Moving with the markets

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Timing your market moves is notoriously difficult, but taking the time to track the market will bring its rewards by helping better inform decision-making and futureproof your business.

This issue, in time for our mid-year bi-monthly issue, China Business Law Journal presents its annual market report series exploring the ups and downs of the market in the past year and all the latest developments based on our surveys.

To feel the pulse of the legal industry, we have gathered intelligence from both legal service providers and internal corporate counsel for emerging opportunities to be found among some seemingly endless external challenges.

Our cover story, Eyes forward, explores the most active sectors and practice areas in China’s legal market, and how partners from Chinese and foreign law firms are using their management acumen to strategise and move beyond past limitations with a view to the prizes the future may bring.

On the quantitative side, with government support via spending in crucial areas and growth in predictable practice areas during times of turmoil, most law firms are reporting revenue growth. Counting blessings looks into the key indicators of 94 leading law firms’ performances in the areas of revenue, expansions and headcounts, and their various new action plans required for a transforming domestic economy.

Turning to the in-house counsel community, legal teams providing a silver lining to clouds of uncertainty are getting plenty of the spotlight and demonstrating their indispensable value to their companies. In Within the epicentre, we talk to the in-house leaders of domestic and multinational companies about experiences and insights for the past year in their quest for paths forward.

From a holistic view, some trends originally considered peripheral are quietly sweeping across the globe. The most obvious one, ESG (environmental, social and governance) is now an internalised corporate compliance requirement as more and more governments step in with regulation.

In Steering the ESG shift, Mike Madden, the global board chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), shares how general counsel are increasingly working to understand and institutionalise their roles in the ESG evolution, and are quickly solidifying their position as a true partner to the business and an indispensable member of the executive team.

Rebuilding the faith zooms back into the real estate sector back home, with the sector in grave crisis. Michael Zhang, executive director of Jinmao Capital’s risk and compliance department, examines the risks faced by asset managers with their investment strategies for the sector, and offers advice on mitigating these risks.