As China has become the center of business, there is increasing demand for corporate legal services. It is the primary reason that leads many firms to establish offices in China and offering foreign lawyers the opportunity to work over here. China business lawyers of the law firms are permitted to advise clients on the law of the firm’s jurisdiction and on international conventions and practices.
China’s foreign law firm regulations, set out by its State Council, outline the services that foreign law firms can legitimately provide in China. The existing legislation of the country has structural similarity to countries like Germany and France. In the last couple of years China has started to adopt some principles and institutions along the lines of a common law system.
- The person should work in a foreign jurisdiction for more than two years
- A foreign national has to pass Chinese bar exam
- Must complete 1 year apprenticeship with a Chinese law firm
- Need to have a useable knowledge of Mandarin
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.
Foreign law firms must engage Chinese firms to advise on PRC law and cannot employ PRC lawyers, unless they give up their PRC practicing certificate. Foreign law firms are prohibited from practicing Chinese law, which means they cannot engage in legal practice that might involve the interpretation of Chinese law.
Foreign firms may, however, perform legal services that do not involve Chinese law. Foreign firms cannot form joint ventures with local PRC law firms. Those foreign lawyers working in China must register annually; and approval of licenses can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process.