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伴随宏观社会、经济环境的变化,过去几年,诉讼业务在律师事务所营收中的比重不断提升;与此同时,作为律师最为传统的服务领域,争议解决也面临着新的趋势和要求。在此背景下,ALB推出首个争议解决业务排名,向您介绍在该领域引领中国法律市场发展的律师事务所。

 

 

中国法律服务市场上,争议解决业务的发展从未停歇,是人才密度、竞争程度最高的赛道之一。在当前国际局势、经济环境、技术革命等多重因素的裹挟下,冲突和纠纷难以避免,频频出现在经济社会各个层面,并呈现出更多样、复杂的特点,这也使得争议解决业务在近两年再度火爆、成为律师事务所的“必争之地”。

为了呈现市场上实力最为强劲的争议解决律所,并深度观察该领域的业务发展新局面,在过去两个多月中,ALB调研了报名律所开展争议解决工作的数量、规模、复杂程度和取得的重要成绩,并将争议解决团队的构成和发展、客户的维护和新增等因素纳入评价标准,最终呈现出了2024 ALB China 争议解决业务排名。

这是ALB首次对中国境内律所(包括在中国内地设有办公室的国际律所)的争议解决业务能力进行排名。排名分为“诉讼”和“仲裁”两个部分,其中细化分为不同等级。

上榜律所在人员数量、业务体量等方面各不相同,但一大共性在于均处理过复杂疑难的争议案件,在行业内体现出代表性和创新性。几家上榜律所与ALB分享了在争议解决领域的发展经验。

稳步增长

最高人民法院公布的数据显示,2023年,全国法院收案4557.37万件,同比增长15.62%,其中,刑事、民商事、行政、知识产权、执行案件的收案数量均有不同水平的增幅。

在大环境依然充满不确定性的2024年第一季度,全国法院受理各类案件1100.3万件,继续呈现出1.49%的同比增长。

“中国法律服务市场的争议解决业务量近年来呈现出稳步增长的态势,给争议解决业务领域带来了更广阔的发展市场和更多机遇。”环球律师事务所争议解决业务牵头合伙人赵久光律师说。

他表示,以法院为例,自2013年以来,全国法院案件总量以年均13%的增幅快速上涨;以国内各大仲裁机构为例,2023年,中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会(贸仲)新受理案件5237件,同比增长28.17%;北京仲裁委员会(北仲)共受案1.2万余件,同比增长45.14%;上海国际经济贸易仲裁委员会(上国仲)新受理案件4879件,同比增长89.4%。“以此可以看出,在传统诉讼领域和商事仲裁领域,案件数量都处于积极增长的态势之中,给法律服务带来了更大空间。”

“伴随着案件量的增多,新型、复杂案件亦呈现增长态势,给律师带来不少新挑战,法律服务愈发呈现专业化、精细化的特点;而在当前复杂多变的经济环境下,客户在关注服务质量的同时,也愈发注重性价比,总体付费意愿和能力有所降低,这也加剧了法律服务市场竞争的激烈性。”赵律师补充道。

天达共和律师事务所争议解决业务部门负责合伙人纪超一律师也注意到,在争议解决领域持续蓬勃发展的同时,当事人对争议解决律师在细分领域的专业化程度提出了更高要求。

“例如在规则迭代方面,我国《仲裁法》处于重要修订进程之中,贸仲、上国仲等领先仲裁机构亦相继发布了具有开创性的全新仲裁规则。因此,争议解决律师应当及时关注、研究和充分合理运用新规则与新机制,为当事人设计更为精巧的纠纷解决路径。”纪律师说。

纪律师也提到了当前市场上的热点:“在金融证券领域强监管态势下,证券投资纠纷频发并成为争议解决的热点领域。在未来一段时期内,因监管引发的行政诉讼及投资人索赔案件仍将是市场关注的热点业务。”

北京融英律师事务所以商事争议解决为核心业务,虽然成立于新冠疫情肆虐的2021年,但动荡的市场没有影响融英在短时间内成为一家新锐律所,并成功处理一系列疑难复杂商事争议解决案件,获得了市场和客户的一致认可。融英创始人、管理合伙人白麟律师表示,在国内外大环境影响下,客户趋向于以经济和时间上都更高效的方式来处理争议。

“这要求争议解决律师吃透商业需求,理解客户寻求解决争议的实质,一切法律行动最终都指向协助客户实现商业目的。同时,争议解决需求常常在法律程序正式启动前就已经出现,这需要律师灵活应变、时刻做好攻防转换的准备。”

