. Jason Lu’s team has an impressive client roster which features The Royal Bank of Scotland, Philips and Deloitte. Lu is supported by the well-regarded Cathy Qu, Lin Sun and Jeff Peng. Recent matters include handling a fatal injury claim and disputes arising from the termination of labour dispatch agreements.

Zhong Lun Law Firm is particularly experienced in all aspects of HR management. The firm’s broad client roster includes international companies, SOEs and financial institutions. Carol Zhu, who ‘can foresee potential risks and give appropriate advice’, recently assisted Shanghai Sulzer Engineering & Machinery Works with its redundancy strategy involving 390 employees across different locations. Haiyan Duan specialises in labour arbitration and litigation.

DeHeng Law Offices assists a large number of SOEs with a broad range of contentious and non-contentious labour matters; representative clients include China National Tobacco Corporation, CCTV, Ipsen and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Wenwei Su is also recommended for HR management and other commercial arbitration, and serves as an arbitrator in the Beijing municipal labour dispute arbitration committee. Jianping Wang has a strong track record of handling high-profile labour disputes.

James Hu’s team at Fangda Partners handles a wide spectrum of employment matters. The team assisted Four Seasons in conducting compliance audits in a number of its hotels in the PRC and represented a pharmaceuticals company during an investigation into misconduct by employees and subsequent disciplinary action. Corporate partners Andrew Zhang and Xie Zheng are recommended for employment matters concerning M&A and foreign direct investment transactions.

Lanbai Law Firm’s highly regarded seven-partner group is led by George Lu, who has particular expertise in labour-related arbitration, mass layoffs and employee resettlement litigation. The team regularly handles employment aspects of corporate transactions and its client roster features a number of Fortune 500 companies. Linda Lou, Ben Zhang and Aaron Qian are key names to note for labour arbitration.

TransAsia Lawyers has a strong reputation in representing multinational clients concerning contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Isabelle I H Wan advises clients such as Pret A Manger, Airbus, Google and CNN on a broad range of matters.

AnJie Law Firm bolstered its employment practice in October 2015 by hiring the well-regarded Zhenghe Liu, who has particular expertise in employment disputes proceedings. Some of the key clients include DHL Express, Aruba Networks and Taikang Life Insurance Company.

Beijing Easyhal Law Firm has solid experience handling employment law matters for corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies and SOEs. Yingping Wu has ‘in-depth knowledge across the board’ and ‘understands client needs’.

Global Law Office’s team is jointly led by Shanghai-based Weiwei Gu and Beijing-based Zhao Li. Li handles labour and human resource management for multinational clients and their Chinese subsidiaries and Gu focuses on non-contentious labour matters. Recent work for the team includes acting on a dispute over termination of employment, a mass layoff and an employment matter arising from M&A and restructuring.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal acts for a wide range of domestic companies and has experience of advising employers in collective bargaining and labour union matters, while the ‘pragmatic and commercial’ Feng Liang is particularly recommended for his experience in litigation and arbitration cases. The Orient Hotel Management Company, China Minmetals and TCL Healthcare are clients.


Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: foreign firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Baker McKenzie has a longstanding reputation as an eminent labour and employment law practice in China and Hong Kong, as well as covering related areas such as immigration, pensions, tax, investigations, disputes and data privacy. It recently acted for a major sports goods manufacturer in a mass employee strike at a Shanghai factory. Shanghai-based Zheng Lu was promoted to partner. Bofu An is a key special counsel in Beijing and Jonathan Isaacs, Paul Tan and Rowan McKenzie are the main names in Hong Kong.

Simmons & Simmons is highly recommended for its experience in complex, strategic employment matters and its client base includes international financial institutions, government agencies and multinational corporations. Hong Kong-based Fiona Loughrey heads the group, which also includes Sarah Berkeley, who is ‘highly efficient, provides outstanding levels of service and takes the time to know clients’, and who advises on structuring and operating incentive schemes, negotiated terminations, the employment aspects of investigations, and employment disputes. Shanghai-based Lesli Ligorner is also recommended.

DLA Piper acts on complex, cross-border employment matters for well-known multinationals, including handling high-profile employment disputes and investigations. Beijing-based Johnny Choi has covered matters involving the financial services, aviation, life sciences, technology and retail sectors. Shanghai-based associate Alan Wang is another experienced figure and Julia Gorham in Hong Kong is also highly rated.

Hogan Lovells International LLP recently acted for Citco Fund Services (USA) on the dissolution of its Shanghai subsidiary and the employment arrangements with its Shanghai employees. The team heads are Philip Cheng and Roy Zou in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively.

Pinsent Masons’ team ‘provides an excellent level of service that includes good response times and a solid knowledge of international companies in China’. The practice advises on employment contracts and compliance, social security, and layoffs or workforce restructuring, including negotiations with unions. The team also acts on the employment law aspects of M&A and disputes. Department head Helen Chang ‘identifies the right business and legal solutions, and gives excellent guidance on risks and appropriate mitigation methods’. Wei Liu is another key contact; other experienced practitioners include counsel William Qie, legal director Ginger Zhou and senior associate Gillian Miao. All named lawyers are based in Shanghai.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s team ‘gives solid, pragmatic advice at a reasonable rate’. Shanghai and Beijing-based Matthew Durham leads the firm’s China employment practice and is ‘an excellent lawyer who knows the Chinese corporate and employment environment well and provides a level of service that an international company expects’. His experience includes advising a Fortune 500 retailer on the closure and restructuring of its store operations in mainland China, a matter which involved layoffs of more than 1,000 employees.

At Clyde & Co LLP, Shanghai-based Carrie Yang represents clients such as financial services groups, global insurance and reinsurance companies, petrochemicals companies, medical groups and offshore airlines in employment-related work. Iris Duchetsmann left the firm.

Shanghai-based Kevin Jones heads Faegre Baker Daniels’ labour and employment practice in China; he has a particular focus on acquisition and reorganisation-related staffing issues, strategic advice and employee hiring or termination. He is also experienced in advising on company and compliance policies (including anti-corruption mandates), trade union issues and collective contracts and labour disputes. Associate Claire Zhao (also in Shanghai) is recommended for complex labour disputes, workforce reductions and employee transfers.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a solid reputation for employment disputes, but the team is also recommended for advisory and transactional employment work. Beijing-based Karen Ip recently advised on a number of employee transfer and termination matters. In Hong Kong, Gareth Thomas heads the Greater China employment practice; he has a particular focus on employment litigation. The key associates are Jasmine Chen and Doreen Yan in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively.


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