By Meg Utterback, Holly Blackwell, Michael Zhang, and Chen Yizhe[1]  King & Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution group

The use of a parent company guarantee (PCG) can be a valuable tool for securing the performance obligations of a counterparty to a contract.  A PCG is often used in the construction industry where parent companies give guarantees to bolster the financial credibility of their subsidiary contractor companies.  PCGs are often used in commercial contracts for the sale of goods to insure payment obligations. PCGs are frequently offered as security by Chinese companies in transactions offshore.
Continue Reading Chinese Parent Company Guarantees—Is Your Payment Guaranteed?

By Meg UtterbackDaisy Mallett, Holly Blackwell, James McKenzie, Josephine Lao, and Ma Xiao.

China has been at the forefront of a number of recent developments in the dispute resolution space. One notable development is the announcement by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) of its new rules governing the arbitration of international investment disputes (Rules) and the CIETAC Investment Dispute Resolution Centre in Beijing (CIETAC IDRC), the default centre to administer those Rules. According to CIETAC’s Secretary-General, the Rules seek to “fill the gap” between Chinese commercial and investment arbitration rules and develop and promote the international investment arbitration practice in China[1].
Continue Reading CIETAC Rules Add to Investment Treaty Practice

作者:Meg Utterback  King&Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group

Mergers take patience and tolerance. The following is my experience in law firm mergers and I hope it helps you understand where I hope we are headed at KWM.

When I began practicing law in 1991, lawyers still aspired to join a law firm for life. The partners were like our parents, mentoring us and bringing us along as lawyers, imbuing both good and bad habits that they themselves had learned over the years. Oddly though, I do not long for the familial atmosphere of my original firm. Those days of practice, while comfortable, were not innovative. A lot of bad habits were passed down to junior partners. Not many partners were looking to be creative or change how the system worked. They had nice cars and kids in college and bills to pay so the status quo was safe.

In the past twenty-three years, the profession has taken a diametric shift. It began with lawyers being more inclined to change firms or develop new practice areas. The availability of new modes of communication via the internet, mobile phones and teleconferencing brought us closer together with our colleagues and with our clients. It also created a 24/7 work ethic that changed how we related to our jobs and our families. In this time, it became acceptable to change firms. In fact, by changing firms, you could see what worked and what didn’t work. The world also shrunk. I moved into bigger law firms and from the US East Coast, we often worked with our colleagues on the West Coast or traveled cross country to take depositions and try cases. It was no longer a provincial local practice.
Continue Reading Law Firm Mergers