白律师也愈发关注刑事领域,他观察到公司高管职务犯罪、数据安全犯罪等领域的案件日趋增加。“比起往年,当前更多的案件涉及刑、民两方面,因此刑民交叉案件的法律服务需求在增长,这一领域的服务能力将不断升级,对律师的要求自然会提升。”

白律师介绍,资深刑事专家季红海律师在去年底加入融英。“季律师曾在北京市检察院从事公诉工作二十年,选择加入我们团队,正是因为季律师的想法和融英的判断不谋而合:增强刑事及刑民交叉领域的服务能力。”

“新热点、新需求不断出现,融英这样的新兴、灵活的精品化团队也有更多机会一展身手。因此,我们对争议解决业务的市场发展充满信心。”白律师说。

长期积累

部分上榜律所的成立时间较早,规模较大,定位和市场策略已经成熟,在争议解决业务中占据先机。例如环球,在1979年设立之初,环球就已经在处理境内外争议解决业务。“至今,环球已经形成了一支超过百人的强大争议解决队伍,尤为擅长给国际和国内客户复杂的国际、涉外、国内民商事案件提供诉讼、仲裁等争议解决服务。”赵久光律师说。

凭借对法律的深刻理解和运用,环球积累起中国市场上顶尖的创新和复杂争议解决能力。据赵律师介绍,在过去四十多年间,环球在争议解决领域里创造性地完成了诸多“中国第一例”的代表性项目:

“包括第一例争议标的额超百亿元人民币的商标权属纠纷案、第一例涉及1969年国际油污损害民事责任公约的海上溢油污染诉讼案、第一例应用国际商会DOCDEX规则解决信用证纠纷的诉讼案、第一例成功申请承认和执行外国海事仲裁裁决案、第一例中国企业在瑞典斯德哥尔摩的仲裁案件等。”另外,环球服务的行业领域非常广泛,私募与金融、资本市场/上市公司、知识产权、海事海商、房地产、保险、劳动类、执行类争议等,均为环球专长领域。

“环球自2015年起作为泰国许氏家族在中国境内的唯一代理律所处理其与严氏家族在中国境内的红牛公司控制权争议、知识产权争议等系列案件,其中公司控制权类案件有十余件,知识产权类争议案件有四十余件,该系列案件时间跨度长,案情极其复杂,同时由于红牛饮料在中国的深远影响力,该等案件也引发了社会各界的广泛关注。”

赵律师表示,在该系列案件的处理中,环球为客户设计了全面、综合的争议解决方案,在个案的处理中也非常重视与其他关联案件的协同,同时积极为客户的其他团队提供处理思路和建议,环球组建了一支涵盖知识产权、商事争议等多个专业领域超过30余人的服务团队,为客户取得了诸多案件的胜利,在商业战场上赢得了更多的谈判与竞争筹码。

天达共和也是国内最早从事仲裁业务的律师事务所之一,其争议解决业务,特别是仲裁业务,始终处于业界领先地位。

纪超一律师介绍道,天达共和诸多合伙人系资深仲裁员和仲裁律师,擅长处理重大、疑难、复杂争议,所承办的诸多代表性案件被最高人民法院及贸仲等仲裁机构作为案例收录。“天达共和争议解决团队不仅精于诉讼与仲裁,而且深刻理解各个行业的商业实践,能够准确把握客户的商业诉求,帮助客户平衡商业风险。”

“因长期为跨国企业、国有企业、民营企业、金融机构等各类境内外客户提供专业、高效、可预期的纠纷解决方案与服务,帮助客户妥善处理国内仲裁和国际仲裁下的不同挑战,天达共和争议解决业务备受境内外客户与行业赞誉。”纪律师补充道。

国际视野

多家上榜律所在与ALB分享时,频频谈及跨境争议解决、国际仲裁等更加细分、专业化的领域,体现出领先律所的国际视野。

“随着经济周期的变化以及投资退出环境的复杂化,投资、基金、金融纠纷持续增量,其中不乏大量境外美元基金退出、跨境投融资纠纷,以及跨境判决和裁决执行事务。”纪超一律师分析称,“越来越多的热点业务具有国际、域外、跨境属性,其中既包括中国企业在海外的争端处理,亦包括境外案件在境内的保全和执行事务。这不仅要求争议解决律师能够高效妥善处理本国法律事务,更要求其具有跨法域、协同国际律师团队解决问题的视野和能力。”

