A winning year

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China Business Law Journal would like to wish all our readers, clients, advisers and friends a prosperous and healthy Year of the Horse! It seems that all too quickly we have celebrated the Lunar New Year once again, this time welcoming the horse to rule in 2014, and we sincerely hope your holidays with family and loved ones were safe and happy.

May we begin as we intend to continue. In line with the continual improvements and refinements at China Business Law Journal to better inform you and serve your needs, our first issue for the Year of the Horse features our inaugural China Business Law Awards. It’s a project that many of you have urged us to undergo for some time, but for which we have waited until we thought we were ready to produce an accolade with required gravitas, even-mindedness and breadth of community.001

So welcome with us the China Business Law Awards for 2013, designed to reflect the views and opinions of China-focused law firms, in-house counsel and legal professionals from around the world, in tandem with notable aspects of achievement in practice.

In order to do justice to the depth and breadth of China’s legal services market, we decided to name five domestic and five international winners of equal standing in 16 practice area categories. In addition, we reveal the best new law firm and announce the winners of several regional awards, including China, International and Offshore law firms of the year.

There are some names that will not surprise and some that may, as we endeavoured to fairly consider the valuable contributions of specialist firms in niche areas of practice against the full figures of the top-tier firms. We hope you enjoy reading which we think the top performers are, and if your firm is represented, our heartiest congratulations!

From the inaugural to the perennial, and A tight rein canvasses in-house counsel of note for their views on how 2014 will unfold for themselves and others in the China-focused in-house counsel community. For those planning to race like a thoroughbred into 2014, a word of warning that you may want to pace the work of your legal team and focus on regulatory reforms and updates. Compliance and due diligence are key words on the lips of many counsel, and greater scrutiny and enforcement at home and abroad bring this aspect of an in-house counsel’s work into full focus.

While on enforcement, Global enforcers presents some interesting views on how the global landscape of enforcement is evolving. More companies in China and abroad are being subject to investigation, and with ever greater investment abroad, the chances of Chinese companies falling foul of US or UK law in particular are increasing. This article aims to help you come to terms with increasingly proactive regulators and ever more complex regulatory frameworks.

Finally, a quick word to watch out for new developments this year. The inaugural China Business Law Awards is just the first surprise we have in store for you. Happy New Year!