Labour and employment: PRC firms in China

JunHe LLP

JunHe LLP is instructed across a range of non-contentious and contentious labour matters by well-known multinational companies from the pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, technology, engineering, financial and manufacturing industries, to name a few sectors. Employment disputes are a core strength of the practice, with contractual matters, employee transfers, collective bargaining and internal compliance issues also featuring in the team's workload. Jianjun Ma, Dongpeng Wang and Hongjuan Bai are key contacts in the department.

Practice head(s):

Jianjun Ma; Dongpeng Wang

Other key lawyers:

Hongjuan Bai

Key clients

Apple

Pfizer

Marvell Technology

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Honeywell

Shell

Koch Industries

Keysight Technologies

Mondelez

Nestle

Otis

HSBC

Disney Resort & Walt Disney

LEGO

Exxon Mobil

UCB

Elli Lily

McDonald’s

Work highlights

  • Assisted a US technology company with the resettlement of employees and HR integration within China following the client’s acquisition of another US technology company.
  • Represented an engineering company in litigation against the former manager of its Chinese subsidiary concerning a breach of contract, including the breach of a non-compete clause.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons' team is 'well versed in Chinese labour law' and provides 'practical solutions' across the full range of non-contentious and contentious employment matters. The practice is jointly led by Linda Liang, who has extensive experience in labour arbitration, and Junlu Jiang. Other key contacts include Lucy Lu, who has expertise in assisting with employment arrangements for M&A transactions; the 'meticulous' Juquan Yin, noted for handling employee strike cases; and the 'very professional' Ting Liu, who is 'flexible, responsive and energetic'.

Practice head(s):

Linda Liang; Junlu Jiang

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Lu; Juquan Yin; Ting Liu

Work highlights

  • Assisted a prominent technology company with a mass redundancy exercise involving the layoff of around 1500 employees across six cities.
  • Acted for an insurance company in a dispute brought by the company’s manager concerning an allegedly illegal termination of an employee’s contract; the employee’s claim was rejected.
  • Represented a multinational automobile company in three arbitrations brought against the company by a former chief financial officer after the officer was dismissed for misconduct involving a conflict of interest against the client.

Zhong Lun Law Firm

Zhong Lun Law Firm is well known for advising state-owned enterprises, multinationals and domestic companies on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters; employment litigation is a core speciality. Carol Zhu and Hao Dong are key names in Shanghai, while Beijing-based Haiyan Duan is praised for her 'rich labour law experience, high degree of case participation, and ability of proposing the best solution for labour disputes from the perspective of clients'. On the non-contentious side, recent work has included compliance reviews, employee transfers, and sensitive advisory work.

Practice head(s):

Carol Zhu

Other key lawyers:

Haiyan Duan; Hao Dong

Testimonials

Haioyan Duan and her team particularly excels in labour dispute cases. In the process of handling a case, the team provides high quality legal advice, and thorough preparation before the court; and in day-to-day consultation, they provide timely and accurate responses‘.

‘Haioyan Duan and her team can give practical suggestions to solve the practical problems of the employers‘.

Key clients

Microsoft (China)

Sinopec

Air China

Mars Foods (China)

Pfizer

Continental Automotive

DHL Logistics (China)

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Represented Wyeth in a labour dispute concerning an employee’s termination for misconduct.
  • Assisting China United Network Communications with employment matters regarding the implementation of its mixed-ownership reform program.

AnJie Law Firm

AnJie Law Firm's 'efficient' team has strong capabilities in both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and has been kept busy handling employee transfers and layoffs, HR management, disputes concerning violations of non-compete agreements, contractual issues and arbitration, among other areas. Key names in Beijing include the 'professional' Zhenghe Liu, noted for his 'deep knowledge' and 'extensive experience'; Hongquan Yang, who has particular expertise in technology-related mandates; and employment law expert Henry Zhou. 2019 also saw the opening of the firm's new Shanghai office, which houses Sun Lin and Jun Shen (who co-leads the practice with Liu): both joined from River Delta Law Firm.

Practice head(s):

Zhenghe Liu; Jun Shen

Other key lawyers:

Sun Lin; Hongquan Yang; Henry Zhou

Testimonials

The service meets the needs of the company, and the team can creatively provide opinions and suggestions to resolve disputes and disputes facing the company. The judgment of the legislative trend is also forward-looking‘.