纪律师以典型案件为例:近期,天达共和代理的某央企一级子企业与乌克兰某商业银行之间在国际商会(ICC)国际仲裁院进行的保函争议国际商事仲裁案、在乌克兰法院进行的保证协议及保函无效诉讼案均取得胜诉。其中,仲裁案争议金额约合人民币7.5亿元,全部仲裁请求均得到支持。涉及仲裁协议效力的诉讼案件最终诉至乌克兰最高法院,并取得胜诉。

“‘一带一路’沿线国家的法律环境较为复杂。面对纠纷,中国企业应当聘请专业律师积极采取法律行动维护自身权益。因纠纷及案件处理往往涉及多个法域,主导代理工作的天达共和律师团队既具备丰富的国际仲裁和跨境诉讼经验,而且有着良好的国际律师团队管理能力,能够组织协调多法域律师在不同国家和地区高效推进法律程序。”

纪律师表示,本案中国企业在ICC仲裁、乌克兰诉讼取得的全面胜诉,是央国企在国际仲裁和海外诉讼实践中不可多得的佳绩,丰富和拓展了央国企海外维权的实践探索,对今后央国企海外维权、“一带一路”商事纠纷解决具有重要的参考价值和借鉴意义。

作为默默耕耘中国市场多年的国际律所,新加坡立杰律师事务所也登上了本次排名。立杰中国国际仲裁、国际工程及能源基建项目主管丘健雄律师告诉ALB,过去几十年中,英美律所在国际仲裁领域占据优势,但能够按照全球最高标准提供国际仲裁服务的亚洲律所并不算多,中国律所也是如此。争议解决是立杰长期以来的重点业务和优势领域,尤其在国际仲裁领域,立杰有着突出的专业能力。

立杰不仅仅利用新加坡团队的专业优势来帮助中国企业处理仲裁案件,更加快推进国际仲裁业务在中国的发展,今年在中国内地配置了专注于国际仲裁业务的新团队,并且在内地的第二个以国际仲裁为核心业务的代表处已经获得司法部的批准。

“国际仲裁案件数量在增长,中国市场上能够提供国际仲裁服务的律师并不多,中国籍的国际仲裁员也非常稀缺。立杰非常希望能培养出能力突出的中国国际仲裁律师和团队,也希望更多的中国律师和中国律所参与到国际仲裁案件中。从我近三十年在大中华地区的执业和生活经验来看,想要为客户提供更高效的服务,除了法律的专业水准,还有对当地语言和文化的深入理解,在中国设立专门的国际仲裁团队能达到这个目的。”丘律师说。

融英也在跨境争议解决案件中体现了不俗的实力。白麟律师介绍,在一起涉及美国、香港和中国内地的国际仲裁案件中,融英团队敏锐地建议当事人启动紧急仲裁员程序,成功获得了紧急仲裁员准许的临时措施,并在境外得到对方当事人自愿执行,该案也成为该领域为数不多的良好先例。

又如融英代表香港仲裁当事人在内地成功取得财产保全,这是北京金融法院在《关于内地与香港特别行政区法院就仲裁程序相互协助保全的安排》下作出的首例财产保全裁定,该案例被列入北京金融法院2023年度《涉金融仲裁司法审查白皮书》。

环球的赵久光律师也谈到国际业务的实力。 “环球是仅有的几家代理过国际投资仲裁案件的中国律师事务所之一,我们对于国际投资仲裁案件的程序、管辖权、责任和损害赔偿等问题均有深入研究和实务经验,并深度参与了投资争端解决机制改革的议题。我们有近30名律师在境内外知名仲裁机构及各地仲裁委担任仲裁员,仲裁团队在全世界众多知名仲裁机构处理过大量案件。”

未来关注

随着争议解决业务的专业化程度提升,以及规则的不断更新,各律所也向ALB分享了他们处理案件的更多经验和未来关注的方向。

立杰的丘健雄律师以自己深耕几十年的国际工程及能源基建项目为例,建议律师和涉事双方着重考虑多元化的争议解决方法。“国际工程项目的周期较长,通常需要三至五年,甚至更长时间,期间出现的问题非常多,如果全部通过诉讼、仲裁传统方式来解决,会消耗大量人力、财力和时间。应更多采用不同的纠纷解决方法,尽早解决问题。”

“律师可以更多去尝试用调解的方式来解决纠纷,即使在提交了仲裁申请、或是仲裁已经启动之后,也可以进行调解,如果达成和解,仲裁的机制也能保证和解结果得到执行。”丘律师补充道。

