AUSTRALIAN LAW FIRMS will be given the opportunity to establish commercial relations with their counterparts in China under a Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) initiated delegation that will see seven Australian firms explore opportunities in that region.
A Victorian initiative, the Legal Services Delegation to China is expected to strengthen trade and economic relations between the People’s Republic of China and that state. The LIV’s delegation gives Australian and Chinese lawyers and law firms the chance to develop associations that are mutually beneficial to both, organisers expect, and will allow both to offer clients fully integrated global legal services.
If Chinese businesses are looking for opportunities in Australia, they will need law firms to help them, LIV CEO John Cain told Lawyers Weekly. This is an opportunity for Australian firms to get exposure in the Chinese market with the help of the LIV and Victorian Government, he said.
Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls and the Minister for Manufacturing and Export, Financial Services and Small Business, Andre Haermeyer said in a joint statement the firms are “amongst the finest and longest established in Australia”.
Participants include Michael Sonnenberg, a consultant at Freehills Corporate Group, Wai Hwoon Low at Russell Kennedy, Stephen Macliver at Legal Practice Strategies Asia, Colin Hiles at Abbott Stillman & Wilson, Jason Yeap and Patrick Chong at Stamfords Lawyers, Justin Dzau Li-Sun from Lewis Holdway Commercial Lawyers, and Terry Finch at the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development.
“Each of them has been asked to participate in this mission because of the excellence of their legal services in areas of direct relevance and importance to international business,” Hulls said.
The LIV Legal Services Delegation will meet with Chinese Government departments and agencies and others to identify initiatives to increase contacts and promote cooperation between China and Victoria in law, legal education and legal services. It will also meet with laws schools and law associations in Beijing and Shanghai.
Foreign lawyers and law firms are able to practise the law of their home country, international law and third country law under the regulation of Victorian and Australian legal services, a Legal Services Delegation to China booklet states. As well, foreign lawyers can practise on their own account or in association with an Australian law firm.
China is already a major trading partner with Victoria, and is the destination for 8 per cent of the state’s exports, as well as the source of 12 per cent of its imports.
The Victorian Government said it supported the LIV in taking this significant group of law firms to “explore opportunities” in Beijing and Shanghai.