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China > Labour and employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Baohua Dong - Baohua Law Firm
    • Junlu Jiang - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Lucy Lu - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Jianjun Ma - JunHe LLP
    • Carol Zhu - Zhong Lun Law Firm

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Alice Xu - Zhong Lun Law Firm

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which PRC firms clients in China using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Employment law boutique Baohua Law Firm acts for leading international companies in the fields of technology, utilities, cosmetics, retail and pharmaceuticals; it is also a popular choice among Chinese SOEs. The team is often instructed in matters involving large-scale employee transfers and reductions. During 2016 and 2017, it represented a manufacturing company during its relocation, which required a closure and dissolution process that involved over 1,600 employees. Employment litigation and arbitration is another key component of the practice. John Dong has longstanding experience in labour law, both in contentious and non-contentious work. Jay Chen, Anson Gu, Jie Yang and name partner Baohua Dong are other key names.

A ‘go-to firm’, JunHe LLP’s lawyers are ‘outstanding and reliable’, and highlighted for their ‘experience in labour dispute resolution in China’. The team comprises over 20 lawyers across multiple offices, and it recently grew its capacity to serve clients on the ground in Shenzhen with the hire of experienced counsel Shanqiong Sun in May 2017. In other developments, the ‘experienced and pragmatic’ Bu Yimu made partner in April 2016; he was part of a team that acted for Mondelēz Shanghai in a high-profile dispute arising out of collective agreement, which involved novel legal issues without judicial precedents. Jianjun Ma also played a key role on the aforementioned case; he is ‘one of the most renowned Chinese labour lawyers, yet he is still reachable, easy to talk to and very practical’. Other leading practitioners include Dongpeng Wang, Hongjuan Bai and Gordon Feng.

King & Wood Mallesons is well versed in non-contentious employment matters and also has a buoyant dispute resolution practice, which is hailed as ‘a leader in China’. The firm’s establishment of a dedicated and multidisciplinary regulatory compliance department in 2015 shows its investment in this burgeoning field; it provides an integrated employment, tax, antitrust and anti-corruption compliance service to clients. A large proportion of the team’s clients are multinational, including Fortune 500 companies with operations in China, though it also acts for Chinese private and state-owned companies. Among the team’s recent successes was Linda Liang’s representation of a leading software company in a complex termination case centring on the definition of a “major change of circumstances” in employment contract law. Junlu Jiang has significant experience in PRC labour, trade union and social security law, while Lucy Lu has a broad practice that takes in employment, M&A, investments and other corporate matters. Corporate compliance and employment specialist Liu Ting made partner in 2017; she and Juquan Yin are based in the Shenzhen office, while all other named lawyers are based in Beijing.

With lawyers stationed in key cities across China, River Delta Law Firm attracted several new clients in 2016, including leading financial services and telecoms companies. Among recent work highlights, Robin Wang advised an insurance sector client with thousands of branches across the country on drafting a comprehensive labour management handbook aimed at improving HR efficiency across the company and its subsidiaries. On the contentious side, Hellen Cui and Freddy Huang successfully represented a client in arbitration and litigation proceedings concerning the existence of an employment relationship. Founding partner Jason Lu heads the sizeable team, which also includes Cathy Qu, Lin Sun and Jeff Peng.

The ‘very dedicated and professional’ team at Zhong Lun Law Firm provides a ‘first-class service’; it is strong in cross-border employment work and also advises clients on the gamut of HR management issues. The team’s ability to handle criminal liability, anti-corruption and compliance-related issues is another draw. Work highlights included advising a company in the food and beverage sector on a redundancy project involving over 100 employees, and assisting a foreign client with a HR management system for a newly established wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WOFE) in China. The ‘agile and clear-thinking’ Haiyan Duan handles employment and compliance matters, and Carol Zhu is noted for her ‘very accurate, timely and reliable advice’. At the associate level, Alice Xu has broad experience in redundancies, collective transfers, immigration, employment contracts and terminations. Ma Xiaoyu is also recommended.

DeHeng Law Offices’ employment practice sits within the firm’s broader corporate department, which is experienced in M&A, labour management, labour law training, employee transfer and resettlement, and compliance. The team recently represented a client in the hotels and leisure sector in a complex staff separation and resettlement process. Labour law litigation also features among the team’s workload. Wenwei Su and Jianping Wang are key names.