环球的赵久光律师也有相似的思路。“环球一贯坚持的是在充分考虑和理解客户的商业目标的基础上,为客户设计综合性的争议解决方案,特别是通过诉讼或仲裁为和解增加筹码,边打边谈、以打促谈,争取帮助客户以最经济、最有效率的方式化解纠纷,实现商业目的。”

融英的白麟律师表示争议解决的思路不能僵化,而应根据每个案件案情、涉事方、审判/仲裁机构的实际情况来制定计划和策略,例如在商事争议案件中,可以合理使用临时措施,“利用临时措施短平快、立竿见影的特点,有助于实现以打促和的目的,省却了后期打官司的种种风险和消耗”。

赵久光律师表示,在下一阶段,环球的争议解决团队认为投融资领域纠纷,例如投资对赌、业绩补偿、投资者维权等值得关注,团队近来也经办了大量这一类型的案件,市场竞争很激烈。

“争议解决律师最核心的竞争力就在于自身专业能力的精进,这样才能保证有能力应对重大复杂案件的处理。”赵律师说。

天达共和的纪超一律师同样强调专业能力的提升,“争议解决律师应当始终保持在学习与实践的第一线,既需保持对法律、规则与审判实践更迭和变化的敏锐捕捉,亦需不断磨砺自身的诉讼和仲裁实操技艺。”

白麟律师则表示,融英将进一步加强与境内外仲裁机构及律师同行的合作,例如共同开展研究项目,探索更多实务、前沿问题,以及为弱势群体提供法律援助、开展公益事业。“这些规划不仅仅落在纸面,融英已经付诸行动,相信在几个月内,大家能看到实质性的成果。”


 

2024 ALB China Dispute Resolution Rankings

 

As the macro socio-economic environment evolves, the proportion of revenue derived from litigation practices at law firms has been steadily increasing. Simultaneously, dispute resolution, one of the most traditional areas of legal service, is facing new trends and challenges. In this context, ALB is proud to introduce the inaugural dispute resolution rankings, which showcases leading firms in this domain within the Chinese legal services market.

 

The practice of dispute resolution has been continuously expanding in the Chinese legal services market. It stands as one of the most talent-rich and competitively intense areas. Influenced by various factors such as international dynamics, economic conditions, and technological advancements, conflicts and disputes have become inevitable, frequently surfacing across all sectors of economic and social development, and growing in diversity and complexity. Over the past two years, this has positioned dispute resolution as a critical arena for law firms.

To highlight firms that excel in dispute resolution and to monitor emerging trends in this field, ALB has spent the last two months examining the scope, scale, complexity, and notable successes of dispute resolution efforts by participating firms. The evaluation also considered the composition and growth of firms' dispute resolution teams, client retention, and acquisition of new clients. This extensive research culminated in the presentation of the 2024 ALB China Dispute Resolution Rankings.

This is the first time ALB has assessed the dispute resolution prowess of firms in Mainland China, including international firms with local offices. The ranking features two distinct categories: "litigation" and "arbitration," each with various tiers.

The winning firms differ in team size and business volume, but they share a common trait: all have managed complex and challenging cases, establishing themselves as role models and pioneers of innovation in the field. Several winners have also shared their experiences with ALB on developing their dispute resolution practices.

STEADY GROWTH

Data from the Supreme People's Court of China indicate that in 2023, courts nationwide accepted approximately 45.57 million cases, marking a 15.62 percent increase from the previous year. This growth was observed across various case types, including criminal, civil and commercial, administrative, intellectual property, and enforcement cases.

In the uncertain macro environment of the first quarter of 2024, courts continued to see growth, accepting over 11 million cases, a 1.49 percent increase year-on-year.

"The demand for dispute resolution services in China's legal market has steadily increased, providing more development opportunities and expanding the scope for dispute resolution practices," states Zhao Jiuguang, head of Dispute Resolution at Global Law Office. He notes that since 2013, the total number of cases handled by Chinese courts has surged at an average annual growth rate of 13 percent. Regarding arbitration, significant increases were also noted in 2023: the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) accepted 5,237 new cases, up 28.17 percent; the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) handled over 12,000 cases, a 45.14 percent increase; and the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC) saw a dramatic 89.4 percent rise with 4,879 new cases.

