China and Hong Kong 2017 – GC Powerlist

China and Hong Kong 2017

Aaron Shao

Area lead counsel, China | Abbott Laboratories

Beginning his legal career working on foreign direct investment initiatives in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Aaron Shao built on this valuable experience by progressing to a rewarding career in...

#GCPowerlist China and Hong Kong 2017

Albert Wang

General counsel Asia Pacific | 3M, China

Albert Wang’s extensive experience in both private practice and in-house roles allows him to bring an almost unparalleled body of knowledge to bear to his role as general counsel of...

#GCPowerlist China and Hong Kong 2017

Alex Zhouzhang Chen

General counsel | Sinopec International Exploration and Production (SIPC), China

With a varied career that has seen him take on a number of interesting roles, Alex Chen has been general counsel of Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC)...

#GCPowerlist China and Hong Kong 2017

Alice Chan

General counsel | Prudential Corporation Asia, Hong Kong

Alice Chan’s career is notable for encompassing three branches of legal work: private practice, academia and in-house. Chan enjoyed a successful private practice career culminating in a corporate partner role...

#GCPowerlist China and Hong Kong 2017

Allen Zhou

Vice president and general counsel - Greater China | Schneider Electric, China

French multinational energy management company Schneider Electric has had operations in China since 1987 and has invested over RMB 3bn in that period. Allen Zhou joined the company in 2009...

#GCPowerlist China and Hong Kong 2017

Editor Message

The economies of China and Hong Kong are often compared based on their differences, despite the interaction between the two. China is still dependent on high-volume manufacturing that is still one of the linchpins of globalisation, while Hong Kong remains a global financial capital. China, despite its economic liberalisation over the past two decades or so, maintains a high degree of state management in its businesses and is dominated in some sectors by large state-owned companies. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is known as a hub for international companies who need a base for their expansion into the wider Asian region.

However, these traditional views of the countries are changing, and the role of the general counsel is at the heart of the transformation. Regulation in both China and Hong Kong is rapidly evolving, and is posing new challenges for the increasing number of globally-facing companies in the region. This challenge is spurring the development of the still new corporate counsel role in China. General counsel in the GC Powerlist have been progressively expanding their influence since the introduction of the corporate lawyer role in 2003, and many spoke positively to us about their increasing impact on strategic business decisions. In Hong Kong, though already well established, the GC role is becoming increasingly focused on regulatory, compliance and risk management efforts.

Considering the developing market and shifting nature of the role, The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: China and Hong Kong seeks to highlight the individuals who are driving this change. In particular, we sought to include those who were able to successfully combine their technical legal ability with excellent business acumen to make a truly indispensable contribution to their company’s success.

Over several months our experienced researchers consulted both law firm partners and in-house counsel, who nominated corporate counsel who they believe provided the most outstanding support and innovative methods of working in the market. We then chose those nominees who were most worthy of inclusion based on the above criteria.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors for supporting this publication, Zhong Lun. A special mention must also be made for the general counsel that took time to speak to us throughout the process, and for the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication, Mudasser Ahmedi and Joe Boswell.

David Burgess
Publishing Director

Editor |

Sponsor Message

Zhong Lun Law Firm

Zhong Lun Law Firm logo

Happy New Year to you all! First of all we want to congratulate you on behalf of Zhong Lun Law Firm on your inclusion in the first ever GC Powerlist China and Hong Kong 2017, and extend to you our heartfelt new year’s greetings. As co-host of this publication, we feel honoured and deeply grateful for the opportunities we have had to work with top-notch businesses such as yours.

Facing rapidly growing complexity in legal work, general counsels across the globe have accumulated widespread recognition for their innovative approaches, management savvy and trendsetting abilities. You and your peers are not only the reliable providers of timely and seamless in-house legal services, but also the driving force in the construction of internal supervision and risk management mechanism, the business transformation, the safeguarding of the businesses and the improvement of the competitive strengths of the companies. It’s not farfetched to say that your work has given us a better business climate and your success paves the way for our success.

The competition is getting fiercer, while your dedication and spirit of enterprise makes you the forerunners in the industry, we believe that your companies take pride in your amazing achievements and that you will grasp every opportunity this era presents, shoulder even more social responsibilities and make even greater contributions to China’s legal reform.

As headline sponsor, Zhong Lun was one of the first batch of partnership law firms approved to be established by the Ministry of Justice, and one of the largest full-service law firms in China. The firm practices in 21 areas, including capital markets/securities, real estate, private equity and venture capital, corporate/foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, dispute resolution and intellectual property. Committed to providing comprehensive and integrated legal support for our clients’ business activities, our firm, headquartered in Beijing, has offices in 15 cities around the world, with nine mainland offices (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao and Hangzhou) and six overseas outfits (Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco).

Since 2013, Zhong Lun has won more than 300 awards with its business strength, excellent market performance and outstanding client services. For five consecutive years (2012-2016), it has been the Chinese law firm with the highest number of practice areas ranked by Chambers, including the highest number of practice areas with Band 1 rankings, and the PRC law firm with the highest number of recommended lawyers. In 2015, it was named Corporate & Finance China PRC Law Firm of the Year by Chambers. In 2016, it won The Lawyer’s Asia Law Firm of the Year award. In 2015, the firm was crowned PRC Law Firm of the Year by International Financial Law Review. For two years running (2015- 2016), Zhong Lun was named by Asian Legal Business (ALB) as one of the Top 10 Law Firms in China and it was named by ALB as China Employer of Choice in 2013-2014 and 2016. For three consecutive years (2013-2015), Zhong Lun was also ranked the Best Overall PRC Law Firm by China Business Law Journal. In September 2016 it won ten awards at the China Law & Practice Awards, including China Firm of the Year and Pro Bono Initiatives of the Year, making it one of the most decorated law firms among all participating firms. Last year, Zhong Lun was ranked first among the Top 20 Chinese Law Firms and named Legal Pioneer for Internationalisation by Phoenix Global Affairs Unit. Besides this, Zhong Lun has won more than 70 awards for various deals. Our major deals include the Shanghai Disney Resort project, JD’s acquisition of Tencent’s e-commerce business, Focus Media’s privatisation, Vanke and Blackstone’s joint venture, the establishment of China Railway Development Fund and its first phase of fundraising, Hewlett-Packard and Unisplendour’s US$2.5bn collaboration, WuXi AppTec’s privatisation, Ping An Insurance Group’s acquisition of Autohome shares from Telstra Corp, Bank of China (Hong Kong)’s Panda bond issuance, acquisition of OmniVision Technologies by a Chinese private equity consortium, the Thar II development project in Pakistan, to name a few.

We wish you all a more prosperous and fruitful 2017!