Zhenghe Liu has a strong sense of responsibility for the entrusted work, the thinking of the trial defence and the on-the-spot response are impressive, and he has deep and unique insights into the key areas and core issues of labour law‘.

Key clients

DHL

Halliburton

Smith&Nephew

Universal Parks & Resorts

Alibaba

Oracle

PICC

Metlife

Work highlights

  • Acted for a prominent software company in the mass layoff of over 200 employees.
  • Advised an outsourcing company on employee transfer and resettlement matters.

Baohua Law Firm

Boutique labour and employment firm Baohua Law Firm has an established track record in assisting prominent multinational corporates and Chinese state-owned entities (SOEs) with a broad spectrum of work, including employment litigation, employee transfers, human resources matters, and compliance and investigatory instructions. The client roster includes entities drawn from the telecoms, oil and gas, food, automotive, electronics and pharmaceuticals sectors. Weixin Sun leads the team, which includes Jie Yang, Jay Chen and John Dong; senior consultant Baohua Dong is highly experienced across a range of labour law cases.

Practice head(s):

Weixin Sun

Other key lawyers:

Baohua Dong; Jie Yang; Jay Chen; John Dong

Fangda Partners

Fangda Partners has 'a solid foundation in Chinese labour law' and is noted for its 'wealth of experience in the field of labour disputes'. Alongside its contentious work, the team handles employee layoff matters, compliance, immigration issues, employee share option schemes and corporate transactions. Practice head Bo Zhou attracts praise for his 'strong industry awareness'.

Practice head(s):

Bo Zhou

Testimonials

The team provides tailor-made advice and ensures the best formulation and implementation of the corresponding solutions‘.

Key clients

BeiGene

Hilton

Lumileds

Eastman

Viacom

Byton

Hempel

Marks & Spencer

Tetra Pak

Ortho

Work highlights

  • Acted for a European industrial company in a labour dispute case filed by a former employee, whose contract had been terminated on the grounds of violation of conflict of interest.
  • Assisted a US-based industrial company with successfully enforcing a non-compete covenant against a former employee, who had joined a competitor company.
  • Represented a company in a mass layoff of over 50 employees following the closure of one of its entities based in Mongolia.

R&P China Lawyers

R&P China Lawyers is a foreign-managed PRC firm with a particularly strong expertise in the retail industry. The employment group also advises clients in the healthcare, medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors. Jointly led by Robin Tabbers and Maarten Roos, the team assists these clients with the implementation of mass layoff strategies, the resolution of labour disputes and arbitrations, and day-to-day issues. Rogier van Bijnen and Eric Yuan are also key names to note. All named individuals are based in Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Robin Tabbers; Maarten Roos

Other key lawyers:

Rogier van Bijnen; Eric Yuan

Testimonials

‘The lawyers at R&P are very knowledgeable in many different areas of the law in China, they communicate clearly with clients and understand their challenges.’

‘R&P lawyers represent a good balance between local and overseas lawyers and advisors. This puts them in a unique position of being able to accurately translate the needs and concerns of overseas companies to local applicable laws, regulations and practices. This is something that is particularly important in a country like China, where the concept of law often differs significantly from overseas.’

‘From the top directorship down, the consistent professionalism and knowledge across the R&P teams are outstanding! The coordination between the team members and their specialist fields on joint projects provides a very efficient practice.’

‘R&P lawyers consists of a good balance between local and overseas lawyers and advisors, with very specific knowledge about China laws, regulations and above all, practices.’

‘Robin Tabbers has deep knowledge of Chinese law and is very direct, straight and fair in his approach. He also gives feedback about clients’ Western way of thinking versus the Chinese legal way.’

‘Maarten Roos is a fountain of information and wisdom. He has forgotten more about China labour law than the officials who wrote it have ever known.’

‘Robin Tabbers leads by example. His vast knowledge and proven experience shows when addressing corruption investigation, business structure and set up and employment investigations.’

‘Eric Yuan is a very calm character who is hugely knowledgeable in employment matters and the termination of problematic employees. He has handled many situations very calmly and with composure despite facing very tough challenges.’

‘Gina Chen is a financial expert in her field. She is highly efficient and, despite the fact that she runs a large team, she always guarantees prompt feedback to any queries. She is composed, knowledgeable and patient in her approach.’

Key clients

D-Box Technologies Inc (TSX:DBO)

Wenglor Sensoric GmbH

Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG (XETRA:PWO)

Soprema Inc.