Zhao adds, "This growth in case numbers, both in traditional litigation and commercial arbitration, signifies expanding opportunities in legal services." He also highlights the evolving nature of legal challenges: "The rise in case numbers and complexity brings new challenges for lawyers, requiring more specialized and refined legal services. In today’s fluctuating economic climate, clients seek not only quality but also cost-effectiveness, adding to the already intense competition in the legal market."

Ji Chaoyi, head of Dispute Resolution at East & Concord Partners, observes that as dispute resolution thrives, there is a heightened demand for specialized expertise among lawyers. "For instance, significant revisions to China's Arbitration Law and new rules from leading arbitration institutions like CIETAC and SHIAC demand that lawyers stay current, understand, and adeptly use these changes to craft sophisticated dispute resolution strategies," he explains.

Ji also points out areas of growing interest in the market: "Regulatory tightening in finance and securities has led to frequent securities investment disputes, making it a prominent field for dispute resolution. Administrative litigation and investor claims triggered by regulatory changes are also expected to remain significant areas of focus."

Commercial dispute resolution is a cornerstone of RongYing Law Firm, which was established in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the market turbulence, RongYing quickly emerged as a notable new player, gaining widespread recognition for its adept handling of complex commercial disputes. Bai Lin, the founder and managing partner, notes that in the current domestic and international climate, clients increasingly favor cost-effective and time-efficient dispute resolution methods.

Bai explains, "This requires our lawyers to deeply understand the commercial objectives and the core issues at stake for our clients. Our legal strategies are designed to align with and achieve these commercial objectives. Additionally, the nature of dispute resolution demands that our lawyers be adaptable, ready to switch strategies from offense to defense as the situation requires."

Bai is also increasingly focused on criminal law, particularly as it relates to job-related offenses by senior corporate executives and data security breaches. He observes a rising trend in cases that intertwine criminal and civil law elements, driving a growing demand for interdisciplinary legal services that encompass both areas. "As these demands evolve, so too must our service capabilities and the expertise we require from our lawyers," Bai adds.

Highlighting the firm’s commitment to strengthening its interdisciplinary services, Bai mentions the recent addition of Ji Honghai, a seasoned criminal law expert with two decades of experience as a public prosecutor at the People's Procuratorate of Beijing Municipality. Ji's expertise in both criminal and civil law aspects is a significant asset to RongYing.

"With the continual emergence of new challenges and demands, a dynamic and high-performing team like ours at RongYing is well-positioned to demonstrate our expertise and capabilities. We are confident about the future of our dispute resolution practice and its prospects in the market," Bai concludes.

BUILDING OVER TIME

Some of the leading firms in dispute resolution boast long histories, substantial size, and well-established market positions and strategies. For instance, since its inception in 1979, Global Law Office has been managing both domestic and international dispute resolution cases. "Currently, Global Law Office has a robust team of over 100 lawyers specializing in litigation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution. They excel in handling complex cases that involve international, cross-border, and domestic civil and commercial disputes for both international and domestic clients," explains Zhao.

Global Law Office is renowned for its deep legal expertise and innovative approach to dispute resolution, making it a leader in the Chinese market. Over the past four decades, the firm has pioneered many groundbreaking projects in China within the dispute resolution field. Zhao highlights, "These landmark projects include the first trademark ownership dispute involving over ten billion RMB, the first maritime oil spill pollution litigation under the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, the first use of the DOCDEX rules by the International Chamber of Commerce to resolve a letter of credit dispute, the first successful recognition and enforcement of a foreign maritime arbitral award in China, and the first arbitration involving a Chinese enterprise in Stockholm."

Furthermore, Global Law Office has developed expertise across a broad spectrum of industries, such as private equity and finance, capital markets and listed companies, intellectual property, maritime and shipping, real estate, insurance, labor, and enforcement disputes.

"Since 2015, Global Law Office has exclusively represented Thailand's Yoovidhya family in Mainland China, handling a series of complex and high-profile disputes against the Ruayrungruang family. These include over ten corporate control disputes concerning Red Bull and more than 40 intellectual property disputes. The significant market presence of Red Bull in China has also drawn considerable public attention to these cases," Zhao adds.

Zhao explains that in managing this series of cases, Global Law Office has developed a comprehensive dispute resolution strategy for their client. The firm places significant emphasis on the interconnection between related cases, offering valuable insights and recommendations to the client's other advisory teams. Assembling a service team of over 30 professionals with expertise in areas such as IP and commercial disputes, the firm has secured numerous victories, enhancing the client’s bargaining power and competitive position in the market.