Fangda Partners handles advisory work (on matters such as HR management, policies and operational procedures) as well as employment disputes and internal investigations into employee misconduct. Employment-related large-scale corporate deals with cross-border elements also fall within the group’s areas of expertise. Xie Zheng acted for a European company during the layoff of employees due to its planned closure of multiple sites in China. In other work, George Xu and Shanjian Zheng have been advising a US company on an investigation into its China-based management team. James Hu is the practice head.

Employment boutique Lanbai Law Firm has seven partners and a large team of associates based across its offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Ningbo and Suzhou. It assists Asian, European and US companies with complex employment matters in China. Recently, the firm has been particularly busy handling mass layoffs and employee transfers; Linda Lou assisted a client with the closure of a production line near Shanghai and the subsequent transfer of employees. The team also enjoys strong renown in employment litigation and arbitration. Other names to note include practice head George Lu, Ben Zhang, Aaron Qian and Lily Mu.

The ‘professional’ and ‘experienced’ team at AnJie Law Firm is noted for its ‘comprehensive and reasonable advice’, and it has recently seen an uptick in employment litigation, often with a data protection, privacy or anti-bribery element. The team also has a track record in disputes surrounding non-competition agreements. On the non-contentious side, the team recently advised Universal Parks & Resorts on human resources and employment planning for the opening of a theme park in Beijing. Other clients include DHL, Taikang Life Insurance and China Mobile. ‘Labour disputes expertZhenghe Liu leads the practice, which includes Hongquan Yang, a partner with experience working in-house and at international law firms.

Boss & Young, Attorneys At Law has a notable track record in labour litigation and arbitration. It is a popular choice for healthcare and medical devices companies for numerous employment law matters, including compliance and employee fraud. Other clients span the education, financial services, automobile and technology sectors. Fan Hongtao leads the team, which includes experienced Zoe Zhu and associate Summer Wang.

The employment law department at Beijing Easyhal Law Firm comprises ten lawyers and is active in a range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. In a recent case, the team advised a client on the employment issues concerning the closure of a factory, which included a related arbitration. Founding partner Wu Yingping is the name to note.

With lawyers based in over 30 cities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Dentons China covers traditional and emerging employment issues, including anti-corruption, compliance and trade secret protection. Anderson Zhang and Dennis Fu are key names.

Global Law Office assists clients with labour management issues in their daily operations, and is also equipped to handle complex transactions and disputes. The department is co-led by Zhao Li and Weiwei Gu in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively, and was further strengthened by the arrival of Gaochong Hu from DaHui Lawyers. 2016 saw the team handling a range of contentious work, including successfully representing a technology sector client in a dispute with a former employee, securing wins in both arbitration and litigation proceedings.

Feng Liang heads the practice at Jincheng Tongda & Neal and is supported by Aizhi Lu, who plays a key role in contentious and non-contentious employment mandates. In 2016, the pair assisted a Fortune 500 company with the closure of a production line in China and the subsequent redundancy process. Aside from its Chinese and international corporate client base, the team also represents individuals and senior-level employees.

At TransAsia Lawyers, practice head Isabelle I H Wan handles employment and social security work alongside IP and e-commerce mandates. International clients of the firm benefit from its strategic affiliation with US-based employment law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C.. Deputy practice head Xinmin Xing is another contact.

Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment: foreign firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Foreign firms clients in China using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker McKenzie FenXun is routinely sought after for the most complex, cross-border labour matters, where the regional and global office network is a particular draw. In litigation, the PRC law capability of FenXun Partners allows it to provide a seamless service; special counsel Bofu An in Beijing is a name to note for contentious employment matters. The department has also been increasingly busy with employee and compliance investigations. Employee transfers, mass layoffs and strikes are other areas of expertise. Hong Kong-based Jonathan Isaacs recently advised Stanley Black & Decker on employee transfer requirements in 37 countries following its purchase of the tools business from Newell Brands. Also in Hong Kong are Paul Tan, Rowan McKenzie and litigator Susan Kendall, who has ancillary expertise in fraud and data privacy. Zheng Lu is a key contact in Shanghai.

