Fangda Partners has substantial on-the-ground capabilities across China and continues to grow; of recent note, the firm established additional presence in Nanjing, where a dedicated team of consultants assists the compliance and regulatory group with more demanding projects such as due diligence assignments and extensive internal investigations. The practice handles a full scope of compliance and regulatory issues of contentious and non-contentious nature; it has an outstanding track record of serving as lead counsel to large multinational and Chinese companies, most recently in relation to internal investigations into allegations of fraud, among other matters. Multi-jurisdictional work is another area of strength for the team, which it assists domestic and global corporate clients navigate the regulatory regimes in foreign jurisdictions such as the US. Shenzhen-based Benjamin Miao jointly leads the practice with Kate Yin, who splits her time between Beijing and Shenzhen. Other key contacts include Derrick Zhao (‘hardworking and responsive’) in Shanghai and Yanjun Zhuang in Beijing. Melody Wang departed in January 2021.
Regulatory/compliance: PRC firms in China
‘The team is able to conduct investigations in the PRC and to work with international counsel on the analysis of factual findings and the formulation of practical and common-sense legal advice for the client.’
‘Derrick Zhao is great to co-counsel on investigation matters for Western clients. He is hardworking and responsive, and provides sound commercial advice.’
‘Fangda Partners’ team is not only able to solve problems arising from compliance risks, but also able to extend their professional advice to business management issues after the problem has been dealt with, effectively switching from fire fighting to fire prevention.’
‘Kate Yin’s previous work experience demonstrated her natural strength at working on compliance issues for clients. She not only understands compliance, but also knows how different types of companies are managed, and she has experience of dealing with major compliance crises, all of which means that the legal advice she gives is more relevant and workable. She provides outstanding advice in a very effective way based on the company’s actual situation and the issues that it has encountered.’
HTL Capital Pte. Ltd.
King & Wood Mallesons
Split between Beijing and Shanghai, King & Wood Mallesons’ sizeable investigations and compliance disputes team sits within the firm’s wider dispute resolution group spread across Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. The department has an impressive depth in a full range of bribery and corruption matters, including risk management, day-to-day compliance and internal investigations, among others. Anti-money laundering, sanctions violations and data-related issues also form cornerstones of the practice. Notable clients include large China-based and multinational companies active in the energy, financial services and TMT sectors. Wei Wu (Beijing) and Harry Liu (Shanghai) share the leadership of the group, where other key figures include compliance expert Ronghui Li (Shanghai) and employment law specialist Xiaodan Xu (Beijing). Yang Han in Beijing is adept at handling issues arising at the junction of compliance and criminal law. Also based in the capital is recently promoted partner Yuanyuan Zhu, who remains a go-to adviser for sanctions mandates and investigations brought pursuant to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
‘The team actively solicits feedback and opinions from professionals in the industry in response to developments and trends, and performs huge amounts of searches and regulatory analysis, including submitting enquiries to government bodies, in order to provide clients with timely, professional, workable legal opinions and advice.’
‘Harry Liu is willing to discuss a variety of possibilities and workable solutions to problems with clients, and he makes an active effort to understand the way the industry actually operates and holds discussions with legislators and law enforcement agencies regarding the original purpose of the legislation and the objectives and scale of enforcement so that he can provide companies with effective, rational solutions and routes to support and help them.’
Harbin Electric Machinery Co., Limited
Yuanda China Law Offices
Based in Shanghai, Yuanda China Law Offices acts for large Chinese and Fortune 500 companies on domestic compliance mandates, but is also well equipped to provide advice on cross-border regulatory issues overseas thanks to its strategic alliance with Winston & Strawn LLP. In a standout highlight, department co-heads Leon Liu and Carol Sun are advising Airbus on Chinese law issues relating to the widely reported multi-jurisdictional government investigations into the company’s bribery schemes. The group is also particularly knowledgeable of risks associated with data compliance in the PRC, the US and the EU; this is evidenced in its recent cutting-edge work in the TMT and e-commerce industries, in which recently promoted partner Andy Pan is highly experienced.
Other key lawyers:
‘Quick response time in complex cross border investigations involving multiple regulatory investigations with dual English and Chinese capabilities.’
‘Carol Sun has significant experience in cross-border complex financial crime investigations and provides valuable strategic advice in challenging matters.’
‘Their China-based team is excellent at coordinating international partnerships, matching up talent in affiliated overseas law firms with the needs of local clients, meeting Chinese regulatory requirements, thereby creating comprehensive solutions that are acceptable to clients.’
‘Carol Sun has an in-depth understanding of corporate compliance and the ability to understand and interpret the law very precisely, enabling her to provide feasible, practical solutions that are just right for the situation, helping to support communication and implementation efforts between corporate compliance departments and business departments.’
‘The Yuanda regulatory/compliance team is able to provide clients with practical and efficient legal services. Their portfolio of talent includes both specialist back-office analysis personnel and front office client-facing lawyers, and they bill accurately and truthfully. They also have an excellent network of alliances and partnerships that enable them to provide the assistance that the client requires, even if it is outside the scope of Chinese law.’
