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Editorial

Resulting from a combination of domestic and global political developments, the economy of Taiwan remains delicate, with the major issues of the last few years remaining in place. The nationalist government of President Tsai Ing-Wen promised in 2016 to sever links with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and to promote trade and partnership with other Asean nations. The domestic situation has been made all the more precarious in light of the PRC’s maintained claim of sovereignty over the island.

The international risks arising from the government’s foreign policy are twofold. In light of deteriorating cross-Strait relations, the PRC has stepped up ‘dollar diplomacy’. China has increased efforts to win over Taiwan’s allies through investment initiatives, which have reduced the number of countries that recognise it as an independent nation to 17 as of September 2018. The other major international issue facing Taiwanese companies is the growing trade war between the US and China. Although Taiwan is not directly affected by US or Chinese tariffs, local companies have significant investments in hi-tech manufacturing operations in China, the relocation of which is unfeasible. Taken together, the future looks uncertain.

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.

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Tsai Lee & Chen Patent Attorneys and Attorneys

Founded in 1995 by Thomas QT Tsai, Esq, the firm strived to stand out in a relatively short time. Managing partner Thomas QT Tsai, Esq is a highly esteemed, leading patent professional in Taiwan. Prior to establishing this firm, he was a founding partner of one of the largest local IP firms. Motivated by the rise of Taiwan’s hi-tech industries in the 1990s, which included the fast development of electronic and semiconductor-related technologies.

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Domestically, government regulators have become more hostile to Chinese companies entering the market. Therefore, in the absence of significant inbound investment, the domestic market is in a consolidation phase. There is significant M&A activity across all sectors of the market, in particular the semiconductor and banking industries. Taiwanese businesses are also increasingly investing abroad, most notably in the US, Japan and Germany. In light of the trend for M&A, lawyers reported an increase in fundraising activity on the market for active and speculative corporate transactions. Renewable energy continues to represent a strong area of the market, as the Formosa 1 offshore wind project nears completion and further projects have been announced. Intellectual property (IP) continues to be an important feature of the market and as M&A activity has increased, so too has the transfer of IP portfolios. There has also been an increase of trade secrets cases involving companies in the PRC and a general increase in cross-border IP disputes.

The legal market remains stable, with Jones Day and Baker McKenzie still strong among the international firms and Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-LawTsar & Tsai Law FirmFormosan Brothers Attorneys at Law and Formosa Transnational Attorneys at Law leading local firms. Firms such as LCS & PartnersChien Yeh Law Offices and Lin & Partners Attorneys-At-Law are key names for mid-market clients.

Mandarin translation: 在国内和国际政治形势的影响下,台湾经济仍然疲软,以往几年的问题仍然存在。 台湾民粹政府总统蔡英文于2016年承诺与中华人民共和国中断联系,并加强与其他东南亚国家联盟成员国的贸易和合作关系。 由于中国对于台湾主权的主张,台湾国内形势更加动荡不安。

台湾政府的对外政策导致国际风险加剧。 随着两岸关系的恶化,中国出台了“美元外交”。 中国通过投资计划加大力度笼络台湾盟友,促使至2018年9月为止承认台湾独立主权的国家减少至17个。 除此以外,中美贸易战的升级对于台湾公司而言也是一大国际挑战。 虽然台湾没有受到美国或中国关税的直接冲击,但台湾公司在中国高科技生产厂家投入了大量资金,而迁址是不可行之举。 总而言之,未来局势飘摇不定。

在台湾国内,政府对于中国企业进入台湾市场的敌对情绪高涨。 因此,在缺乏充沛国外投资的情况下,国内市场进入整合阶段。 在各个市场部门出现大量并购活动,尤其是半导体和金融业。 台湾企业也加大了国外投资的力度,大部分集中于美国、日本和德国。 根据律师的报道,在并购活动的推动下,积极的和投机性公司交易募资活动日趋活跃。 可再生能源继续占领市场的主导地位。离岸风场计划Formosa 1即将竣工,并已宣布新项目计划。 知识产权仍是市场的一大亮点,随着收购活动增多,知识产权组合的转让也日趋频繁。 中国企业涉嫌商业机密案件和跨境知识产权纠纷也出现上升趋势。

法律市场目前保持稳定。 Jones Day 和 Baker McKenzie 在国际法律公司中仍保持强劲态势;Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-LawTsar & Tsai Law FirmFormosan Brothers Attorneys at Law 以及Formosa Transnational Attorneys at Law 仍然是行业翘楚。 LCS & PartnersChien Yeh Law Offices 和 Lin & Partners Attorneys-At-Law 等是中端市场客户的宠儿。

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