Top 15
金秋十月,《亚洲法律杂志》再一次地公布了 一年一度的十五佳女律师榜单。在这些杰出女律师不断取得辉煌卓越成就的背后,是她们在专业领域里坚持不懈的深耕细作。此外,她们对待客户时的亲切温和、领导团队时的刚柔并济,以及培养人才时的支持鼓励也使她们成为律所中不可替代的重要力量。

 

越来越多的优秀女性正在中国法律服务市场中展露拳脚。事实上,她们不但占据了法律服务市场的半壁江山,更以女性更加具备的细腻、耐心、共情力、勤奋等品质,成为了法律服务市场中不可或缺的领军人物。今年上榜的十五位律师正代表了女性过去一年中所取得的卓越成绩。

那么,我们为何还要以性别设立单独的榜单?或许从这十五位女性的故事中可以找到答案:虽然女性法律工作者扮演的角色已不可或缺,但她们仍难免在职业中遭遇偏见时刻,需要付出更多努力来达成自我证明;另一方面,由于女性在中国社会中依然较大程度承担着家庭照顾者的角色,她们在平衡生活和职业角色中,难免面临着更多角力。这十五位律师的上榜,不是因为她们是“女性”,而恰恰因为她们更加优秀。

female lawyers硕果累累 成绩斐然

通商律师事务所权益合伙人兼上海分所管理合伙人朱海燕律师带领团队完成的资本市场项目包括中国恒大集团、中国进出口银行、世茂房地产控股等多笔大型跨境发债项目,以及中国进出口银行在全国银行间债券市场发行300亿元二级资本债券项目。在这其中,中国恒大集团2019年发行的30亿美元债券项目荣获中资美元债2019年最佳高收益房地产交易。

朱律师说道:“通商与其他专业团队紧密合作,并与发行人进行高效沟通按时完成了各项工作,协助发行人抓住了债券发行的良好时机,严格按照时间表完成了债券发行工作。这些项目的成功也再次证明了我们在处理大型跨境交易中的专业和敬业,能够为客户提供高效率、高质量和全方位的法律服务。”

锦天城律师事务所高级合伙人刘飞律师是PPP领域的资深专家,曾参与办理过多个重大PPP项目,包括天府国际机场资阳临空经济区产业新城PPP项目,杭温铁路国家混合所有制改革试点和PPP示范项目,乌鲁木齐国际机场北区改扩建工程PPP项目,乌鲁木齐老城区改造PPP项目,以及无锡惠山开发区及钱桥街道国企改革及融资平台公司市场化转型法律专项咨询项目。

2019年10月,刘律师代表上海市锦天城律师事务所承办由财政部政府与社会资本合作(PPP)中心主办的第五届中国PPP发展(融资)论坛之“风险管理”分论坛,并作为主持人主持圆桌会议,与多名专家学者、金融机构高管、投资人高管对PPP项目的融资问题进行探讨,取得了业内的一致好评。此外,刘律师还受邀负责拟定PPP资产交易平台的PPP资产交易规则,并对该交易规则出具法律意见。PPP资产交易平台是财政部PPP中心和天津金融交易所联合设立的PPP资产交易平台,为全国PPP项目的资产、股权转让提供专业服务平台。PPP资产交易规则也为全国首份为PPP项目量身定制的资产交易规则和指导性文件。刘律师全程负责该份交易文件的拟定和修改,并对该交易规则的合规性出具法律意见。

北京大成律师事务所高级合伙人李涛律师在过去一年中督导或承办了多起具有典型性的金融类纠纷案件,包括一起由金融借款纠纷衍生的案外人执行异议之诉纠纷案件,涉及某大型信托公司与融资人之间信托贷款及股票收益权回购纠纷案件、涉及某大型融资租赁公司的保理合同纠纷案件等,这些案件标的额都达到了亿元以上的体量,李律师及其团队都取得了令人满意的结果,最大限度维护了客户在金融商事活动中的合法权益。