Udenco BV

Work highlights

  • Successfully led a compliance investigation into commercial bribery against a China CEO and Head of Purchasing on behalf of a leading European company.
  • Represented a German high-tech company in a legal investigation into commercial bribery allegations and successfully defended the client in a labour arbitration case.
  • Assisted a US-listed IT company with the termination of the Asia CEO and the Asia HR head of its client’s multinational company and managed to settle both cases in favour of the client.
  • Handled the termination of a chief representative on behalf of a manufacturing company.

River Delta Law Firm

Contentious employment mandates have been prominent in River Delta Law Firm's recent workload, with a focus on cases involving allegedly illegal terminations of employee contracts. The team has also been advising domestic and multinational clients on multiple employee terminations following company closures. Key figures in the department include founding partner Jason Lu and senior partner Cathy Qu. In June 2019 Sun Lin and Jun Shen moved to AnJie Law Firm's Shanghai office.

Practice head(s):

Jason Lu; Cathy Qu

Key clients

Siemens

Danaher

Toyota Tsusho

Ericsson

Standard Chartered Bank

Schneider Electric

Work highlights

  • Represented FESCO Adecco in a group labour dispute involving eight employees concerning renumeration payments, among other issues.
  • Acted for a pharmaceutical company in proceedings concerning the allegedly illegal termination of an employee, involving the employee’s establishment of a company which was allegedly in direct competition with the client.
  • Assisted an engineering company with the mass termination of over 500 employees.

DaHui Lawyers

The labour and employment team at DaHui Lawyers advises on HR-related issues in the context of M&A transactions, internal restructurings, day-to-day operations, trade union interactions, collective bargaining, non-compete, redundancy and mass layoff, anti-harassment, work safety and protection. On the contentious front, the group routinely handles employment disputes and disciplinary actions. Xing Wan and Lin Bai are both experienced litigators and jointly spearhead the practice in Beijing.

Practice head(s):

Lin Bai; Xing Wan

Key clients

Ansell

China National Seeds (Joint Venture between Monsanto and SINOCHEM)

Elsevier Limited

Haufe Group

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

JZ Music

Lindsay Manufacturing Co.

Outotec

RELX Group

Yellow River Asset Management LLC

World Gold Council

WorldQuant, LLC

DeHeng Law Offices

DeHeng Law Offices specialises in labour and employment compliance advice as well as dispuate resolution. The practice has a longstanding expertise in advising SOEs, public institutions, listed companies and private high-tech enterprises but has recently developed its client base of foreign-funded enterprises, specifically in the context of M&A, restructuring and social security. Apart from joint practice heads Jianping Wang and Wenwei Su who are both based in Beijing, other key names include Zhuhai's Lei Guo and Shanghai-based Li Feng.

Practice head(s):

Jianping Wang; Wenwei Su

Other key lawyers:

Guo Lei; Li Feng

Testimonials

Displays good communication and coordination skills as well as problem solving skills‘.

The learning and knowledge updating ability is strong and the team management is very formal and rigorous‘.

Lei Guo has rich practical experience and strong communication skills‘.

Key clients

Global Logistics Properties

Swire Cold Chain Group

Digi-Key Electronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd

ST microelectronics China

China Southern Airlines

Walmart Global Scouring

Beaufour-lpsen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Man Truck and Bus Trading (China) Co., Ltd

Morningstar Shenzhen Ltd.

Testrite Group

Sibur International Trade (Shanghai)

Jones lang Lasalle (shanghai) Ltd.

Groz-Beckert Trading Shenzhen Ltd.

CapitaLand Mall Asia

ABF Twinings Beverages (Shanghai) Ltd.

Suzhou Cuscapi

Work highlights

  • Advised ABF on the closing of its Shanghai business.
  • Assisted SIBUR with its proposed signing of non-fixed-term labour contracts with some employees.
  • Represented Suzhou Cuscapi in arbitration and litigations regarding disputes about compensation issues arising from the termination of a department manager.
  • Represented Groz-Beckert Trading Shenzhen Ltd. against an executive who demanded double compensation in light of medical issues they claimed were caused by her working environment.
  • Acted for China Southern Airlines against two captains who resigned for personal reasons and subsequently refused to compensate their former employee for the costs incurred during the training and formation process.

