Standing tall

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It was a year of increased turbulence, the likeness of a whirlpool. Surging AI investment fuelled by ChatGPT’s soaring popularity, the US Federal Reserve interest rates hikes, and the escalating Palestinian-Israeli conflict reverberated through the global political and economic landscape. Yet, amid the chaos, experienced professionals emerged as steadfast anchors, guiding commercial transactions with their wisdom and expertise.

One sector deeply affected by these dynamics is China’s private equity (PE) market. It finds itself in a downward cycle marked by declining fundraising, investments, transaction volumes and value. For the past two years, the most obvious trend has to be the retreat of US dollar funds and the rise of renminbi funds. Recognising the distinct investment styles and cultural DNA of these two types of players, practitioners and service providers are quickly recalibrating their strategies to embrace a new set of game rules.

Fundraising faced headwinds as global interest rate hikes, compounded by the US-China decoupling and the country’s sluggish economic recovery. And on the exit front, the pace of IPOs witnessed a significant slowdown.

CBLJ 2311 PrologueIn this issue’s cover story, Shuffling the PE deck, we delve into the major trends shaping the PE market, and senior practitioners provide insightful analyses, advice, and explore potential opportunities within the industry.

Known for providing reliable venues for commercial dispute resolution, arbitration institutions are also actively seeking change. They reexamine the fundamental advantages that have made arbitration an alternative to traditional litigation, striving to enhance their collective offering of dispute resolution services. China’s arbitration industry has come a long way, as showcased in Changing gears, where leaders from seven top arbitration institutions reflect on their development milestones and the evolving arbitration landscape in mainland China, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia.

Ultimately, people are at the heart of the success or failure of commercial transactions and hold the key to overcoming current adversity, which remains our unwavering focus. In this issue, we are pleased to present the full lineup of the Growth Drivers category, following China Business Law Journal’s recent announcement of the first category of our upgraded A-List awards. The winners represent the key players in law firms – the stalwarts with rich practice experience and profound legal acumen. These seasoned lawyers are active at the forefront of the market, boasting outstanding reputations and robust revenue-generating capabilities, and create real value for their clients.

The final list is the aggregate result of market nominations, candidates’ own submitted supportive information, and independent research conducted by the editorial team. We would like to share our heartfelt appreciation to all who participated in our market survey, including Chinese and global in-house counsel, executives, partners from Chinese and international law firms, and legal experts from various industries, as well as our earnest congratulations to all the winners.

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