Interview with: Runqing Dong (John), Partner
Baohua Law Firm | View firm profile
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Baohua Law Firm from your competitors?
We are one of the few law firms in China that specialises only in labour and employment. Without a certain level of commitment, professionalism and confidence, the partners of a law firm won’t make such decision to limit practice area. Furthermore, we are no doubt a local law firm with a strong international background, such background gives our clients or potential clients (particularly international companies) a strong impression.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Within the labour and employment regime, I believe the major growth of practice would come from 3 parts, namely design of new model of employment, foreign investment by Chinese companies and anti bribery or corruption from local subsidiaries of international companies.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
During the past 2 years, we have kept adding more internet elements into our traditional off-line service, making our entire service more cost-effective and response more quickly. For example, we have developed one software that can help our clients do various calculation with relation to labour and employment matters.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Yes. In the future, each law firm must adapt itself to the great technological revolution. Baohua Law Firm is in the frontier of such revolution by adding internet related elements into traditional service.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
We once were engaged by an international company which has decided to close a plant in China with more than 800 people. Once the employees were informed of such message, they stopped working but remained present at their positions. The production rate then dropped dramatically, endangering the entire operation of the plant. At that moment, the inventory of the plant could only endure for around 1 week. Namely, if the work stoppage had lasted more than 1 week, the plant would not be able to provide any parts to the assembly line of the company, and the entire production of the company will be forced to pause. Tremendous loss was at risk at that time. We immediately worked out a plan to help the company restore its production. During the planning, we helped the company analyse what wrong had there been with their communication style and what they needed to do to persuade employees and regain their trust, and we helped the company identify the key people who were leading the work stoppage and coordinate the group communication. After 2 days of fierce stoppage the momentum of the employees started to cool down as we carried out plan gradually and the full production was restored on the 4th day. With our quick response, thoughtful plan, we helped the company avoid a fundamental loss.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
I believe so. As a leading law firm specialised in labour and employment area, clients are actually expecting more from us than other regular law firms. So we must hold ourselves to a level that is leading the market and be able to guide our clients through various difficulties. Our clients also expect from us prediction of labour market in the future years and suggestions from us how they need to react to such trend. After 3 years, by utilising all kinds of hi-tech tools, a leading law firm must be capable of prediction and subsequently guide the clients through all kinds of obstacles.