Spring has sprung!


The Lunar New Year holiday has sprung upon us with all the vivacious bounce and dexterity of the goat that it represents. China Business Law Journal would like to wish all our readers, advisers, contributors and friends a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Goat. We sincerely hope your holidays were festive and happy and, above all, celebrated with family and the ones you love.

PrologueTo spring off on the right step this year, we have canvassed the opinions of in-house counsel to garner their feeling for the year ahead in Staying on top. The results make for fascinating reading, in particular regarding differences that emerged between counsel working for foreign companies and those working for domestic enterprises, especially in their assessments of legal assistance. Generally, though, those wishing to bound into business this year would be wise to curb their vigour, as it seems the issue on the minds of all counsel is compliance.

With policy form and the rule of law beginning to bite, the need to stay up to speed with regulatory requirements has never been more crucial, and multinationals in particular are scrambling their legal teams to ensure compliance across the board. Other revealing opinions in areas including intellectual property (IP) protection, antitrust and dispute resolution and outbound investment make this survey one not to miss.

This issue also marks the second annual China Business Law Awards, and this year was no less difficult than last year for judging. Simply the best takes a look at just that, the firms we believe shone the brightest in 2014. Perhaps the most pleasant aspect of poring over the award nominations is exploring the feedback on firms from in-house counsel who can comment with the greatest understanding of how well the firms have supported them in their legal endeavours.

There were so many outstanding firms nominated, which is great news but also has the drawback of making the choices incredibly difficult. We did our best to highlight the achievers, but the closeness in many categories underlines just how competitive and talented the legal community in China really is.

Finally, it’s fitting that with the first issue of the new year that we introduce a brand new section, called Trends. This semi-regular section will attempt to highlight issues that are new and largely untested or unknown to our readers. Trends will attempt to explain and explore these issues that may well be the pathfinders for tomorrow. Making the connect is the first Trends article, and it analyses the transactions of Renhe Commercial Holdings, which was the first eligible Hong Kong Stock Exchange issuer under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to conduct a rights issue. It’s an informative and authoritative read, and a perfect starter for our new section.

There are more surprises to come this year, with new sections and formats to keep our readers connected with us. Happy New Year!