Cream of the crop

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The legal sector is shouldering more responsibility than ever, and only in such periods of adversity does true talent get tried and tested. Under the current dynamic global compliance environment, we are witnessing companies rebound, with some even exceeding pre-pandemic performance. This is due in no small part to the best efforts of internal and external counsel.CBLJ Feb issue

In this issue, we applaud the outstanding contributions that in-house counsel and lawyers, young and old, are making to industry and business. We also unpack some major incoming legislation updates in the area of intellectual property (IP), and talk to leading industry experts about what lies ahead for businesses.

Amendments to the Copyright Law and Patent Law, considered to be the last two pieces of China’s legal protection system for IP, will officially take effect on 1 June this year, but do the changes go far enough? Our cover story, Solving the IP puzzle, explores this narrative, combining interpretations from senior in-house counsel and practitioners on key points such as punitive damages and the reversal of the burden of proof in determining the amount of compensation.

It’s no secret that 2020 reshaped the way our world works and trades. The role of an in-house counsel has become particularly important as, during this time of uncertainty, they must respond to market conditions, protect their company’s growth strategy, and make rapid internal adjustments to ensure their company’s survival.

They deserve recognition for their hard work, which is often done out of sight and behind the scenes. So, China Business Law Journal is honoured to present the second edition of our In-House Counsel Awards, to encourage and recognise the outstanding work of in-house counsel in the past year, while at the same time providing a deeper understanding of the crucial role they play in a successful business. We give our heart-felt congratulations to all the winners.

While the pandemic may be receding, we have yet to return to the old ways of doing business, and we have learned that only companies able to swiftly adapt to a changing business environment will continue to thrive in these tough times. In Action plan, we talk to five leading general counsel about their expectations for this year, their experiences of how they helped steady their own ships at the height of the storm, and what they have done to ensure their businesses stay on course.

From these experts, we pivot to our young Chinese lawyers who are making remarkable achievements and gradually taking up the banner of succession. Recognising this evolution, China Business Law Journal continues with its Rising Stars awards this year.

From more than 1,000 nominations from business leaders, senior in-house counsel and the wider legal community, we have selected 40 young elite lawyers under the age of 40 to create our latest list, which recognises their outstanding contributions in China-related practice.