find the latest legal job
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
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Success with China takes time and effort

Success with China takes time and effort

Ken Philp

Firms can tap into opportunities to win work with Chinese clients, but some investment is required, Brisbane law firm Bennett & Philp has said.

The single-office firm recently sent a delegation of lawyers, including Mandarin speaker Sandy Zhang, to regional Chinese cities to further develop its connections with law firms on the ground.

“The message about Chinese business investment in Australia is that they are here now, and growing, and we need to be working with them and maximising opportunities for work in China too,” Mr Zhang said.

However, he warned that engagement with China required investing both time and effort into building up networks.

“This is not a business relationship that is established overnight,” he said. “You need to build a trust and that takes time in China.”

Mr Zhang also urged firms to consider having Mandarin-speaking lawyers available, suggesting a shared language would “greatly aid” in building trust.

Bennett & Philp director Ken Philp said regular contact between Australian firms and their Chinese counterparts was critical since it “shows the Australian parties are serious about building a relationship”.

"It is crucial for Western businesspeople to realise that it can take several years to build a business relationship and get referrals," he said.

"Western businesses seem to expect deals to be struck quickly after the minimum of protocols are observed. In China, they do things very differently and it’s a crucial lesson for Australians to learn."

He also advised firms looking to break into this market to take their time to fully understand the local protocols.

“Often, Australians’ knowledge of China is meagre and influenced by historical events,” he said.

“China today is a vibrant and exciting commercial environment, but we have to be respectful in building the relationship. We need to melt any barriers, not break them down.”

Bennett & Philp, which has around 30 lawyers, first sent a delegation to China in 2014 in a bid to develop contacts with both Chinese firms and local businesses.

During last month’s visit, the firm visited four cities in regional China.

The objective was to secure a slice of legal work for the firm’s commercial practice and pursue opportunities in residential property transactions, mergers and acquisitions, international law and the growing area of aged care in China, according to Mr Philp.

"China also has a special interest in developing aged care services there and the firm has successfully connected Australian aged care experts with Chinese interests for commercial advice and is well advanced in numerous other business development connections," he said.

Ken Philp (left) and Sandy Zhang (right)


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

Success with China takes time and effort
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
06:04
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
06:00
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
recognised for human rights work
06:00
LexisNexis executive recognised for human rights work
A LexisNexis executive has been announced as a finalist in a global awards program for women in busi...
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 & ...