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Asia Business Law Journal uncovers the premier professionals leading the way in Taiwan’s legal landscape. Lim Miran and Emeli Zuño report.

As Taiwan strides into 2024, a tangible sense of expectation surrounds the island’s economy. The government expects annual gross domestic product to expand more than 3%, rebounding from the worst growth in more than a decade in 2023 on strong demand for Taiwan’s world-leading technology products and a recovery in consumption.

The shadows of the global pandemic are fading. Even as supply chain disruptions persist, with attacks on Red Sea shipping the latest example, there’s been no sign of the kind of turmoil seen during covid-19 – a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Taiwanese businesses.

Taiwan’s economy is heavily dependent on trade: total two-way shipments are more than double GDP; in the US, it’s around a quarter. This is no accident, but a strategic adaptation to the island’s geographical constraints and the result of Taiwan’s successful focus on manufacturing advanced semiconductors and electronics. The island is home to the world’s premier contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and serves the world’s leading tech giants, including Apple and Nvidia.

Taiwan’s domestic market has also proved stable, while an anticipated revival in tourism could well see consumption recover to pre-pandemic levels.

And while the bubbly economy means the threat of inflation is never far from central bankers’ minds, households are also benefitting from record-high monthly incomes. All things considered, Taiwan stands at the edge of a promising year, underpinned by strategic economic planning, a robust trade sector and an optimistic consumer base. As the world pivots towards recovery, Taiwan’s economy symbolises how adaptability and strategic foresight can pave the way for sustainable growth.

It is against this buoyant backdrop that Asia Business Law Journal unveils its A-List of Taiwan’s top 100 lawyers, curated through a combination of comprehensive research and nominations from in-house counsel within and beyond Taiwan, as well as international law firm partners who have Taiwan as part of their focus.

Most of the A-List are based in Taipei, the economic core of the island and home to numerous corporate and legal powerhouses.

Comments provided to Asia Business Law Journal from clients indicate a clear preference for lawyers with the skills to offer high-quality legal counsel and representation, which are vital in helping businesses succeed and secure a competitive advantage globally.

Cross-border strategy pioneers

Cross-border strategy combines legal skills with global business insights, easing the flow of international trade. The following experts excel at simplifying complex regulatory challenges and managing corporate matters smoothly across legal systems.

Alex Hsin, managing partner at Guo Ju Law Firm, is acknowledged by Wei Lung Chiang, chief operating officer at Everbrite Technology Co, an automobile and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems manufacturing company in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, for his high degree of professionalism, integrity, reliability and wide range of experience with industrial strategy.

Hsin is also recognised by Martin Hu, managing partner at Shanghai-based MHP Law Firm, for his impressive portfolio showcasing executive experience ranging from general corporate affairs to M&A and cross-border investment.

“As an experienced lawyer in Taiwan and mainland China, Alex Hsin has well-rounded executive experience in general corporate affairs, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border investment, dispute resolution, and business law consulting for the private and public sectors,” says Hu. “He is familiar with market demands and the regulations of investment and M&A fields in cross-strait regimes.”

Arthur Tso, DLA Piper Quote

Eddie Hsiung, a partner at Lee and Li, received commendations from Arthur Tso, partner at DLA Piper Hong Kong, and Maggie Tsai, legal counsel at Edenred, a specific-purpose payment solutions provider in Taipei.

Tso highlights Hsiung’s crucial contributions in handling cross-border transactions and his insightful approach to Taiwanese law.

“Eddie and his team have been invaluable contributors, offering significant support in areas such as M&A, PE/VC deals, cross-border investment and group restructuring by providing insights grounded in Taiwanese law,” says Tso.

Tsai highlights Hsiung’s adeptness at servicing startups and e-commerce enterprises, specifically his expertise in laws related to e-payments – a skill set that she says gives him an edge.

“Eddie offers succinct legal opinions to address business issues. Unlike a lot of lawyers in Taiwan, Eddie is good at balancing the length of a memo and the necessary details clients expect. By preparing concise memos, Eddie alleviates the burden on legal counsel to convey the legal issues.”

Xing Liyong, a partner at Clifford Chance in Hong Kong, says: “Mr Hsiung has been exceptional in advising on private investment fund-related matters, in particular relating to Taiwanese institutional investors.”

Vincent Lin, a partner at Tsar & Tsai, is distinguished by his academic credentials and professional pedigree, but also by his two decades-long commitment to delivering exceptional legal services.

Victor Chien, senior vice president at Taipei-based CTBC Bank, applauds Lin’s approach: “In many important financial and corporate dispute cases, he can always provide correct, feasible and pragmatic opinions in a timely manner and assist the company to successfully resolve many disputes. In addition to professionalism, his carefulness and willingness to assist and communicate make him trustworthy.”

William Ong, a partner at Allen & Gledhill, also vouches for Lin’s commitment and skills. Ong states: “Vincent has worked with me in cross-border disputes ‒ he displays complete commitment and dedication to his work and clients. He is a very good advocate who is able to advance his client’s cause in a fair and rigorous fashion. He is an expert in both international arbitration and domestic litigation.”

In an illuminating endorsement that places a spotlight on cross-border legal interoperability, Hung Ou Yang, managing partner of Brain Trust International Law Firm, was identified by Eloy Peral, special counsel at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, a full-service law firm based in New York, as an essential conduit for legal proceedings involving Taiwan and broader Asian markets.

