Fighting the good fight


China started a large-scale restructuring of its government departments last year, an important part of which is the consolidation of antitrust authorities. The previous three antitrust agencies – the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the Price Supervision/Inspection and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Anti-Monopoly and Anti-Unfair Competition Bureau of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), have been merged into the Anti-Monopoly Bureau under a newly established regulatory body – the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).

anti-monopolyLegal experts have noticed that antitrust investigation and enforcement has become more proactive since the consolidation. Penalty-imposing cases reported by the SAMR cover almost all types of illegal activities regulated by the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). Antitrust enforcement at the local level is also stepping up, and local antitrust authorities are expected to play an important role in enforcement activities in future.

Fair prey focuses on China’s latest trends with regard to antitrust regulation. In addition to intensified enforcement, the country also has a series of legislative moves, including proposed amendments to the AML, consultation on three important departmental rules on abuse of domination, monopoly agreements and administrative monopoly, and the rolling out of the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on the Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights, and more guidelines in the near future. The story also compares China’s antitrust practices with those of the US and EU.

Antitrust is just one of the myriad legal issues that a general counsel needs to worry about. In a rapidly changing business world, the functions of legal departments are diversifying with the complexity of corporate business. A strong legal team is therefore the foundation of a successful company in today’s fiercely competitive market.

In Legal eagles, we interview several seasoned senior executives engaged in corporate legal affairs, who share their experiences in building and managing teams. For example, the general counsel of Xiaomi says that building a successful high-performance legal department means hiring people who are curiosity-driven, with a very open mind. The general legal manager at Golden Concord Holdings believes a top tier in-house counsel should be able to influence the board members and introduce business opportunities to the company. The interviewees all agree that an excellent in-house should have business acumen apart from solid legal skills.

Technology is changing the legal landscape, but Connecting the dots points out that technology for most in-house legal teams still equates to emails and spreadsheets. As regulatory requirements become more complex and the workload increases, in-house legal teams need to change with the times. This article explains how legal tech can help in-house counsel centralize fragmented data to improve their efficiency and productivity.