“在处理案件时,最重要的就是要深入挖掘案件事实,要做到比当事人更加了解案情。对于争议问题,深入了解案情是深刻阐释理论的基础。只有找到案件事实的关键点,将其中的事实脉络和利益纠葛清晰呈现在法官面前,才能说服法官相信你所选择的理论路径。在庭审技巧方面,可视化的案情呈现、合理的理论选择、科学的案例检索、充分的庭前准备、严谨的庭审表达都是胜诉必不可少的组成部分。”李律师说道。

德恒律师事务所高级合伙人廖明霞律师在过去一年中持续深耕国资相关法律事务,并在多个业务领域取得了新的突破,完成了诸多创新或疑难复杂项目,包括政策性债转股回购项目——深投控收购东方资产所持某集团公司股权,南方电网新布局新基建等大型并购重组项目,近期媒体经常提及的深圳百亿天使母基金、上市公司纾困基金、引导基金再评价等重大、创新金融项目,多家知名国企跨境投融资项目,并帮助客户在境外成功申请承认与执行中国仲裁裁决。

聊及成功经验,廖律师表示:“律师处理创新及疑难复杂项目,首先要有扎实的专业功底,有敢啃硬骨头的干劲和执着的职业精神,既专业又敬业;其次,除了懂法律还要了解行业,具有一定的商业思维;再次,创新业务需要多维度、多视角提出问题、分析问题、解决问题。”

女性法律工作者:不可替代

female lawyers朱律师说道:“资本市场和并购业务很多都是案头工作,尽职调查、法律文本的起草和审查都需要律师长时间耐心细致地去不断打磨,以追求文本的精准和逻辑严密。女律师的工作风格一般比较细致、耐心和踏实,通常她们对于很多基础工作的投入是非常突出的。”

此外,刘律师还指出,女律师的沟通能力也更加有利于化解冲突、推动项目进展。这一观点也得到了李律师的认同:“在案件办理方面,女性柔和的特质更容易与客户甚至与对方当事人进行平和交流,从而更有机会通过调解、和解等方式促成纠纷解决;在对待客户和维系客户方面,女性细腻的特质能够与客户更加顺畅的沟通交流,更容易进行换位思考,急人之所急,使客户获得更好的体验,也有助于培养客户粘性。”

不仅如此,李律师还指出,在处理具体法律问题时,相较于男性更加线性化的思维方式,女性的思维更加发散,这一特质能够帮助女性用更加开阔的视角多方位审视问题,有时能够起到出奇制胜的效果;在办理婚姻家庭类案件时,女性敏感的特质更容易体察到双方当事人的真实情感和诉求,从而能够找到更容易为各方接受的解决方案。

“在团队工作中,女性是团队粘合剂,能够促进团队磨合,增强团队凝聚力。同时,女性领导更容易发觉团队成员的状态起伏和情绪波动,能够帮助团队成员及时调整心态,确保团队成员以更好的状态投入到工作和生活之中。总之,女性法律工作者在团队中的地位是不可或缺的,不同性别相互搭配有助于形成更加和谐、稳定、有爱的团队氛围,也有助于培养给家多元化的团队气质。”李律师补充说道。

用实力打破偏见,以共赢取得平等

近年来,性别偏见逐渐成为网络热议的话题。李律师表示:“无论哪个行业都不会直接承认性别偏见,但这一问题仍然客观存在。我认为这种偏见主要不是律所的原因,而更多来自行业外,受到客户的主观意志影响。有的客户会坚持要求男律师,但很少的客户会坚持要求女律师,对女律师天然的偏见客观上也会影响律所的人才筛选,而女律师本身较强的危险感知力往往也会导致偏向于选择较为稳妥、对抗性较弱的案件提供法律服务,从而在主观方面压缩了业务范围。”

客户更倾向于和男性律师合作的现象不仅发生在李律师身上,刘律师也遇到过类似的问题。那么如何打破偏见、如何实现平等?真正的性别平等又是什么?刘律师的答案是:发挥专业实力,取得共赢。

“在各种工作场合,要多体现出自己的专业价值和专业素养,保持工作原则。同时,还要发挥女性工作细致、耐心、善于沟通的能力,做好自己的工作。无论是男性还是女性,都应该利用自身优势去扬长避短,互相尊重,最终取得共赢。”她说道。