Dentons

Dentons' Shanghai-based practice co-head Xin Luo has great experience in providing HRM compliance services for foreign banks and US based clients, while Grace Yang focuses on dispute resolution matters; she is also based in the Shanghai office. Also notable is senior partner Jie Zhang who advises foreign-invested corporations on legal compliance issues with respect to human resources, drafts employee handbooks, conducts employee background checks and workplace investigations from the Zhuhai office.

Practice head(s):

Xin Luo; Jie Zhang

Other key lawyers:

Grace Yang

Work highlights

  • Represented three senior executives of a famous game company in the first case regarding restricted stock as compensation for non-competition in Guangzhou, worth more than RMB16m.
  • Acted for Hunan Zung Fu Vehicle Sales and Service Co., Ltd. In a new type of labour dispute case related to conflict of interest declarations.
  • Represented Zhejiang Dongyuan Construction Co., Ltd. against a class lawsuit involving 32 persons who claimed the client has arrears of wage and required the company to bear joint liability.
  • Represented Guangzhou Haofeng Logistics Co., Ltd. against a labour arbitration claim filed by an employee who incurred a physical injury while working.
  • Acted for Hempel (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd against a labour arbitration application in a rare case where the employee was dismissed due to incompetence.

FenXun Partners

FenXun Partners labour and employment team provides a full service for both domestic and international clients, cooperating with its joint operation partner Baker McKenzie where necessary, but also maintaining a strong own client base. Key areas of work include employee transfer, non-compete clauses, internal investigations and both individual and mass dismissals, alongside a strong labour arbitration and litigation practice. The team is led from Beijing by Bofu An, who is highly experienced in both contentious and non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Bofu An

Testimonials

FenXun provides timely, constructive, and practical operational labour advice and understands client’s needs‘.

Global Law Office

Global Law Office's labour and employment group is well-known for its expertise in establishing labour management systems, handling human resources issues and resolving complicated labour disputes, especially for multinational entities. Practice head Zhao Li is an experienced litigator - both in the context of arbitration and traditional court cases - while Weiwei Gu specialises in regulatory compliance and defence. Also notable is Gaochong Hu who is based in Beijing with all other named attorneys.

Practice head(s):

Zhao Li

Other key lawyers:

Weiwei Gu; Gaochong Hu

Testimonials

Zhao Li is very familiar with the relevant provisions of the labour law. He has extensive experience in handling labor disputes and can provide professional legal advice and opinions to clients‘.

The team can accurately understands client’s business needs‘.

Key clients

BNPP

HP

Boehringer-Ingelheim

Parker Hannifin

Bayer

Glencore

ASSA ABLOY

Gulfstream

Bytedance

San Kuai Technology

Work highlights

  • Continues to represent a leading O2O company in China in a dispute filed by two former employees claiming for the execution of their options granted by the client’s associated company incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
  • A multinational software provider engaged the group to handle a dispute with one of its former high officers regarding their non-compete obligations, their option and their equity transfer.
  • Assisted a major international IT company with the employment issues arising from its acquisition of a competitor’s business line.

Han Kun Law Offices

Han Kun Law Offices mainly serves multinational companies, especially in the internet, technology, healthcare and financial services sectors, with comprehensive labour law services. Wei Huang's labour and employment team specialises in labour disputes, negotiations and litigation in the context of employee violations and white-collar crime investigations and compliance issues and related matters. Senior associates Sunny Gao and Xiu Pei who sit in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Wei Huang

Other key lawyers:

Sunny Gao; Xiu Pei

Key clients

Heineken

Blizzard

AerCap

Itron

Tiger Global Fund

DCM Ventures

Baidu Capital

Bright Dairy

CMIG

Chengtong Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising Baillie Gifford on employment matters in China, including hiring, labour contracts, compensation and benefits, termination ; the team has also assisted the client with integrating, revising and localising the policies and contract in accordance with the China labour law and local practice.
  • Advising AerCap on its employment-related issues in China, preparing employment agreements and formulating various internal policies for its Shanghai representative office.
  • Acted for Legg Mason on the designing of internal policies for its China entity based on its company culture and advised on employment-related matters, including legal requirements related to implementation of the company handbook and employment termination.
  • Advised DCM Ventures to review and revise its internal policies for its China entity, and advises on several employment issues in China, such as annual leave and employment relationship transitions.
  • Acting for Tiger Global on a variety of employment-related matters, including legal requirements for signing employment contracts, termination, effectiveness of internal policies.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal

Jincheng Tongda & Neal advises a broad range of domestic and international clients, including those engaged in the finance, construction, engineering, agriculture, software, internet businesses, scientific technology, and hospitality industries. The group is especially renowned for its capabilities in dispute resolution and labour issues arising from M&A transactions, restructuring, redundancy and bankruptcy. Feng Liang leads the practice from Beijing with the support of Chunyun Pang and Xiaobo Tang who are both based in Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Feng Liang

Other key lawyers:

Chunyun Pang; Xiaobo Tang

Key clients

China Harbour Engineering Co., Ltd.

