Promising Career Aspects of Becoming a China Attorney

The increased foreign business involvement in China is the primary reason behind the growing demand for corporate legal services. There are many law practitioners in the USA and UK who are willing to become a China law expert and trying hard to find opportunities to serve in China.

Career Option

Individuals who have experience in working as a lawyer in the United States and the United Kingdom can easily secure a placement in China. The primary requirement that most of the international firms in mainland China seek while hiring an attorney is to have American or British law degrees and high-level Chinese language skills.

You need to keep in mind that foreigners cannot become a licensed China lawyer. Westerners can only serve as Foreign Representative Attorneys and must have two years experience in working in a jurisdiction to get qualified to work in China. Each jurisdiction determines its own bar exam eligibility requirements, and a foreign-based law degree sometimes is accompanied by special restrictions and requirements.

It would be ideal if you practiced law in a reputed UK or America-based legal firm and then shift to China. The experience of working over there will definitely help you to seek a job in a major Chinese law house. Do keep in mind that it is your efficiency of speaking, writing and understanding Chinese language will keep you ahead from others and you could increase your acceptance in the market.

Going straight to China after completing your graduation from a law school can be very risky. Most of the China law experts suggest to remain in the USA and UK for the first few years of your career.

What Mega Chinese Law Firm Require in a Lawyer-

Most of the law firms look these skills while hiring an aspiring lawyer

  • Top class knowledge in corporate law or tax law
  • Minimum two years experience in working in a European or American law firm
  • Fantastic skill in speaking Chinese
  • Should possess a profound legal knowledge regarding resolution or labor law or IP law

Prospective Chinese lawyers should be aware that this career path is very challenging due to a huge number of individuals from different parts of the globe want to practice in China. Quite naturally the increasing number of competition decreases the vacancy. So it is suggested to acquire all the skills before applying in a China law firm.

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Understand the Legalities that Govern Overtime in China

China continues to be a challenging market in which to do business, but remains one with great growth potential. To succeed, multinational employers entering into and doing business in China must sharpen their employment-related business strategies to leverage opportunities and mitigate risk.

Overtime regulations in China are typically regulated in the People’s Republic of China Labor Law. Many foreign companies find it really complex and hard to understand. Often Chinese employees litigate overtime claims to their employers, therefore, it is really important for the China employer to understand the legalities that govern overtime in China in order to avoid potential discrepancies with the law.

In the jurisdictions like Beijing where the law is highly favorable to the employees, if an employee claims that he/she has not been paid for the overtime, the onus is on the employers to prove the claim is false. In the view of the prominent Chinese lawyers, the courts of Beijing has the perception that employers often deliberately conceal the evidence that a worker has done overtime in order to save money.

 Under PRC Labor Law and regulations, overtime pay is clearly specified:

  • Any work that exceeds 8 hours per normal work day must be paid at 1.5 times of the employee’s contractually agreed to hourly wage.
  • Any hours worked on a weekend day must be paid at 2 times the employee’s contractually agreed to hourly wage.
  • Any hours worked on a Chinese statutory holiday must be paid at 3 times the employee’s contractually agreed to hourly wage.
  • The number of overtime hours is also regulated by law and is limited to no more than 3 hours per regular work day and no more than 36 hours per month.

According to the Chinese law firms, the current emphasis on mediation in labour disputes reflects a shift towards mediated settlements in China’s judicial system as a whole, but more specifically it is a response to the sudden upsurge in arbitration and labour rights legal cases that followed the implementation of the Labour Contract Law and Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law in 2008. Both laws gave workers additional ability and incentive to seek legal redress for labour rights violations.

Chinese business lawyers suggest China employers should think strategically about how to document the employment relation- ship to maximize their flexibility and minimize costs and legal risks. Written employment contracts can include key terms such as probationary periods, working time arrangements, wages and benefits.

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