这一观点得到了廖律师的认同,她指出:“女性通常比较细心、有耐力,亲和力强。目前我们团队成员多为女性,她们专注勤勉、坚韧包容,在工作中发挥着重要作用。我倾向于认为世间万物各有分工,男女虽存在天然差异,但可发挥各自优点,在工作中做到互补共赢。”

而这样的共赢仍需要整个行业的共同努力。

“性别平等不是结果平等,比如某一行业一定要求从业男女数量一致,而更应该强调的是机会平等。换句话说,平权不是抹杀性别差异,而是尽力保障每个人都有自由选择的机会。因此最舒适的行业环境应该是无论客观环境如何,都应当尽量保证有意愿者有平等求职的机会,这种起点平等应当是自发地给予从业者公平评估工作能力的机会,而不是简单的做样子、走形式。”李律师说道。

展望未来

female lawyers朱律师说道:“未来几年的计划是继续深耕资本市场和投融资业务,尤其关注目前很多中资红筹企业考虑多地上市、以及国内注册制改革带来的各种上市项目机会。我希望有机会参与和完成一些创新的项目;其次,还要努力培养出更多优秀的、能够综合法律和商业的律师人才,建立架构合理的律师梯队,让他们和团队一起获得更好的成长。最后,我也希望在未来能够带领团队探索做一些社会公益方面的服务。”

刘律师将带领团队继续深耕基础设施投融资领域。“目前我们参与的投资项目较多,未来也会更多地拓展该领域的其他方面,例如与现今比较活跃的平台公司进行合作,帮助地方政府提高基建投资能力。另外,随着我们接手一些地方政府、国有企业的转型升级、资产优化的项目,我们还会继续探索、尝试这个方向的业务,努力为国有企业转型升级提供更多、更好的法律服务,增强国有企业基建投资能力。”

同时,随着城镇化脚步的加快、政府划出更多区域作为新的经济增长点,刘律师及其团队还将积极探索更多产城融合的项目,从一级开发、二级开发到产业招商、城市运营等方面提供全方位的法律服务,甚至提供一些商务策划等。

在团队培养方面,刘律师也有着明确的规划:“团队的自我提升和成长也是我未来将关注的重点,我们要求每位律师每周要达到至少10个小时的自学,深入了解基础设施、金融、政府监管、建设项目等多方面、多行业的知识和相关法律;每周团队还会组织一次内训,每月产出两到三篇专业文章,并与业内同行或客户进行分享。”

李律师也分享了她的未来计划:“首先,我想倾注更多的时间和精力,致力于中国仲裁事业的发展。目前仲裁以其本身所拥有的优势和特色,在化解社会矛盾纠纷方面显示出了强大的功能,已经成为中国多元纠纷解决机制的重要力量。但是,不可否认的是,中国仲裁发展目前仍面临很多新的问题,特别是随着国际经济交往的日益密切,‘一带一路’战略规划的提出,中国国际地位和国际影响力的不断显现,中国在国际商事仲裁中的主导权和话语权亟需提升。我作为国际经济贸易仲裁委员会的一名仲裁员,理应肩负起推动中国仲裁事业发展并走向国际化的责任和使命。接下来,我将从理论研究、案件探索、会议论坛等方面积极推动中国仲裁事业发展。当然,这并非凭一人之力便足以推动的,需要众人合力。我将尽己所能为打造中国仲裁品牌和提升中国仲裁形象做出应有的贡献。其次,我将积极承担在社会公益方面应尽的责任。于我而言,公益是法律职业共同体之于公平公正的另一个追求。我将带领我的团队投入到法律公益事业之中,从全新的角度诠释法律人对公平与正义的追求。最后,在未来,我想培养出一个全中国最顶级的争议解决团队,就像一支特种兵部队,挥起公平正义之剑,促进中国法治发展,从而让法治进一步推动社会文明。”

仲裁工作也同样是廖律师未来工作规划的重点之一,她表示,作为仲裁员,要继续做好仲裁工作,解决更多的民商事纠纷,“仲裁的核心价值在于独立、公正,正契合了法律人内心对公平公正的永恒追求。在担任仲裁员的过程中,通过个案让当事人感受仲裁的专业、独立、公正与高效,这既是为推动法治建设尽职责,也是为优化营商环境做贡献。”