The ‘very responsive’ employment team at DLA Piper acts for leading multinational companies across the financial services, technology, retail and life sciences industries in complex and sensitive labour matters in China. It also advises Chinese companies on their international operations. Led by the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Johnny Choi, the team’s expertise includes high-stakes employment litigation, investigations and mass lay-offs. The practice expanded at the associate level with the arrival of Dylan Wu from TransAsia Lawyers. Wu joined the Shanghai office, where senior associate Alan Wang is also noted for his experience in recruitment, redundancy, immigration and employee transfer issues. Former Hong Kong-based partner Julia Gorham left to join Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has significant resources on the ground in Greater China and further afield, and stands out for its reputation and track record in employment disputes, though its labour law practice also encompasses transactional and advisory work. The firm’s employment specialists also support its corporate crime and investigations team in labour issues arising in the context of cross-border anti-corruption investigations. Karen Ip and Doreen Yan are the names to note in Beijing. In the Hong Kong office are dispute resolution partner Gareth Thomas, who has a significant focus on employment litigation, and senior associate Gillian McKenzie, who specialises in employment, pensions and data protection. The team’s client base includes well-known companies such as Iron Mountain, Credit Suisse and Société Générale.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s employment practice sits within the corporate department, and as such has a focus on transactional matters, often with complex cross-border elements. The team also provides day-to-day advice on matters such as employee training, visa and residency requirements, equity incentive plans, and employment contracts and handbooks. Recent work includes acting as HR adviser to a European client with global operations, providing assistance on various employment matters connected with its expansion in China. Philip Cheng and Roy Zou lead the practice, which includes associates Wei Song, Jing Wang and Maggie Shen.

Lesli Ligorner heads the burgeoning employment practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP following her arrival from Simmons & Simmons; the department covers the gamut of labour law issues as well as immigration and anti-bribery matters. Supporting Ligorner (and joining the firm with her) are associate Katherine Liu and of counsel Dora Wang, who has complementary expertise in competition, data protection and anti-corruption. Todd Liao has notable experience in compliance and regulatory investigations and recently advised a client on post-employment non-competition agreements. Other mandates occupying the team in 2017 spanned issues of employee misconduct, corporate restructurings, acquisitions and strikes.

Simmons & Simmons’ employment practice has undergone significant change: in March 2017, five of its former lawyers, including partner Lesli Ligorner, of counsel Dora Wang and associate Katherine Liu left for Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. Shortly after, Matthew Durham re-joined the Shanghai office from Winston & Strawn LLP; Durham works closely with the Hong Kong team, which remains a go-to practice for complex and sensitive labour law issues across the region. May Lu is another recent arrival from MWE China Law Offices (Strategic alliance with McDermott Will & Emery). Work highlights saw Sarah Berkeley advise a client on a post-termination investigation into the conduct of two employees. Practice head Fiona Loughrey draws on almost 30 years’ experience working in Hong Kong.

Michael Sheng heads the mainland China employment team at Ashurst, which forms part of the firm’s regional practice under the leadership of George Cooper in Australia. Working alongside colleagues in the Hong Kong office, the group has the capabilities to handle complex China and regional labour law issues. A cross-office team recently advised an international company on an internal investigation into senior-level employees in China. Other clients include BHP, GAIN Capital and GIC (formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corporation). Associate Frank Zhuang is another key contact in the Shanghai office, advising on employee investigations, terminations, contracts and handbooks.

Bird & Bird’s Greater China practice was given a significant boost with the relocation of Pattie Walsh to Hong Kong, where she has been a qualified attorney since 2005; she is also qualified to practice in England and Wales and New South Wales. In addition to the team’s China-focused work, it also has a broad regional and international practice. Its knowhow in data protection and cybersecurity is an important selling point, particularly within technology-rich sectors, in which the firm has a strong reputation. The Shanghai team is led by Ying Wang, who has been a part-time arbitrator of the Shanghai Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee for over ten years. The group also fields several experienced associates, including Lorraine Sun in Shanghai and Jeannette Tam and Stephanie Wong in Hong Kong.

The Shanghai-based team at Faegre Baker Daniels has a solid track record in layoffs, either in the context of business closures or restructurings, or following a finding of employee misconduct or poor performance. Clients also benefit from its close cooperation with US colleagues who specialise in FCPA and anti-corruption issues. Practice head Kevin Jones draws on over 20 years in the Greater China market; during that time, he has handled a broad spread of contentious and non-contentious labour law matters for clients in the TMT, healthcare, retail, energy and aviation sectors. Associate Claire Zhao is also recommended; her practice includes employment-related immigration.

The risk advisory services group at Pinsent Masons comprises multidisciplinary lawyers handling labour law and HR management issues in corporate transactions and litigation. Among its areas of expertise are redundancy, termination, employment contracts, data protection and workplace safety matters. Much of the senior-level team is based in Shanghai, where Helen Chang and Wei Liu are key names. In Hong Kong, Paul Haswell’s broad practice includes data protection, technology, and contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Associate Gillian Miao left for Seyfarth Shaw LLP in November 2016.

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