‘Carol Sun deals with client requirements in a very responsive and professional way and is always able to provide clients with practical, expert advice and corresponding solutions based on the actual situation and judicial practices.’
- Assisted Airbus with a comprehensive compliance investigation as well as disclosures to government authorities in China, France, the UK, and the US.
Global Law Office is well versed in assisting large corporate clients with issues pertaining to their risk management and general compliance programs, as well as with representing them in agency investigations into allegations of market misconduct, employment law violations and bribery. The team’s recent workload demonstrates a discernible ability to handle mandates in more dynamic industries such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The department is led out of Shanghai by Alan Zhou and Weiwei Gu. Clients also laud Jacky Li as being ‘very passionate about his work and dedicated to his clients’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is one of the most experienced and largest teams for this practice. They have people from a variety of backgrounds – law firms, in-house, government, etc.; that really elevates the type of services they can provide as well as the speed at which they can provide these services.’
‘Jacky Li is an excellent partner at this firm. He is very passionate about his work and dedicated to his clients.’
‘The team is able to provide excellent legal consulting opinions and internal investigation services, and is supported by a very strong and stable team that is able to cover a huge amount of ground in terms of investigating cases. For example, if the case involves ABAC, AML, privacy protection, online advertising or other such issues, the Global regulation and compliance team has more than ample resources and expertise to support our company’s service needs.’
‘As a partner in the Global regulation and compliance team, Jacky Li is a truly outstanding lawyer. He is able to provide expert legal services and high-quality legal advice and opinions at many critical points. He has a very strong investigative background and has achieved masterly results in terms of strategy and tactics for a number of major investigation cases. He leads the team for investigative tasks and delivers an outstanding report to the client. He communicates very well with clients and is able to understand client needs and concerns very effectively.’
China Pharmaceutical Industry Association, China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Association for Vaccines, China Biochemical Pharmaceutical Industry Association, China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment R&D based Pharmaceutical Association Committee, and China Association for Medical Devices Industry
- Assisted a pharmaceutical sector client with an inspection requiring proactive risk identification and assessment.
According to clients, Zhong Lun Law Firm ‘has plenty of experience appearing before the PRC authorities’; indeed, the practice is well versed in providing PRC-focused counselling services to large multinational companies, but is also adept at advising on the PRC law aspects of cross-border agency investigations conducted by authorities in Europe and the US. Another area of focus for the team is advising companies on their internal compliance systems. Xiangwen Liu and Gary Gao jointly lead the regulatory compliance group, while Jianwei Liu sits at the helm of the trade compliance practice. Jerry Fang is also recommended for his cross-border work.
‘The team is one of only very few regulatory/compliance-focused specialists among all the many PRC law firms. It is a top-tier firm and has plenty of experience appearing before the PRC authorities.’
‘Jerry Fang is a standout partner. He is commercial, astute, very savvy, and easy to work with. Foreign clients love working with Jerry.’
‘Zhong Lun Law Firm team understands how the life sciences industry operates its business model, as well as the corresponding compliance risks. The team has lawyers of differing levels of seniority and is, therefore, able to offer flexible billing. It is able to help clients find and hire law firms to support the client’s emergency needs in even the most remote regions.’
‘The team is young, smart, open to fresh ideas, capable and hard-working, and has an excellent attitude to service. They are very very familiar with the relevant laws, regulations and policies for the food industry, and is able to provide targeted solutions and risk assessment reports based on the needs of the specific company.’
‘Jim Qiu is a lawyer with an excellent understanding of the life sciences industry’s business models, operations, and associated compliance risks. As well as warning clients of risk, he is able to provide measures and solutions to mitigate risks. As a partner, Mr Qiu has a very hands-on style and communicates proactively with clients to provide effective legal services and thereby build a relationship of mutual trust with the client.’
Chevron(China)Investment Co., Ltd.
Bang & Olufsen Enterprise Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Microport Medical (Group) Co., Ltd.
Danone Asia-Pacific Management Co., Ltd.
Dyson Technology (Shanghai) Limited
Hang Lung Properties Limited
Swarovski (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd
Shandong Lin Gong Construction Machinery Co., Ltd
Xinyin Wealth Management Co., Ltd.
Xu Zhou Coal Mining Group
Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy Group Co., Ltd.
State Development & Investment Corp., Ltd.
China Certification & Inspection Group Co., Ltd. (CCIC)
China CITIC Co., Ltd.
China National Machinery IMP. & EXP. Corp.
China SDIC International Trade Co., Ltd.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation
Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd.
CRRC Technology Park Development Co., Ltd.
SDIC Power Holding Co., Ltd.
Eastman Chemical (China) Co., Ltd.
MT Cosmetics, Inc.
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.
Shanghai Essilor Optical Co., Ltd.
J.D. Power and Associates
a2 Infant Nutrition (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Align Technology (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd.
Pernod Ricard (China) Trading Co., Ltd.
Pulse Electronics Corporation
American Technology Co., Ltd.
Chow Tai Fook
Hitevision Co., Ltd.
Zoneco Group Co., Ltd.