此外,廖律师还将继续深耕公司、金融、跨境投融资领域的业务,抓住行业创新点及战略发展点,为客户持续提供专业、优质及高效的法律服务,并凭借多年来对行业的深刻了解、创新思维和高效工作态度,取得更多的专业成就。

法治是最好的营商环境,深圳正在着力打造法治城市示范,廖律师期望将自己对法律公益事业的追求与法治建设相结合,继续做好其参与组织创办并长期主持的深圳市公民法律素质提升项目——“歌乐山大讲堂”,将其打造成为国内具有广泛影响力的高层次法律讲堂。此外,“法学是一门实践性很强的学科,法学教育需要实务工作者的投入,我也将继续参与高校法学教学中的实务分享,期待更多法律人才的成长。”她说道。


2020 ALB China Top 15 Female Lawyers

As in other years, the 2020 ALB China Top 15 Female Lawyers list recognizes  outstanding female practitioners for their exceptional achievement in the legal services industry. We speak to them to find out the keys to their success, and the challenges female lawyers still face these days.

 

In the past year, all 15 female lawyers have achieved great results. Zhu Haiyan, an equity partner and the managing partner of Shanghai office of Commerce & Finance, led her team dealing with multiple major projects including cross-border bond issuing of Evergrande Group, Export-Import Bank of China (EIBC), Shimao Property Holdings Ltd., as well as EIBC’s 30-billion-yuan ($4.5 billion) second-tier bond issuing in national inter-bank bond market. Evergrande group's $3 billion bond project in 2019 won the best high yield real estate deal of Chinese USD bond of that year.

“Commerce & Finance worked closely with other professional teams and completed all the work on time through efficient communication with the issuer, helping the issuer seize the good opportunity of bond issuance and completing the bond issuance in strict accordance with the schedule. The success of these projects also demonstrates once again our professionalism and commitment in handling large cross-border transactions and our ability to provide clients with efficient, high-quality and comprehensive legal services,”Zhu says.

Liu Fei, a senior partner from AllBright Law Offices, is an expert in PPP. Her achievements including many successful important PPP projects, such as PPP Project of Industrial New City of Ziyang Airport Economic Zone of Tianfu International Airport, the pilot project of the National Mixed-ownership reform and the PPP demonstration project of The Hangzhou-Wenzhou Railway, PPP Project of renovation and expansion project of Urumqi international airport north district, PPP project for upgrading the old urban area of Urumqi, and legal consulting projects of the reform of Wuxi Huishan Development Zone and Qianqiao Sub-district state-owned enterprise, as well as the financing platform companies’ market-oriented transformation.

In October 2019, on behalf of AllBright, Liu undertook the "Risk Management" sub-forum of the fifth China PPP Development (Financing) Forum hosted by the PPP Center of the Ministry of Finance. Her professional opinions during the discussion with scholars, financial institution executives, investor executives on the financing issues of PPP projects obtained high praise from industry peers. In addition, Liu was invited to draw up the PPP asset trading rules of the PPP asset trading platform and give legal advice on the trading rules. The PPP Asset trading platform is a platform jointly established by the PPP Center of the Ministry of Finance and Tianjin Financial Exchange, providing professional services for the transfer of assets and equity of PPP projects across the country. The PPP asset trading rules are also the first asset trading rules and guidance document tailored for PPP projects in China. Liu was responsible for drafting and revising the transaction documents and providing legal advice on the compliance of the transaction rules.

Beijing Dentons Law Offices’ senior partner Li Tao, on the other hand, has resolved many typical financial disputes, including a case derived from a financial loan dispute in which an outsider executes an objection, a case involving a trust loan and share usufruct repurchase dispute between a large trust company and the financier, a case of factoring contract dispute involving a large financial leasing company. The amount of these cases has reached over 100 million yuan. Li and her team have achieved satisfactory results and protected clients' legitimate rights and interests to the maximum.

“When dealing with a case, the most important thing is to dig into the facts of the case, to understand the case better than the parties. To resolve disputes, a thorough understanding of the case is the profound explanation theory foundation. Only by finding the key points of the facts and presenting them clearly in front of the judge can we persuade them to believe the theoretical path you have chosen. In terms of trial skills, visual presentation of the case, reasonable theoretical selection, scientific case retrieval, adequate pre-trial preparation, and rigorous trial expression are all essential components of a successful trial.” Li says.

