Our review lights way forward


Despite all the challenges of 2020, we have witnessed that every legal entity, large or small, is sparing no effort in adapting to the so-called new normal.

CBLJ Jul/Aug 2020 - Our review lights way forwardThis issue of China Business Law Journal features our annual comprehensive review of China’s legal services market. The review is a series of four articles providing in-depth analyses of the most important regulatory changes and market trends, as well as the key concerns of corporate counsel, in the first half of the year.

Amid economic headwinds, a continuing pandemic and ongoing friction with the US, China has never stopped moving forward with legal reforms. The Foreign Investment Law took effect at the start of the year, followed by China’s first Civil Code, which was approved at the end of May and will come into force next year. Forward motion explores areas of these reforms that have confused some companies, and compiles suggestions and assessments from legal experts.

In the first half of 2020, China’s legal services market has been buffeted by change. Major law firms seem to be weathering the storm, while many small to medium-sized firms are finding it tough.

China Business Law Journal conducted its annual legal market survey of Chinese leading law firms, in which nearly 80 responded and showcased their business performance, as well as national and international footprints.

How did Chinese law firms perform in terms of revenue, and what development strategies are they adopting? When the going gets tough answers these questions with the release of our annual legal market survey results. Law firm leaders also give their economic predictions, which will impact practice work for all firms.

The rules governing business activities are set to undergo big changes, and for corporate counsel, the year is now on the wane, leaving them only a few months to prepare for the introduction of the Civil Code.

The codification, dubbed “an encyclopaedia on social life”, is immense in volume, with 1,260 articles covering legal provisions on personality rights, property rights, contracts, marriages, inheritances, tort and so on.

Apart from the Civil Code, there are also industry challenges involving supply chain, regulatory environment, and internal team management. In Toil and trouble, senior counsel share their coping strategies and predictions.

Finally, the pandemic, among other recent phenomena, is a challenge being dealt with by corporate counsel around the world. In The long view, international GCs share their views with us on the changing role of in-house legal teams, and what they believe these teams should do to prepare for the next big disruptive event.

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