East & Concord Partners is also a pioneer in arbitration in China, consistently leading the market in dispute resolution practices, particularly in arbitration. Ji notes that many partners at the firm are experienced arbitrators and lawyers skilled in managing significant and complex disputes. Several of their landmark cases have been recognized as model cases by the Supreme People’s Court, CIETAC, and other arbitration bodies. "The dispute resolution team at East & Concord Partners is not only skilled in litigation and arbitration, but also possesses a deep understanding of business practices across various industries. This allows them to precisely identify clients' commercial needs and help them mitigate commercial risks," Ji elaborates.

"Our dispute resolution practice receives high praise from both domestic and international clients across various sectors because of our long-standing commitment to providing professional, efficient, and predictable solutions and services. We cater to a diverse clientele, including multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises, private companies, and financial institutions, assisting them in navigating various challenges in domestic and international arbitration," Ji adds.

INTERNATIONAL VISION

When discussing with ALB, many leading firms frequently mentioned their involvement in cross-border dispute resolution and international arbitration, highlighting their global perspective. Ji from East & Concord Partners shared, "As economic cycles change and the complexity of investment exit environments increases, we are seeing a rise in disputes related to investments, funds, and finance. This includes a significant number of cases concerning the exit from overseas US dollar funds, cross-border investment and financing disputes, and the enforcement of cross-border judgments and arbitral awards." He added that the trend in disputes is becoming increasingly international, extraterritorial, and cross-border. This not only involves resolving disputes for Chinese enterprises overseas but also managing the preservation and enforcement of overseas cases in China. Such scenarios require lawyers who are adept at handling domestic law issues and possess the vision and capability to resolve problems across different jurisdictions with an international legal team.

Ji highlighted a specific case to illustrate this point. A top-tier subsidiary of a central enterprise, represented by East & Concord Partners, successfully won an international commercial arbitration at the ICC International Court of Arbitration against a commercial bank in Ukraine concerning disputes over a letter of guarantee. The firm also succeeded in litigation proceedings before a Ukrainian court regarding the validity of the guarantee agreement and the letter of guarantee. The arbitration involved a disputed amount of approximately RMB 750 million, with all requests of the Chinese side being upheld. Furthermore, East & Concord Partners achieved victory in litigation over the validity of the arbitration agreement, which escalated to the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

"The legal environment in the countries along the 'Belt and Road Initiative' route is complex. When facing disputes, Chinese companies should engage professional lawyers to take proactive legal measures to protect their rights and interests," Ji advised. He emphasized that since disputes often span multiple jurisdictions, their firm and leading lawyers have extensive experience in international arbitration and cross-border litigation. They also have a solid capability to manage international legal teams, coordinating lawyers from various jurisdictions to efficiently progress legal procedures in different countries and regions.

Ji believes that the complete victory in both the ICC arbitration and Ukrainian court litigation is a notable achievement for central and State-owned enterprises in international arbitration and overseas litigation. This success not only enriches and expands the practical tools available for these enterprises to protect their rights overseas but also provides valuable guidance for resolving commercial disputes along the 'Belt and Road Initiative' route in the future.

Rajah & Tann Singapore, an international law firm with significant involvement in the Chinese market, stands out as another award-winning firm. Hew Kian Heong, the head of International Arbitration, Construction & Projects, China, shared insights with ALB on the landscape of international arbitration. He noted that for many years, British and US firms have been predominant in this field, with few Asian firms meeting the highest global standards for international arbitration services. However, Rajah & Tann has long focused on dispute resolution, developing world-class expertise in international arbitration.

The firm not only utilizes the professional skills of its Singapore team to assist Chinese companies with arbitration but has also established a dedicated team in Mainland China to enhance the development of international arbitration practices there. The second representative office of Rajah & Tann in the mainland, which specializes in international arbitration, has received approval from the Ministry of Justice.

"The number of international arbitration cases is increasing, yet the Chinese market has few lawyers capable of offering such services, and international arbitrators of Chinese nationality are scarce," Hew explained. "Rajah & Tann is committed to developing top-notch Chinese lawyers and teams, and we are eager to see more Chinese lawyers and firms participate in international arbitration. From my nearly thirty years of experience in Greater China, to provide efficient services to our clients, in addition to legal expertise, a deep understanding of local languages and cultures is essential. I believe that setting up a specialized international arbitration team in China is the most effective way," says Hew.

