The legal department culture that shapes top-tier in-house counsel


Eric Xie Chenyang, the General manager of legal department at Golden Concord Holdings


Could you tell us about your business and the regulatory landscape in China?

We (Golden Concord Holdings) are a privately owned company. We have four public companies under Golden Concord Holdings (GCL) and we are in the energy industry. Talking about regulatory issues, my interest is foreign direct investment (FDI). I think, although, the global stock market have seen a downturn in the last year, we are seeing a relatively strong overseas global M&A in 2018. I guess that was because the stock market has going down. So acquirers could buy assets with a reasonably lower price. After the peak of 2016, outbound investment from China has dropped dramatically.

In 2019, I think from the point of view of our government, it will support three types of outbound M&A: One, if you can buy well-known brands, secondly, in our industry, natural resources, the central government will still support cross-border M&A, thirdly, high technology. I think in this three industries we will see quite a few big deals happening in 2019.

Could you tell us about your team and their focus areas?

At GCL, we have 75 in-house counsel. At the holding level, we have about 10 attorneys. How we do our daily supporting works? We have different attorneys in different practice areas. We have attorneys for litigation, IP law and investment law. We have the expertise to support our business team.

How do we manage those seventy five attorneys? We have monthly meeting. We get together every month. We also have in-house counsel overseas so we use technology (to interact with them). We have discussions on hot topics, recent regulatory changes and big products.

The other thing is, we tell our in-house counsels if you can only review contracts, if you can only provide support to big products, you will only be at the bottom of the pyramid. How can you become the top tier in-house counsel at GCL?

You have to have the ability to influence the board members. If you can introduce business opportunities to our company, then you will be a top-tier counsel in GCL. That’s the legal team culture in GCL. If you don’t have the power to influence the leaders from the business side, then how can you manage risks at the company?

What are your impressions of CBLJ Forum 2019?

Very good. Very impressive. I think, firstly, all the speakers are highly professional. Secondly, I have seen some very top-tier experts and some old friends. I think I can make some new friends and learn stuff from the forum. So thank you for inviting me. And I will absolutely be here next year. Very good one.

The opinions expressed by the interviewees are their own and not those of their companies. To watch the interview videos, please visit See the full interview and our coverage on CBLJ Forum 2019 here