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China Law Insight

About

 

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is an international law firm headquartered in Asia. As the first firm in the world able to practice PRC, Hong Kong, Australian, English, the US and a significant range of European laws, our presence and resources in the world’s most dynamic economies are profound. We open doors to global clients and unlock opportunities for them as they look to unleash the fullest potential of the Asian Century. Leveraging our exceptional legal expertise and depth of knowledge in the China market, we advise Chinese and overseas clients on a full range of domestic and cross-border transactions, providing comprehensive legal services.  

In mainland China and Hong Kong, the firm has nearly 300 partners and 1,200 lawyers with 11 offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Sanya, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Qingdao, Jinan, Chengdu, Hong Kong and other major commercial centers. Around the world, the firm has over 2,700 lawyers with an extensive global network of 32 international offices spanning Singapore, Japan, the US, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and other key cities in Europe as well as presences in the Middle East and South Africa. We are a global law firm which provides a one-stop legal services covering laws in PRC, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and European antitrust. With a large legal talent pool equipped with local in-depth and legal practice, we provide legal services in multiple languages.

The KWM platform, therefore, is able to provide its unique perspectives and market insights in Asia and greater regions. As a leading law firm developed in China, equipped with local in-depth, strong practice capabilities and extensive experience and combined with global vision and resources, KWM provides full-service, multi-jurisdiction, comprehensive, one-stop legal service and the best commercial solutions to meet the diverse needs of domestic and global clients and ensures that wherever our clients are doing business, we deliver the same high quality, commercial and innovative legal services.

Practice 

  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Corporate law is one of our core practices. We deliver a full spectrum of corporate advice to a wide range of clients including well-known multinationals, large and medium state-owned enterprises, private enterprises and government organs. Our lawyers are active pioneers in many frontier and complex domestic and cross-border transactions in many sectors.

  • Securities & Capital Markets

KWM is one of the first law firms approved to provide legal advice for securities transactions in China. Over the years, we have represented issuers and underwriters in over 100 domestic and international transactions for IPOs and new share issuances, and we have become one of the leading PRC law firms in securities.

  • Private Equity and Investment Funds

At the forefront of China’s legal services in private equity and investment funds, we have extensive experience in every aspect of the establishment, fund raising, operation and management, project investment and exit of domestic and overseas private equity and investment funds. Leveraging our in-depth understanding of China’s capital market and outstanding capability in advising on sophisticated cross-border transactions, our professionals have for many years provided multifaceted and efficient legal services, and assisted with the establishment, effective operation and development of numerous active private equity and investment funds. Our legal services in private equity and investment funds have won us wide praise from clients.

  • Banking & Finance

Since its foundation, KWM has been widely recognized in the industry for its expertise and performance in international finance and banking. Our lawyers’ experience in finance dates back to early 1980s when China first started to allow borrowing from international commercial sources. With China’s continued economic development our participation in banking and international financing projects has increased and we have greatly expanded this practice area.

  • Commercial Compliance

We provide our clients with tailored compliance plans based on their particular business. In every tailored plan, we take full account of the existing organizational and management structures, the industrial sector and cultural background. We draft and update compliance plans based on specific circumstances and needs, and also provide counselling and advice on how to respond to internal and external complaints or litigation and other legal risk management issues.

  • Competition & Trade Compliance

KWM is one of the first firms to give advice on competition law in China. We have lawyers across multiple disciplines who specialize in antitrust and anti-unfair competition. KWM’s China antitrust and competition practice group provides legal services based on the unique requirements of each client. Based on their experience in China and developed from client needs, the practice group members have continuously improved their professional skills in this area over the past 20 years. We advise on a variety of competition issues. Our high quality, comprehensive and tailored competition law advice has won us high recognition from clients, the industry, as well as relevant regulatory authorities. The KWM Antitrust & Competition Group is ranked as the top-tier advisory team for competition law by influential media worldwide.

  • International Trade

KWM is one of the first PRC law firms to provide legal services in international trade law. As early as 1997, we represented a client responding to the first anti-dumping case involving China. With a precise understanding of Chinese law, procedures and international treaties, our international trade group gives government authorities, domestic and international corporations the full spectrum of legal advice in this area. We have acted in many significant anti-dumping investigations launched by Chinese authorities. Alongside the rapid development of China’s international trade, we have achieved the long-term development of our services in international trade matters. Our team has accumulated extensive experience in key practice areas including trade remedies, WTO dispute settlement, American section 337 investigations, customs law, and import/export issues.

