Irish firm to coach aspiring legal minds

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A&L Goodbody has embarked on a multimillion-dollar training initiative for young Chinese lawyers and law students that aims to give them international expertise they would find hard to attain at home.

Front (L to R): Julian Yarr (A&L Goodbody); Huang Jianwen (King & Wood Mallesons); Jon Given (A&L Goodbody). Rear: Irish ambassador Declan Kelleher, Irish PM Enda Kenny and Chinese ambassador Luo Linquan.
Front (L to R): Julian Yarr (A&L Goodbody); Huang Jianwen (King & Wood Mallesons); Jon Given (A&L Goodbody). Rear: Irish ambassador Declan Kelleher, Irish PM Enda Kenny and Chinese ambassador Luo Linquan.

The Irish law firm signed agreements on 28 March with prominent law firms and universities for the A&L Goodbody Chinese Lawyers’ Programme, which aims to give China’s aspiring legal minds deeper insights into common law concepts in Ireland and the wider European market.

The programme is intended to be a long-term initiative. Chinese lawyers and students who participate in the programme will spend six months in A&L Goodbody’s head office in Dublin.

They will work in areas relevant to their expertise and offer advice on deals related to China, in addition to their daily work at the firm. They will also spend about four weeks working with an Irish or multinational client of the law firm.

A&L Goodbody said knowledge of common law is a must for international transactions and the experience and knowledge the trainees would gain from the programme would benefit their work back in China, for example with advising on outbound investment. The firm will cover the programme’s expenses, expected to be in the range of several million dollars.

The firms and universities participating include Dacheng Law Offices, Fangda Partners, Global Law Office, Grandall Law Firm, Jun He Law Offices, King & Wood Mallesons, Llinks Law Offices, Zhong Lun Law Firm, Zhonglun W&D Law Firm, as well as Peking University and East China University of Political Science and Law.

At the announcement event, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny congratulated A&L Goodbody for its “courage” in developing the programme.

He said the initiative has “the potential to take the business relationship between China and Ireland to a new plane in its development of a professional network which will benefit both countries”.

It was reported recently in this section that the top European law firm Uría Menéndez will start a similar training programme for Chinese lawyers soon, backed by the Ministry of Justice (see China Business Law Journal, volume 3 issue 3, page 5).