Beijing tops list of legal specialists
Lawyers based in Beijing top the list of legal experts in China qualified to handle foreign-related cases, according to a report.
The Ministry of Justice started the list of lawyers deemed competent enough to handle foreign-related cases in August last year. Now numbering 988, lawyers working at Beijing firms headed the list with 170, according to a report released by the Beijing Lawyers' Association in February.
Of the 170, about 90 percent focus on disputes relating to international trade and cross-border investment.
Compared with foreign attorneys, Chinese lawyers can more easily understand the requirements and ideas of Chinese clients wanting to start businesses overseas. This results in Chinese lawyers offering legal services more efficiently, the report said.
"But the lawyers still have difficulties in helping Chinese clients solve foreign-related disputes, as they don't fully understand foreign laws or rules and some can't speak foreign languages well, which makes it hard to provide suggestions on preventing legal risks and brings challenges in communication," the report added.
Given that more law firms across the city have shown their willingness to set up departments on foreign-related affairs and help those engaged in the sector, the association is planning measures to assist them.
Among the measures are helping plan the integration of foreign-related legal resources and establishing an online platform for lawyers to search for foreign countries' laws and other information. Language translation services are also being considered.
"In addition, we'll provide information about training on the platform to improve the quality of lawyers handling foreign-related cases and increase the opportunities for them to talk with each other or visit international organizations," the association said.
Liu Wenyi, from Beijing Kangda Law Firm, said their business development related directly to how open China becomes. "The foreign-related financial disputes, such as those on product prices, quality and intellectual properties, will increase with advances of the Belt and Road Initiative and more purchases of international goods."
Zhang Sijie, a lawyer from Anli Partners, suggested the association provide assistance with document writing in foreign-related legal cases. "This way, training and experience sharing is a must," Zhang aid.