Nuctech Company Limited

Beijing XD Investment Management Group

MG Culture Technology Co., Ltd.

Beijing Jingcheng Electromechanical Holding Co., Ltd.

Beijing Tongcheng Biying Technology Co. Ltd.

China Central Television International Video Communication Co. Ltd

AT&S (China) Co. Ltd

Huizhou SPEED Wireless Technology Co., Ltd. Shanghai Branch

Ingersoll Rand Group

Work highlights

  • As special legal counsel to China Harbour Engineering, thw firm oversaw the completion of an all-round risk evaluation with professional legal documents like overseas labour employment legal analysis and risk evaluation report.
  • Provided all-round legal support to Nuctech regarding employment and entry, human resources management, resignation risk prevention, and labour dispute resolution.
  • Advised MG Culture Technology to draft, formulate and design its recruitment and employment workbook, propose legal opinions in terms of legal problems in recruitment and employment, formulate solutions in the whole process for recruitment, and prevent legal risks and settle disputes.

Laboroot Law Firm

Laboroot Law Firm is dedicated to labour and employment law, with a strong bench of specialists covering the full range of issues. Founding partner David Wei heads the team, while other key names to note include managing partner Wilson Wan, who is particularly recommended for matters which involve an international element. The firm is adept at both contentious and non-contentious employment work, including employee settlement, contentious dismissal and business transfer, among others.

Key clients

China Southern Airlines

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Limited(Under Alibaba Group)

Robert Bosch

FUJITSU

Baosteel

Ruder Finn Public Relations Co. LTD.

Coca-Cola

Air Liquid Shanghai Co., Ltd.

Hilti Corporation

The Bank of East Asia

Asustek Computer Inc.

Olympus Corporation

China National Petroleum Corporation

BreadTalk Group Limited

SAMSUNG

Lanbai Law Firm

The team at labour and human resources boutique Lanbai Law Firm handles employment litigation and arbitration, day-to-day HR matters, labour compliance issues, employee transfers and M&A support. Key contacts include managing partner George Lu, Ben Zhang, Aaron Qian and Lily Mu.

Practice head(s):

George Lu

Other key lawyers:

Lily Mu; Ben Zhang; Aaron Qian

PW & Partners

PW & Partners is based in Guangzhou and advises on cultural compatibility, cross-border labour law issues and regulatory compliance. James Peng has longstanding experience in labour law issues, as well as company law, competition law, antitrust litigation and commercial dispute resolution. The team specialises in the implementation of large-scale redundancy strategies mainly for Chinese SOEs and multinational corporations operating in China. Cherry Chen and Ozzie Ou are also notable members of the team.

Practice head(s):

James Peng

Other key lawyers:

Cherry Chen; Ozzie Ou

Key clients

Mars Wrigley Confectionery (China) Limited

Wm. Wrigley Jr. (Shanghai)Company

Mars Food (China)Limited

MeadJohnson Nutrition (China) Limited

Jabil Circuit (Guangzhou) Ltd.

Jabil Precision Industry (Guangzhou) Ltd.

Util (Guangzhou) Auto Parts Co. Ltd

LED Lenser Corp. Ltd.

RENOLIT Guangzhou Limited

Jatco (Guangzhou) Automatic Transmission Co.,Ltd.

Daido Die & Mold Steel Solutions (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd.

Zhongsheng Pharma

Guangdong SUNING.COM CO.,LTD

EARTH PRODUCTS CHINA LTD.

KWG Group Holdings

Savills Property Services (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised KWG Group on its salary and welfare compliance project.
  • Represented Mars Wrigley in labour disputes involving more than 40 employees.
  • Represented Earth Products China in its dispute with two employees who violated their non-competition agreement.
  • Acted for Zhongsheng Pharma in its compliance review of its entire human resources system and assisted with further normalised management and hazard prevention and control.