Mr. Tian and his team are primarily focusing on providing foreign-related legal services to clients doing business in or with China from all over of the globe.
Our services are basically classified into two categories based on types of clients: services for corporate clients, and services for individuals, including expatriates in China, particularly in Shanghai.
I. For Corporate Clients/Businesses
As a relatively small team, we don’t boast about comprehensive, full-blown legal services, rather, we want to highlight our focuses and strengths where we can do better than others.
As indicated in blog categories on the home page of this blawg, our legal services cover:
1. Foreign Direct Investment in China
We help foreign investors with making their initial business presence in China by setting up their business entity in China, including representative office, business branch, Sino-foreign joint ventures (equity JV or contractual JV), WFOE (wholly foreign owned enterprise), partnership, fund.
In addition, we do M&A, helping foreign investors in acquiring domestic companies, enterprises, and operational assets.
2. Real Estate Law
This is one of our practice areas in which we have developed and cumulated rich experience and expertise. We help clients with:
(1) participating in public bidding process for selling land use right in obtain desired land for property development or industrial purposes such as building factories, warehouses etc;
(2) navigating through heavy and mazy laws and regulations relating to real estate project development, residential or commercial properties, in particular urban zoning and construction laws;
(3) acquiring and purchasing existing properties, buildings such as service apartment, office building and commercial properties, including conducting due diligence investigation on the properties in question, deal structure, taxation and property management;
(4) real estate project financing, bank loan, trust financing;
(5) real estate investment in Chinese properties, seeking opportunities on behalf of foreign investors to refurbishing, redecorating and re-marketing the same properties.
(6) real estate/property leasing, renting for residential, office and industrial purposes.
3. General Corporate Law
In regard of general corporate legal services, very often we enter into an annual or yearly retainer agreement with clients under which we provide various items of legal consultation services, including but not limited to:
(1) general corporate changes in corporate business scope, office address, company’s name, registered capital, launch of business branch;
(2) advising on corporate governance, drafting bylaws governing the operation of shareholder meeting, board meeting, legal representative and general manager, rules governing the use of corporate seal/chop, and rules regarding management incentive;
(3) advising on employment and labor issues of clients, reviewing labor contracts and bylaws for employees at different levels, drafting employee handbook, mass layoff, and labor arbitration and litigation;
(4) advising, drafting, reviewing, improving all kinds of business contracts used in client’s business operation with third parties;
(5) advising on tax issues regarding clients’ businesses.
(6) providing legal advice on the development strategies of clients in mainland China;
(7) providing legal advice on matters of intellectual property rights, including application for, transfer and license of patent, trademark, copyright and others;
(8) reclaiming receivables which are due by sending out attorney letters on behalf of clients;
(9) drafting, reviewing tenancy contracts or the sale contracts of properties leased or owned by clients for their office or manufacturing bases;
(10) dealing with client’s customers unfriendly claims, and providing relevant legal consultation thereon;
(11) coordinating and mediating the conflicts between clients and governmental authorities;
(12) providing regulatory information about PRC laws and regulations concerning client’s business operations; and helping its employees have a better understanding of the same;
(13) participating in negotiations between Client and any third party over matters of merge, acquisition, joint venture, restructuring, business alliance, transfer of assets and liabilities, insolvency and liquidation;
(14) conducting due diligence investigation on clients’ business partners by finding out corporate records of such partners kept with local industry and commerce bureau;
(15) providing legal service on and/or participating in negotiations over conflicts and disputes;
(16) providing services of legal training and lectures on PRC laws to clients’ management and employees.
4. Arbitration and Litigation
We help international clients in conducting arbitration and litigation in China in pursuing, protecting and safeguarding their interests in China. We represent international clients in almost all kinds of disputes that are subject to Chinese courts’ jurisdiction, such as joint venture disputes, trademark, international sale and purchase contract, supply contract, IPR licensing agreements, international trade and other commercial disputes with Chinese parties.
II For Individuals/Expats/Foreigners
In this area of practice, we offer a wide variety of civil law services that are needed frequently by individual clients.
1. Family Law
I have helped a number of foreigners or expats in China with their problems arising between couples, family members. For example:
(1) drafting their pre-nuptial agreements with their brides and bridegrooms who are very often Chinese men or women, and making other family plan on future marriage life;
(2) advising clients on their divorces in China by framing their divorcing strategies in protecting their interests in the context of multiple jurisdictions involved in the proceedings which often complicate the divorcing process; advising on splitting, division of marital properties, community properties;
(3) advising on child custody, guardianship and maintenance;
(4) family estate planning services in respect of family assets or properties in China before decease.
2. Inheritance Law
We help clients in inheriting, by will or by law, the estates bequeathed or left to them by their beloved, relatives or friends. Such estates may be real properties, bank deposits, cars, equity interests, shares, funds and other kind of assets or money.
If necessary, we help clients in carrying out their inheritance by resorting to court proceeding which may not be hostile at all so long as the parties are agreeable on their interests in the estates.
3. Real Estate Law
We help foreigners or expats in purchasing or selling their China properties, esp properties located in Shanghai where we are based. We advise those clients in such sale or purchase process by helping them in drawing up transaction terms and conditions and seeing to the performance of deal contracts.
In respect of buying home in China, we help clients to understand purchase restrictions imposed on expats, to deal with related parties including realtors, sellers and banks and deal with foreign exchange issues involved in the process.
In respect of selling a property in Shanghai, China, we not only help clients to strike deal contracts with buyers but also help them to convert their sale proceeds into foreign exchanges such as US dollars and wire the same out of China to their home country.
4. Employment/Labor Law
Here we also frequently help expats working in Shanghai to deal with their employers esp in the case of disputes such as unfair dismissal and underpayment etc.
Given the biased attitude of China Labor Contract Law and other unreasonable rules, for many expats that are receiving high salary in China, once there is a dispute with employers, employees are often left in embarrassing situation where they would have to bow before their employers realizing that they are not much protected under Chinese labor laws at all. Therefore, in consideration of such risks relating to expat’s employment in China, we encourage expats working in China to come to sound legal terms with their companies to avoid being precipitated into difficult situation in China.
5. Personal Injury Law
We have handled a number of personal injury cases involving foreigners being injured in road accidents or brawls. We want to warn foreigners in China to vigilantly guard against injury in China because under current Chinese personal injury laws, foreigners will find the compensation awarded by Chinese courts to them absolutely unacceptable. However, this is something it will take long time to change.