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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.