Hung Ou Yang is our ‘go to’ local counsel in Taiwan and the wider Asia market, both for his impressive problem-solving capabilities and his knowledge of and connections to local actors,” notes Peral. “Hung Ou Yang has a strong grasp on common law concepts and is extremely effective in presenting Taiwanese law to an American lawyer.”

M&A and capital markets specialist

Their strategic and solution-focused mindset, coupled with an expansive understanding of the commercial world, positions M&A and capital markets specialists to tackle the ever-evolving arena of global finance and business in an effective manner.

One standout in this field is James Hsiao, a senior partner at Dentons Taiwan. Hsaio was lauded as the best in his field by Jeannette Hung, executive vice president at Cathay United Bank, a commercial bank headquartered in Taipei.

“In my view, James is the best M&A and capital markets lawyer in [Taiwan], whom I highly rate for his superior expertise, profound knowledge and abundant hands-on experience and visibility in M&A, IPOs and other capital markets matters,” says Hung. “He is well recognised for his technical accuracy, broad commercial perspective, solution-oriented approach and strong judgement.”

Labour and employment law

Labour and employment law forms the backbone of employer-employee relations, advocating for fairness, preventing discrimination and ensuring the interests of all workplace participants are secure.

Eloy Peral, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf Quote

In this realm, Chih-Poung Liou, managing partner at Stellex Law Firm, shines. As a seasoned veteran in labour law, Liou is helping to forge a profound breakthrough in managing the delicate area of employer-employee dynamics. His passion and prompt professional service command the respect of those headquartered in the northwestern Taiwanese city of Hsinchu. Yao lauds Liou’s dependability, saying: “He is always passionate and works in a professional/timely manner. He is really a reliable partner to support the business owner to manage the employer-employee relationship.”

General corporate law vanguards

Experts in general corporate law are celebrated for their strategic prowess in tackling complex business challenges and delivering practical legal solutions. The following lawyers adeptly reconcile the demands of disparate legal systems, ensuring smooth corporate functionality across legal territories.

Among these experts, Eugenia Chuang, a partner at KPMG Law receives praise from Kwok Kit Cheung, partner at Deacons in Hong Kong. Cheung speaks highly of Chuang’s ability to provide good and practical solutions to clients. “She is also good at managing complex matters for clients involving counsel from different jurisdictions,” he says.

Similarly, Mike Weiming Lu, managing partner at Lexcel Partners, garners high remarks for his profound industry knowledge and solution-driven legal assistance from Joseph Yu, head of compliance at Taipei-based Mercuries Life Insurance. “Mike Lu is a trustable lawyer who really knows the industry and helps our company a lot with useful solutions,” says Yu.

Compiling the A-List

The A-List is based on extensive research conducted by Asia Business Law Journal. To identify the top 100 lawyers in Taiwan, we turned to thousands of in-house counsel in Singapore and around the world – as well as partners at international law firms – and asked them to tell us which lawyers should make the cut. Nominations were made by professionals at a wide range of Taiwan and global companies, financial institutions and law firms including 3M, Air Liquide Far Eastern, Akin Gump, Alchip Technologies, Allen & Gledhill, American Express, Appier, Applied Materials, Archroma, Ashurst, BaoLong International, Bitfinex, BitoPro, Blueleaf Energy, BNP Paribas, Bridgestone, Bruker Corporation, BW Industrial, Cathay United Bank, Chevron, Chicony Electronics, Chien Kuo Construction, Clifford Chance, CTBC Bank, DBS Bank, Deacons, Debevoise & Plimpton, DEKRA, DFDL, DLA Piper, Edenred, EDF Renewables, EIS Group, Everbrite Technology, Far Eastern International Bank, First Securities, Ford Lio Ho Motor, Foxconn, Fredrikson & Byron PA, GE Vernova, Global Unichip Corp, Google, Gorilla Technology, IATA, Ingersoll Rand, J CUBE, JP Morgan Asset Management, Kering Group, KKCompany Technologies, LINE Taiwan, Lungyen Life Service, Match Group, McKinsey & Co, MediaTek, Mercuries Life Insurance, MHP Law Firm, Modernity Financial Technologies, Natixis, NewDeantronics, OrionW, Pi Mobile Technology, PurpleVine IP, RHTLaw Asia, Royal Canin, Sinyi Realty, Skyborn Renewables, Softstar Entertainment, Standard Chartered, Taiwan Mobile, Tektronix, The Trade Desk, Topkey Corp, UBS, Victory Industrial Corp, Visa, Vpon, White Summers, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, Winston & Strawn, XREX, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, and many more. The nomination process was backed up by thorough editorial research.

The final list reflects the nominations received, combined with the Asia Business Law Journal editorial team’s more than 30 years of collective experience in documenting and analysing Singapore’s legal market. All Taiwan private practice lawyers were automatically eligible for inclusion in the nominations process and, as always, there were no fees or any other requirements for entry. The names and photographs of all 100 A-List lawyers are published here. In addition, each A-List lawyer was allowed to include their biography and contact details, for which a publishing fee was charged.

It is important to note that while the compilation of the A-List was based solely on independent research, the biographies and contact details that appear alongside many of the listings have been written by the participating lawyers and the content has not been independently verified by Asia Business Law Journal.

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