find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
China: managing legal risks

China: managing legal risks

CHINESE LAWYERS have turned to the Australian in-house legal profession in an effort to learn how to manage the legal risks associated with being part of a global economy. A delegation of…

CHINESE LAWYERS have turned to the Australian in-house legal profession in an effort to learn how to manage the legal risks associated with being part of a global economy.

A delegation of Chinese lawyers this month spent two weeks in Australia, visiting BHP Billiton, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to see how their legal departments were organised. The Chinese lawyers represented organisations and corporations including China National Nuclear Corporation, China Minmetals Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corp, Petro China Company and Huaneng Power International.

Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) chief executive officer and general counsel, Peter Turner, said the companies were all state owned enterprises of China. “As China moves towards a more western-style economy the likelihood is they will privatise or corporatise some of those departments,” he said.

“They were very interested in places like the CBA that [had been] government-owned and have been privatised.”

The Chinese were particularly concerned about the legal risks of operating in a market economy, and topics up for discussion included features of enterprise legal risks, and identifying enterprise legal risks.

Turner said the primary concern of the delegation was to ensure that its corporate governance was properly structured. “That’s an area where China has been lagging.” He said the state-owned enterprises were structured as an arm of government, which in turn was in the hands of the ruling party.

“As they move away from that model, all kinds of cracks appear,” Turner said. “They want to be sure [the cracks] don’t become chasms.”

The issue was, he said, to determine how they could put in place an entire regime of legal risk recognition, control and management, from the position they were starting from.

The Chinese lawyers also used the visit to look at the structure of ACLA. Turner said the Chinese were working towards the formation of a national in-house lawyers association. However, government authorities must approve an application for such an association before it could go ahead.

In the meantime the lawyers had received input on how to structure such an association in China through visits to the Association of Corporate Counsel in America, and Australia. Turner said the information would be used to make recommendations to the authorities as to how the in-house legal profession should be structured and what responsibilities and rights should be given to general counsel.

“If they succeed the association will be enormous,” Turner said. “In one stroke they would be the biggest in-house counsel association in the world with anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 members.”

Turner said the Chinese had looked to Australia for advice because of the strong trading relationship between the two countries and the significant presence of Australian law firms in China.

“There is certainly logic in furthering our relationship with the legal profession,” he said.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

China: managing legal risks
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
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 & ...