RongYing is highly regarded for its expertise in cross-border dispute resolution. Bai highlighted a case involving the United States, Hong Kong SAR, and Mainland China where RongYing advised a client to initiate emergency arbitrator procedures. The firm successfully obtained interim measures from the emergency arbitrator and ensured voluntary compliance by the overseas counterparty, setting a notable precedent in this field.

In another instance, RongYing achieved a significant milestone by securing property preservation in Mainland China for a client involved in a Hong Kong arbitration. This ruling, the first of its kind by the Beijing Financial Court, was highlighted in the 2023 White Paper on Judicial Review of Financial-related Arbitrations issued by the court.

Zhao from Global Law Office also shared insights into the firm's capabilities in international practice. "Global Law Office is among the few Chinese firms experienced in international investment arbitration. We possess a deep understanding and extensive practical experience concerning procedures, jurisdiction, liability, damages, and other aspects of international investment arbitration. We are actively involved in the reform of the investment dispute resolution mechanism," he explained. The firm boasts nearly 30 lawyers appointed as arbitrators in renowned domestic and international arbitration institutions and local arbitration commissions. The arbitration team has managed a substantial number of cases across various prominent arbitration institutions worldwide.

FUTURE OUTLOOK

As dispute resolution becomes increasingly specialized and rules are continually updated, winning firms have shared more of their case handling experiences and future focus areas with ALB. Hew from Rajah & Tann, drawing on his decades of specialization in international construction and energy infrastructure projects, advocates for diversified dispute resolution methods. "International construction projects have a long cycle, usually three to five years or even longer. Many problems will emerge during such a long period. If all of them are to be resolved through traditional methods of litigation and arbitration, it will consume a lot of manpower, financial resources and time. We should therefore adopt different dispute resolution methods to resolve problems as early as possible," he suggests.

He also encourages the use of mediation. "Lawyers can attempt to resolve disputes more through mediation. Even after arbitration has been applied for or initiated, we can still conduct mediation. If a settlement is reached during meditation, the arbitration mechanism can also ensure that the settlement agreement is enforced," notes Hew.

Zhao from Global Law Office echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of tailored dispute resolution strategies that align with clients' commercial objectives. "By engaging in negotiations concurrent with ongoing litigation or arbitration, or using these processes to facilitate negotiations, we enhance our clients' bargaining positions, aiming to resolve disputes cost-effectively and efficiently," he states.

Bai from RongYing Law Firm advises against a one-size-fits-all approach to dispute resolution, suggesting that strategies should be adapted to the specifics of each case, including the parties involved and the relevant trial or arbitration institution. "For example, in commercial disputes, making strategic use of interim measures can be effective. These measures are swift to implement and can immediately impact, helping parties reach settlements and avoid the costs and risks of prolonged litigation," he notes.

Looking ahead, Zhao indicates that the dispute resolution team at Global Law Office is focusing on investment and financing disputes, such as investment bets, performance compensation, and investor rights protection. "These areas are highly competitive and handling such cases effectively is crucial," he adds.

The core competitiveness of dispute resolution lawyers, according to Ji from East & Concord Partners, lies in continually enhancing their professional skills. "Lawyers must stay abreast of changes in laws, rules, and trial practices, and continuously sharpen their litigation and arbitration skills," he emphasizes.

Bai mentions that RongYing is intensifying collaborations with both domestic and international arbitration institutions and lawyers through joint research, legal aid for underprivileged groups, and social responsibility initiatives. "These efforts are already underway, and I am confident that we will see significant outcomes in the coming months," he concludes.

 