Another winner, Liao Mingxia, a senior partner at DeHeng Law Offices, has extensive experience in legal affairs related to state-owned assets, and has achieved many breakthroughs in this area. She has completed many complex projects, including policy-backed debt-for-equity repurchase program: Shenzhen Investment Holdings' equity acquisition project on a group company held by Orient Assets, China Southern Power Grid's layout of new infrastructure and other large M&A restructuring projects, Shenzhen Tens of billions Angel Mother fund, listed company bailout fund, guide fund re-evaluation and other major and innovative financial projects, as well as Overseas investment projects of a number of well-known state-owned enterprises,  and helping clients successfully apply for recognition and enforcement of Chinese arbitration awards abroad.

Talking about her successful experience, Liao says: "first, lawyers should have solid professional ability, hard drive and persistent professional spirit to deal with innovative and complicated projects. They should be both professional and dedicated. Secondly, besides understanding the law, I also need to understand the industry and have certain business thinking. Finally, innovative business requires multi-dimensional and multi-perspective questions and analysis to solve problems."

WHY FEMALE LAWYERS STAND OUT

Female legal professionals are praised as being careful, patient and diligent, which makes them an important asset for any firm. "Capital markets and M&A projects usually involve a large amount of paperwork," Zhu says. "Due diligence and the drafting and review of legal texts require lawyers to keep polishing them patiently for a long time, so as to pursue the accuracy and strict logic of the texts. Female lawyers tend to have a meticulous, patient and down-to-earth work style, and their commitment to a lot of basic work is usually outstanding."

In addition, Liu also points out that female lawyers' communication skills are more conducive to resolving conflicts and promoting the progress of projects. This point of view is echoed by Li, who says: “In terms of case handling, female lawyers' soft characteristics are more likely to have peaceful communication with clients and even with the other party so that they have a better chance to contribute to dispute resolution through mediation, reconciliation and other means. In terms of treating and maintaining customers, female lawyers are more sensitive, which enables them to facilitate smooth communication with customers, making it easier for them to think in others' shoes, and helping them get better service experience and develop higher customer loyalty.”

Additionally, Li also pointed out that when dealing with specific legal issues, female lawyers' mindset is more divergent compared with men's more linear way of thinking. This trait can help women to view issues from a broader perspective and from more perspectives. When dealing with marriage and family cases, women's sensitive characteristics are more likely to sense the real feelings and appeals of both parties, so that they can find solutions that are more easily accepted by all parties.

"In teamwork, women are the glue that holds the team together and makes it more cohesive. At the same time, female leaders are more likely to detect the ups and downs of team members' state and mood, which can help team members timely adjust their mentality and ensure that team members are in a better state of work and life. In a word, female legal practitioners' position in the team is indispensable. The collocation of both male and female lawyers helps to form a more harmonious, stable and loving team atmosphere, and helps to cultivate a diversified team temperament." Li adds.

REAL EQUALITY IS MUTUAL WIN-WIN

In recent years, gender bias has become a hot topic on the Internet. "No industry will directly admit gender bias, but the problem still exists objectively," Li says, "I think this bias is not mainly due to the law firm, but more from outside of the industry, influenced by the client's subjective will. Some clients will insist on working with male lawyers, but very few clients will do so for female lawyers. Such prejudice may also affect law firms on talent selection, and make female lawyers tend to choose legal work with less confrontations, thus reducing their business scope.”

Not just Li, Liu has also experienced such prejudice. So how to break the bias and realize equality? And what is the real gender equality? Liu gives us her answer: proving herself with professional capability and realizing mutual winning of both women and men.

"Demonstrate professionalism in all workplaces, and maintain disciplined. At the same time, we should give full play to our meticulous, patient and good communication skills as a female lawyer to do our jobs well. Both men and women should make use of their advantages and avoid their weaknesses, and respect each other so as to achieve a win-win situation." She says.

