Feet on the path, eyes on the horizon


Past experience has taught us the hard way that grounding a business is key in navigating challenges and succeeding in the long term, especially so when China is getting back on its feet.

Companies are quick to uphold such values as they adapt to a new norm of international tensions and rapid global regulatory upgrades.

This issue goes back to the cornerstones and fundamentals, delving into realistic in-house considerations, the origins of successful careers, and the best and most indispensable choices of legal assistance.


While many are eager to sail full speed ahead and regain the lost territory of past years, in-house legal counsel across various industries have instead cautioned patience and restraint.

In our cover story, Calm resilience, general counsel and seasoned internal lawyers look into the year ahead, and share their forecasts and management strategies for both Chinese and foreign enterprises. Anticipating a year of revival and growth, in-house legal heads prioritise sustainability of the future over a speedy compensation for the past.

Turning to the basics of the lawyer-client dynamic, vital lessons can be learned from the provenance of an accomplished career.

In Best-laid plans, Janet Hui, the new co-chair of the International Bar Association’s antitrust section, talks to China Business Law Journal about her unusual career journey, switching from in-house to external and between different practice areas, before landing in her chosen field, and her ambition to broaden horizons for Chinese lawyers in the competition arena.

Another essential task of risk assessment is being done by both in-house counsel and external lawyers, yet few do it with great facility, as the to-do lists required may often go beyond the literal job description.

In Calculated risks, Aaron Shao, head of legal of Abbott (Greater China) and a member of our editorial board, breaks down what is really entailed and offers advice on how to excel.

While keeping our heads in the game, we must not forget to look up, seek the road ahead and dream big. On that note, we present the Rising Stars 2023 awards to recognise China’s up-and-coming legal achievers from thousands of nominations made by business leaders, senior in-house counsel and the wider legal community.

Having demonstrated exceptional dedication and professionalism in their practice areas, the 100 young elite lawyers under the age of 40 include 80 practitioners of Chinese law and 20 international lawyers committed to China-related business.

Let’s applaud their accomplishments, and congratulate them on their awards and the bright future they will bring to the industry.