The US Department of Commerce’s top legal eagle is in sharp focus when it comes to advising China on commercial law reform. He talks to John Church about his career as general counsel and his China strategy

As general counsel go, this one is a high flyer. Nominated for chief counsel to the US Department of Commerce by none other than President Barack Obama, it’s a fair bet that Kelly Welsh’s career will fly even higher should a certain former first lady take the White House at the next US elections and become the first female US president.

Harvard-educated and with a solid legal grounding, Welsh has plenty of savvy and friends in all the right places. He spoke with China Business Law Journal on the eve of his first year as general counsel to the department about his job, his vision and the role he is playing in forging closer ties with China on commercial law reform.

High flyerWelsh says he was drawn to law because it’s an intellectually challenging profession “but also one that operates in the real world, unlike academia.”

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