  • Labour & Employment

Aiming to minimize conflict and build harmonious industrial relations for you, we provide legal advice on labour and employment, social security, trade unions and HR management.

  • Tax

Well-versed in tax and finance, legal thinking and hands-on tax experience, our tax lawyers are able to provide integrated solutions that achieve both legal compliance and tax efficiency. In terms of dispute resolution for tax controversy, our team has solved difficult tax issues or even tax crises with a proven ability for effective communication and coordination. We have successfully completed many challenging tax planning projects and dispute resolution cases, achieving significant tax savings and avoiding material tax liabilities and penalties. Typically, our services substantially exceed client expectations.

  • Customs

KWM has a team of professionals with wide experience in customs and trade matters involving regulatory compliance. We not only give timely and effective legal advice on specific customs and import-export issues to avoid non-compliance, but also assist in handling emergencies and complicated cases to optimize client positions and to protect their legitimate rights. We may involve attorneys in other practice areas, such as litigation and dispute resolution, so as to provide integrated, systematic, professional and pragmatic solutions to meet client needs, particularly in major complex cases.

  • Environmental Law

The partner in charge of our team participated in the creation of important environmental laws, such as the Environmental Protection Law, and the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control Law. She made submissions for the Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law, and the revision of Law on Appraising of Environment Impacts. She has long experience in environmental legislative work in Guangdong Province, one of China’s most developed provinces.

In addition to participation in environmental legislation drafting, our team always keeps an eye on changes to environmental policies, environmental supervision and law enforcement, and environmental cases in China.

Our environmental legal work has included environmental protection compliance, emergency management of environmental accidents, investigation and assessment of environmental risks and general environmental consultation. Sectors involved include steel, chemicals, power generation, liquefied petroleum gas, automobile manufacturing, medicine, urban drainage and sewage treatment industries. We also provide environmental impact appraisals and due diligence to support investment in projects and construction.

We serve as litigation agent for environmental administrative penalties, administrative lawsuits, public interest lawsuits and criminal lawsuits.

Multinational corporations, listed companies, large state-owned enterprises, project companies, real estate developers, manufacturers and government organs benefit from our advice.

  • Dispute Resolution

KWM is a leading law firm in providing comprehensive legal services in domestic and cross-border dispute resolution. With over 20 years of experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, we take the lead in the industry and provide domestic and international clients with powerful legal support. Our team is proficient in litigation, arbitration, compliance investigation, bankruptcy, restructuring, and cross-border dispute resolution. We are experienced in resolving major and complex commercial disputes, and have clear advantages in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Our extensive network, advanced teamwork and strong business capabilities have equipped us for professional, efficient and first-rate legal services to domestic and international clients. Our dispute resolution group is client-oriented, and we fully tap the firm’s resources through collaborating with various practice groups including corporate, securities, finance and IP. We are committed to providing clear, practical, strategic and innovative dispute resolution solutions.

  • Anti-bribery and Compliance

KWM is one of the few law firms in China with a team devoted to anti-bribery and anti-corruption law. The firm provides a comprehensive range of services, including compliance systems, policy drafting and review, dealing with regulatory and internal investigations in relation to anti-bribery cases, cooperating with overseas lawyers on investigations by foreign governments, as well as providing legal advice on criminal matters. In recent years, KWM’ anti-bribery and compliance team has provided legal service to many domestic and overseas companies.

  • Restructuring & Insolvency

KWM is one of the first law firms in China to offer corporate restructuring and insolvency services. Now our team is one of the largest in China, with over 40 extensively experienced lawyers overseen by some of the most well-known restructuring and insolvency practitioners in China. We regularly advise on: restructuring, reorganisation, operation suspension and rectification, cancellation of trusteeship, administrative liquidation and insolvency of domestic enterprises, particularly on behalf of financial institutions and listed companies. We have accumulated extensive experience in insolvency, reconciliation, restructuring, debt restructuring, administrative liquidations and related business areas.

  • Intellectual Property

The KWM IP team has extensive professional knowledge in intellectual property practice, covering the full range of IP-related services in relation to prosecution/registration of patents and trademarks, registration of copyrights, formulation and enforcement of IP strategies, protection of IP rights and IP-related litigation.

Industry

  • Energy, Resources & New Energy

We specialize in China domestic, inbound and outbound business and energy transactions with a special focus on oil and gas, power and utilities, mining, mergers and acquisitions, project financing and project development. As our client you will benefit from a full range of legal services supporting all aspects of the energy value chain (upstream, midstream and downstream). Through our international office network, we bring together expertise in oil and gas, corporate, financing and construction. Our clients include Chinese state-owned enterprises and private companies, as well as international energy companies.

