find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Love and other disasters

Love and other disasters

Baker & McKenzie has reportedly lost a major client due to an alleged conflict of interest between the head of the firm’s Beijing office and one of his client’s in-house lawyers, who is also his wife.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) had cut ties with the global law firm and sanctioned one of its senior lawyers, Karen Xin Kang, for allegedly accepting overseas trips paid for by Bakers and steering work to her husband, Bakers partner Stanley Jia.

Bakers’ Asia-Pacific boss Bruce Hambrett said he would not be commenting on the matter ahead of an interview with Lawyers Weekly last week; however, in an earlier statement to The Wall Street Journal, Bakers claimed that “based on all of the information we have reviewed, we have not identified any breach of any professional rules or internal Baker & McKenzie rules by our attorneys or employees in this matter”.

It warms Folklaw’s heart to see Bakers stand by its man. We wonder, however, whether the firm would do the same for a lowly graduate whose time isn’t nearly as billable…

Folklaw recalls when Squire Patton Boggs was dealing with its own alleged conflict of interest, the firm was quick to blame a paralegal for what it described as “an innocent error in a conflict check”.

Like Squires, CNOOC conducted a swift investigation and assigned blame. The company’s chief legal officer, Zhao Liguo, emailed two of Bakers’ global rivals informing them that an internal probe had found that Kang had violated company policies and Chinese regulations by accepting trips to Europe and Australia paid for by Bakers, and that she also helped the firm win legal work from CNOOC.

The email, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, also told the law firms that CNOOC had terminated its relationship with Bakers in March 2013.

Kang and Jia reportedly got married in the past few years. Liguo’s email stated that Kang “did not withdraw from the conflict of interest after the marriage”.

According to the Bakers website, Jia’s practice focuses on foreign indirect investment projects in China, particularly in the energy, oil and gas and the automotive sectors. He also advises the firm’s Chinese clients in negotiations with government and regulatory bodies.

See Lawyers Weekly tomorrow for an in-depth interview with Singapore-based partner and Asia-Pacific Regional Chair Bruce Hambrett on Bakers’ local and regional strategy, and his experience of working in Asia.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Love and other disasters
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Papua New Guinea flag
06:04
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
06:03
Punishing offenders twice pointless, politicians warned
The president of the Law Society of NSW has warned legislators from other states about adopting cont...
Dec 13 2017
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...