Going the distance


Yiru Sun, the new senior partner of Hylands Law Firm, shares unique insights from her years of practice, research results and future plans to continue developing in the capital markets field.

Going the distance, Yiru Sun

Q1: Ms Sun, you have been deeply involved in the capital markets for more than 20 years, during which you have successfully handled many classic cases, and you are very good at settling disputes in business battles. Can you share your unique experience?

Ms Sun: For commercial disputes in capital markets, clients not only focus on the verdict, but also care more about whether the commercial interests behind the case can be satisfactorily settled. For example, in a case involving “struggle for the control over a listed company”, the judgment on disputes – such as the transfer of shares and the entrustment of voting rights – will be directly related to the controlling ownership of the target company. This means that litigation is usually only a means to achieving a commercial end and the ultimate goal is to fulfill the client’s business objectives. Therefore, I focus more on using a transactional mindset to deal with complex disputes in the capital markets.

If we only use legal thinking to solve a dispute, it is very likely to intensify the conflict. The flexible use of business transaction thinking can help to grasp the core demands of both sides in a fierce conflict, and combining this with legal expertise brings parties back to rationality, which is ultimately more conducive to the resolution of the dispute. This requires lawyers to have high comprehensive qualities such as abundant practice experience, keen commercial insights, a strong ability in commercial controls, etc.

Q2: You recently had a great performance on a complex cross-border deal. Is there anything you can share about this deal?

Ms Sun: The client in this transaction is a multi-industry integrated conglomerate with businesses covering real estate, commercial, property and agriculture. Amid the worldwide trend to focus on the development of a community economy, a Hong Kong-listed company approached my client to conduct an M&A and restructuring of my client’s property assets. Based on years of mutual understanding and trust, the client entrusted me with full authority to handle this transaction. As the team leader, I completed many complex tasks within two months, such as due diligence, the design of the deal proposal, deal structure optimisation, red-chip construction, transferring asset ownership overseas, tax estimation, etc. I also led several rounds of commercial negotiations that resulted in a satisfactory price for both parties. Unlike the requirements of a traditional lawyer business, the perfect completion of this cross-border transaction also requires excellent financial knowledge, business negotiation skills and being able to utilise international transaction-related policies to capture the right timing in the market.

Q3: You have many well-known original articles and are active in pro bono teaching activities. What motivates you to continue your academic research and contribute to education in the long term?

Ms Sun: I always believe that the value of a lawyer shines through dedication. I have led my team to write a series of research results on capital market compliance and litigation, which can provide practical guidelines for all legal practitioners engaged in capital market securities compliance business. In addition, as a leader in this area, I completed the first special topic on the group litigation system in the field of securities law in the Chinese capital markets last month. This work is nearly 40,000 words of original content, which will be subsequently released to the public free of charge.

Like every other professional in this field, I also went through a period of confusion and intellectual anxiety. Since the implementation of the new Securities Law, I have been invited to teach at industry associations, and conduct training at listed companies and other activities on a pro bono basis. It has been an honour and joy for me to share my practical experience and professional knowledge with the community and help new blood break into the industry.

Q4: You recently chose to join Hylands after receiving offers from several well-known law firms. Can you briefly talk about the considerations behind this decision and your vision for the future?

Ms Sun: I ultimately made my decision because I felt the guiding values of Hylands Law were most closely aligned with my own philosophy. Firstly, the firm is client-centred, and all of its resources are built around clients to fully realise client classification and accurate portraits, grasp client needs, improve a client’s experience, and solve client problems. Secondly, Hylands is building an “R&D-driven” law firm, and is establishing a high-profile Hylands Research Institute as a platform for legal research, business discussion and product development to realise the positive interaction and supply of theoretical research and practical experience. Thirdly, Hylands is building its strength in capital market compliance and dispute resolution.

After three decades of development, China’s capital market is continuing to accelerate reforms and create a stanadrdised system in the securities market. As a legal professional who is deeply involved in this field, I will, as always, firmly believe in the law and work diligently in the future to build a healthy and orderly capital market hand in hand with Hylands.