LITIGATION

Tier 1

Commerce & Finance Law Offices 通商律师事务所

Tier 1

JunHe LLP 君合律师事务所

Tier 1

King & Wood Mallesons 金杜律师事务所

Tier 1

Zhong Lun Law Firm 中伦律师事务所

Tier 2

AllBright Law Offices 锦天城律师事务所

Tier 2

Dacheng Law Offices 大成律师事务所

Tier 2

DeHeng Law Offices 德恒律师事务所

Tier 2

Global Law Office 环球律师事务所

Tier 2

Grandall Law Firm 国浩律师事务所

Tier 2

Hui Zhong Law Firm 汇仲律师事务所

Tier 2

Jingtian & Gongcheng 竞天公诚律师事务所

Tier 2

Llinks Law Offices 通力律师事务所

Tier 3

AnJie Broad Law Firm 安杰世泽律师事务所

Tier 3

Anli Partners 安理律师事务所

Tier 3

FenXun Partners 奋迅律师事务所

Tier 3

Guantao Law Firm 观韬中茂律师事务所

Tier 3

Haiwen & Partners 海问律师事务所

Tier 3

Han Kun Law Offices 汉坤律师事务所

Tier 3

Jincheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm 金诚同达律师事务所

Tier 3

JunZeJun Law Offices 君泽君律师事务所

Tier 3

King & Capital Law Firm 京都律师事务所

Tier 3

Tian Yuan Law Firm 天元律师事务所

Tier 3

Zhenghan Law Firm 虹桥正瀚律师事务所

Tier 4

Hui Ye Law Firm 汇业律师事务所

Tier 4

Jia Yuan Law Offices 嘉源律师事务所

Tier 4

Jin Mao Law Firm 金茂律师事务所

Tier 4

Joint-win Partners 上海正策律师事务所

Tier 4

Kangda Law Firm 康达律师事务所

Tier 4

Merits & Tree Law Offices 植德律师事务所

Tier 4

Tahota Law Firm  泰和泰律师事务所

Tier 4

W&H Law Firm  炜衡律师事务所

Tier 4

Zhonglun W&D Law Firm 中伦文德律师事务所

Notable Firms

Beijing Hylands Law Firm 北京浩天律师事务所

Notable Firms

Boss & Young Attorneys-At-Law 邦信阳律师事务所

Notable Firms

Bridgeon Law Firm 博遵律师事务所

Notable Firms

China Commercial Law Firm 华商律师事务所

Notable Firms

Clyde & Co 其礼律师事务所

Notable Firms

DOCVIT Law Firm 道可特律师事务所

Notable Firms

Dorsey & Whitney LLP 美国德汇律师事务所

Notable Firms

H&T Law Firm 汉韬律师事务所

Notable Firms

Hiways Law Firm 海华永泰律师事务所

Notable Firms

L&H Law Firm 浙江六和律师事务所

Notable Firms

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP 新加坡立杰律师事务所

Notable Firms

T&C Law Firm 天册律师事务所

Notable Firms

TianTai Law Firm 天驰君泰律师事务所

Notable Firms

V&T Law Firm 万商天勤律师事务所

Notable Firms

Wang Jing & Co. Law Firm 敬海律师事务所

Notable Firms

Yingke Law Firm 盈科律师事务所

 

 

ARBITRATION

Tier 1

Hui Zhong Law Firm 汇仲律师事务所

Tier 1

King & Wood Mallesons 金杜律师事务所

Tier 1

Zhong Lun Law Firm 中伦律师事务所

Tier 2

Commerce & Finance Law Offices 通商律师事务所

Tier 2

DeHeng Law Offices 德恒律师事务所

Tier 2

Global Law Office 环球律师事务所

Tier 2

Jingtian & Gongcheng 竞天公诚律师事务所

Tier 2

JunHe LLP 君合律师事务所

Tier 3

AllBright Law Offices 锦天城律师事务所

Tier 3

AnJie Broad Law Firm 安杰世泽律师事务所

Tier 3

Dacheng Law Offices 大成律师事务所

Tier 3

East & Concord Partners 天达共和律师事务所

Tier 3

FenXun Partners 奋迅律师事务所

Tier 3

Grandall Law Firm 国浩律师事务所

Tier 3

Haiwen & Partners 海问律师事务所

Tier 3

Han Kun Law Offices 汉坤律师事务所

Tier 3

Jincheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm 金诚同达律师事务所

Tier 3

JunZeJun Law Offices 君泽君律师事务所

Tier 3

Llinks Law Offices 通力律师事务所

Tier 3

Tian Yuan Law Firm 天元律师事务所

Tier 3

Yingke Law Firm 盈科律师事务所

Tier 3

Zhong Wen Law Firm 中闻律师事务所

Notable Firms

Beijing DHH Law Firm 北京德和衡律师事务所

Notable Firms

Clyde & Co 其礼律师事务所

Notable Firms

Guangdong King & Win Law Firm 广东青狮云岸律师事务所

Notable Firms

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP 新加坡立杰律师事务所

Notable Firms

RongYing Law Firm 北京融英律师事务所

Notable Firms

Shihui Partners 世辉律师事务所

Notable Firms

Tahota Law Firm  泰和泰律师事务所

Notable Firms

Wang Jing & Co. Law Firm 敬海律师事务所

Notable Firms

Zhonglun W&D Law Firm 中伦文德律师事务所

 

 

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