Such opinion is echoed by Liao. She says: “Females are careful, resilient, with strong affinity. At present, most of our team members are women, who play an indispensable role. I tend to think that everything in the world has its own division of labour. Although there are natural differences between male and female, they can give full play to their respective strengths and achieve complementary and win-win results in their work.”

And such mutual success still needs the work from the whole industry.

"Gender equality is not about equality of outcomes, such as requiring the same amount of men and women working together in an industry, but more about equality of opportunity. In other words, equality is not about eliminating gender differences, it's about trying to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make a free choice. Therefore, the most comfortable industry environment should try to ensure that people have equal opportunities to apply for jobs, and their working ability can have fair assessment." Li says.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE

Despite the outstanding achievements, the winning lawyers are still keen to have more success in the future.

Zhu says: "my plan for the next few years is to continue to explore businesses in the areas of capital markets and investment and financing, especially focusing on Chinese red-chip companies considering multiple listings, as well as the various listing project opportunities brought by the reform of the domestic registration system. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in and complete some innovative projects. Secondly, I will cultivate more excellent lawyers who can integrate law and business, establish a reasonable structure for my team, and let them get better growth. Finally, I hope to lead my team to explore social services in the future."

Liu, on the other hand, will keep up their great work in the area of infrastructure financing and investment. “At present, we are involved in many investment projects, and we will expand into other aspects of this field in the future. For example, we will cooperate with some active platform companies to help local governments improve their investment capacity in infrastructure. In addition, as we take over some projects of transformation, upgrading and asset optimization of local governments and state-owned enterprises, we will continue to explore and try businesses in this direction, striving to provide more and better legal services.”

Meanwhile, with the accelerated pace of urbanization, the government are drawing more areas as new economic growth points, Liu and her team will also actively explore more productive city integration projects, from the level of development, secondary development to industrial investment, urban operation to provide a full range of legal services, and even provide some business planning.

In terms of talent training, Liu also has a clear plan: “the self-improvement and growth of the team will also be my focus in the future. We require each lawyer to study independently for at least 10 hours every week to deeply understand the knowledge and relevant laws of infrastructure, finance, government regulation, construction projects and other aspects and industries. The team also organizes internal training once a week to produce two or three professional articles per month and share them with industry peers or clients.”

Li also Shared her plans for the future: “First of all, I would like to devote more time and energy to the development of arbitration in China. At present, arbitration, with its own advantages and characteristics, has shown a powerful function in resolving social conflicts and disputes, and has become an important force in China's diversified dispute settlement mechanism. However, there is no denying that there are still many new problems in the development of arbitration in China. In particular, with the increasingly close international economic cooperation, the proposal of the strategic plan of "Belt Road" and the continuous emergence of China's international status and influence, China's leading power and voice in international commercial arbitration need to be enhanced.”

Arbitration is also one of the priorities of Liao's future work plans. She says that as an arbitrator, she should continue to do a good job in arbitration and solve more civil and commercial disputes. "The core value of arbitration lies in independence and justice, which is consistent with the pursuit of fairness in the heart of legal practitioners. In the process of serving as arbitrator, I can tell that the parties of each individual case can always feel such charm of arbitration. This is not only to promote the legal construction for our society, but also to contribute to the optimization of the business operating environment."

In addition, Liao will continue to develop businesses of corporate, finance and cross-border investment and finance.. She hopes to seize the innovation and strategic development points of the industry, provide clients with professional, high-quality and efficient legal services. Also, with her in-depth understanding of the industry, creative thinking and high-efficient working attitude, she hopes to gain even more professional accomplishment.

The rule of law is the best business environment, and Shenzhen is working hard to build a model city based on the rule of law. Therefore, Liao hopes to combine her pursuit of legal public welfare with the construction of rule of law, continue her "Gele Mountain Lectures" project, which is a Shenzhen’s civilian legal quality improvement project which she has participated in organizing and hosted for a long time, making it a high-level legal lecture hall with extensive influence in China. Furthermore, "Law is a highly practical subject, and legal education needs the input of practitioners. I will continue to participate in practical teaching in colleges and universities, looking forward to the growth of more legal talents." Liao says.

 

To contact the editorial team, please email ALBEditor@thomsonreuters.com

 

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