Taiwan’s economy is beginning to show signs of improvement after what has been a relatively stagnant period in recent years, with the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics recently reporting that GDP grew 3.84% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014 – the highest rate in six quarters. This period of growth has been driven by increasing demand from the US and China, the two major partners engaged with Taiwan’s export-dependent economy. Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains relatively low, however, and although strategic M&A is quite active, the government’s current resistance to private equity investment has certainly impacted upon the deployment of funds in the country.
Lee and Li is the largest local law firm, having strength-in-depth across the full spectrum of practice areas, and is the undoubted market leader. Nevertheless, other firms including Tsar & Tsai Law Firm, Formosan Brothers Attorneys at Law and Formosa Transnational all have credible offerings across multiple practice areas and provide stiff opposition in select areas.
Several international law firms are also present in the country; Baker & McKenzie’s office was established in 1975, since when a number of other firms have followed suit, including Jones Day and K&L Gates.
In addition to the country’s significant biotechnology and medical research industries, Taiwan has also established itself as one of the world’s leading exporters of high-end electronic components and products. Consequently, intellectual property matters generate a significant volume of work in the jurisdiction. Much of this is trade mark and patent filing and prosecution, which is undertaken by both law firms and patent and trade mark firms, the most significant of these being Saint Island International Patent & Law Offices, TIPLO Attorneys-at-Law and Top Team International Patent & Trademark Office.
Firms in the spotlight
TSAR & TSAI LAW FIRM
Tsar & Tsai Law Firm is a Taiwan-based partnership engaged in the provision of legal services relating to all aspects of international and domestic business transactions, as well as dispute resolution and litigation. The firm was founded in 1965 by Ruchin Tsar and Paul C Tsai, and has grown to over 50 attorneys admitted to practice in various jurisdictions. It is one of the largest law firms in Taiwan and its team of 120 employees includes translators, paralegals and accountants.