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Lawyers get cross-border training for foreign cases

Zhang Yan
Updated: Jan 3,2018 9:04 AM     China Daily

China will cultivate 1,000 senior lawyers specializing in cross-border lawsuits to better serve enterprises and citizens, a senior official from the Ministry of Justice said.

Since last year, the All China Lawyers Association, a division of the Justice Ministry, has offered special training to 1,000 legal professionals from across the country, an effort that will continue through 2022, said Zhou Yuansheng, director from the Lawyers and Public Notary Department, in an interview with China Daily.

Those lawyers will focus on tackling transnational litigation involving overseas investments, multinational mergers and acquisitions, IPR protection, environmental protection and international commercial arbitration, as well as anti-dumping or antitrust cases, he said.

The ministry has applied for 4 million yuan ($607,000) of public financing to support the legal training each year, Zhou said.

“It’s more than necessary to cultivate a professional squad of lawyers to specialize in cases involving overseas businesses aimed at safeguarding the legitimate rights of the involved enterprises and citizens,” he said.

In recent years, a large number of State-owned companies have expanded overseas and engaged in multinational mergers and acquisitions against a backdrop of growing global economic integration, leading to a growing number of cross-border legal disputes.

A typical case occurred in November 2016, when international arbitration ruled that a company in Dubai would compensate a Chinese engineering company over a project payment and losses valued at 160 million yuan. The Dubai company was also ordered to pay 80 percent of the company’s lawyer fees. Zhou said the ministry will set up a database of talented lawyers who are skilled in handling cross-border lawsuits, based on their educational background, proficiency in English and international laws or professional experience.

Since last year and through 2022, the ACLA plans to organize promising lawyers nationwide each year to attend a 15-day special training in Beijing. During the training, judicial officers, legal experts and senior lawyers will give them lectures about international laws and analysis of typical cases.

Then, some of the outstanding lawyers will be recommended by the association to big law firms, famous universities or legal institutes overseas for further training, he said.

Between Oct 15 and Nov 18, 20 talented lawyers were sent to the US International Law Institute and some law firms for a 35-day training program concerning overseas investment and international trade policy, the ministry said.

In addition, 20 others had a chance to attend BPP University in London to study International commercial arbitration.

“The training has broadened my view and helped me to gain a lot of practical experience,” said Mo Haibo, a partner at King and Wood Mallesons in Beijing who went for the UK to train.

Between its launch in 2012 and 2017, the Ministry of Justice and lawyers association offered training to 300 talented personnel nationwide, and many went to the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain or Germany for study or exchanges.