Johnson Yiu-Nam LAU
- Advised Airbus S.A.S. on handling a multi-jurisdictional anti-corruption investigation from the French Parquet National Financier, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the UK Serious Fraud Office.
- Assisted Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy Group Co. with the establishment of its comprehensive compliance system including the establishment of the compliance policies, review of the compliance obligations and compliance risk alert.
- Assisted Zoneco Group Co., Ltd. with providing a response to an administrative penalty for information disclosure violation.
DaHui Lawyers offers a significant depth in the TMT and fintech sectors, where it assists numerous domestic and multinational companies on the regulatory aspects of transactions and portfolio investments. The department is led by Beijing-based duo Richard Ma and Zheng Zha.
Other key lawyers:
Alibaba Group Inc.
China Seed International
Cirium (Flight Global)
Hainan Airlines / HNA Group
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
LexisNexis Legal Professional & Risk Solutions
Messe München Group
Mitsui & Co., Ltd
Princeton University Press
Reed Business Information (RBI)
Research Square (AJE)
Shell / Royal Dutch Shell
Siam Cement Group (SCG)
Simon & Schuster
SingEx Exhibitions Pte. Ltd
- Advised Elsevier on regulatory and compliance issues with respect to offering a large suite of various products in China through domestic models and partnerships.
- Advised Yellow River on establishing and growing JHD into one of the largest merchant enablement platforms in China.
- Advised Airbnb on operating permit requirements, data protection and e-commerce compliance, payment processing, and other regulatory matters of its local operations.
Haiwen & Partners advises on a broad mix of anti-corruption, anti-commercial bribery, anti-unfair-competition matters as well as on the regulatory aspects of M&A and other investment transactions. Practice head Jianyuan Yang who joined from Fangda Partners in September 2020, has extensive experience in complex matters that involve cross-border issues and concurrent proceedings before different authorities, and is also experienced in advising on data breach, and data compliance matters including advising on challenging data privacy issues arising from business operation. Peng Fu focuses on advising clients in the TMT, healthcare and life sciences sectors, while Qiong Wu excels in employment law compliance matters.
Other key lawyers:
Peng Fu; Qiong Wu
At Han Kun Law Offices, the corporate compliance group is primarily split between Beijing and Shanghai, with Chen Ma and David Tang leading the teams at each office, respectively; the duo is praised for being ‘very helpful, responsive and knowledgeable’. The department is well equipped to handle issues relating to internal investigations and compliance systems for a mix of multinational companies and their PRC subsidiary entities. Particular areas of focus include bribery and corruption, fraud, employee misconduct and data protection violations.
Other key lawyers:
‘Han Kun’s team helped us resolve copyright and intellectual property rights violations for our organization. The team has attention to detail and is very responsive. We contact them and many times receive a response on the same day. Their accounts receivable team is also very responsive and helpful.’
‘The regulatory/compliance team is highly regarded for PRC law advice and representations. Compared to other top PRC law firms, Han Kun delivers very client-focused attention.’
‘Mr. David Tang and Mr. Chen Ma are very helpful, responsive and knowledgeable. We found working with them during the copyright and intellectual property rights infringement case very helpful. They helped carry out thorough investigations with credible sources. We would gladly use the services of this team again.’
‘Will Huang in Shanghai is very astute and commercial when it comes to PRC regulatory compliance issues.’
‘The team works together very well and the team members have very clear and specific responsibilities, enabling them to effectively resolve compliance issues for companies.’
‘David Tang responds to client needs and issues in a very timely manner and has a very high level of professional expertise for the compliance field, enabling him to cut straight to the key issues during compliance investigations.’
Llinks Law Offices' client roster features multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises, listed companies and large private companies which it advises on a broad range of compliance matters. Its expertise spans cybersecurity and data protection, trade control and investment regulation, as well as commercial intellectual property rights and environmental protection. David Pan is the main contact and led on a number of fraud, embezzlement and FCPA matters.
‘The Llinks team combines precise support for client needs with a profound understanding of laws, regulations and practices to provide clients with effective, high-quality solutions.’
‘The compliance team has a very high level of professionalism and expertise and the team members are very well chosen.’
‘They are able to call upon the combined efforts of their whole firm to provide clients with the comprehensive legal services they need.’
SKF Bearings Shanghai
Essilor (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
- Advising IDEXX Laboratories on investigating the commercial bribery conduct of its competing products and reporting to competent authorities.
- Advising SKF Bearings Shanghai on compliance investigation.
- Providing compliance analysis of sales incentive programme for Essilor China.
Zhao Sheng Law Firm
Zhao Sheng Law Firm specialises in regulatory issues arising in the financial services sector; its depth in the industry is further enhanced by its joint operation with Linklaters. Shanghai-based department head Colette Pan has a wealth of experience of advising both multinational and PRC companies on the China-facing regulatory issues of their inbound and outbound investments. Managing partner Eric Liu also advises both state-owned enterprises and foreign companies on the compliance aspects of transactions with a PRC element.
Schroders Investment Management Ltd
- Advising Schroders Investment Management Ltd on its proposed wealth management joint venture with the wealth management subsidiary of Bank of Communications to be set up in Shanghai.