  • Financial Institutions

In times of crisis and in times of prosperity, our ability to create a clear path through this dynamic and complex sector will enable you to focus on running your business and minimizing regulatory surprises. Our multi-disciplinary Financial Institutions team pulls together finance skills, industry insights and serious business acumen. Tactically astute where necessary and strategic by nature, our goal is always the success of our clients.

  • Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

In China, KWM is one of the few law firms to have a team specialized in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry. Over the past 20 years, we have represented numerous healthcare enterprises from Asia, North America, Europe and Australia and accumulated rich experience in the sector.

We offer clients all-around one-stop legal services in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, including healthcare, medicine, medical devices and equipment, biological technologies, clinical tests, nutrition supply, gene, and health products. Our practice areas cover all kinds of legal issues in relation to healthcare and pharmaceuticals, including the establishment of legal entities concerning healthcare in various forms and types of businesses, mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry, daily operation of healthcare and pharmaceuticals enterprises, healthcare financing, transformation and relisting, restructuring, Intellectual property protection, and not forgetting dispute resolution.

  • Internet

We advise on innovation-related areas around the globe, and our team offers a full range of legal services and specialized advisory services in this sector. With profound expertise in law, professional background knowledge, a strategic mind-set and international outlook, we are the industry experts in providing legal advice with deep project experience and good business sense. We work cooperatively with clients to establish the economic model needed to develop or grow the relevant business. We execute delivery of client requirements for legal service covering various fields including E-commerce, information technology, high technology, culture, sports, as well as health management.

  • Automotive & Manufacturing

Manufacturers across the globe are looking to drive growth, value and innovation by pursuing aggressive R&D strategies and optimising their work practices, processes and supply chains, while navigating challenges from changing market dynamics, social and environmental expectations, and disruptive technological and scientific forces. Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers works with a range of manufacturing clients in the industrials sector to meet these opportunities and challenges head-on. We help them to acquire and dispose of assets, finance their operations and new projects, establish joint ventures, and access new technologies. With our expertise, we also help clients optimise their tax and industrial relation structures, resolve disputes and meet regulatory requirements suitable for market drivers and safety standards for occupational health.

Technology and market-driven trends go hand-in-hand with changing legal challenges. Among other developments, we are seeing new environmental standards, new product safety rules, new competition laws for structuring dealer networks, and new requirements for financing investments. Our legal team provides relevant legal services in the sector.

  • Agribusiness & Food

Growing global demand for food and agricultural products is a key driver for this continually changing and innovating sector. To take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls, clients in this sector need lawyers who can complement their legal and regulatory skills with industry insights. Strategically positioned in the world’s growth markets, and with a team of industry experts, we are right at the heart of this dynamic landscape.

Our long standing specialist agribusiness and food team has built up a full range of legal and regulatory skills and experience, as well as market-leading insights into the trends, opportunities and risks in agribusiness and food. We are actively involved in regulatory reform and clients benefit from our close relationships with industry associations and key advisers in this sector. The team also works very closely with our retail & consumer specialists.

  • Real Estate & Infrastructure

Infrastructure and public utilities is one of our most important legal service practice areas. We are one of the first PRC law firms actively providing thorough and comprehensive legal services in this area. With our legal service capability and professional practice, we maintain our leading role in this industry sector. KWM’s real estate practice brings together partners and lawyers with decades of experience, equipped to deal with every aspect of real estate projects.

KWM’s infrastructure and public utilities team has represented domestic and overseas investors, government departments and institutions on a wide range of projects such as urban rail transit, water utilities, gas, expressway, tunnels and bridges, public transportation, ports and piers, power stations, airports and others.

Apart from the traditional infrastructure and public utilities project models like new builds, acquisitions, BOT/TOT and franchising, KWM has also participated in numerous groundbreaking types of project structures, including infrastructure PPP projects, overseas strategic investors shareholding in state-owned utilities, insurance capital investing in infrastructure.

  • Consumer & Retail

In the consumer and retail sector, customers always come first. With our experienced intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, anti-trust and regulatory, commercial and employment lawyers, we see our consumer and retail clients’ businesses from all angles. We have worked with some of the world’s biggest retailers and consumer brands, providing on-the-ground support to help them expand into emerging markets, and supporting their journey as they transition from traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ to multichannel market platforms.

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