Transitions

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Someone famous once said: because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. Change, or transformation, is an inevitability that can signify growth, serve as an indicator to a new reality, or provide a much needed overhaul for a mechanism to work more efficiently. Of course not all change is good, and the wisdom of knowing the difference has always challenged us.

prologueThis month, China Business Law Journal‘s feature issues are all about change, home grown and abroad. The private equity sector is in a state of transformation, and at the moment many could be forgiven for not liking the changes they see. PE metamorphosis looks at an industry that needs to find alternative exit strategies after having its traditional IPO channel informally closed. Inconsistencies in regulation between the authorities governing this sector are not helping either.

Benefits may not be seen in the short term, but developing the maturity to develop alternative exit strategies is something the PE industry in China desperately needs. We look at the alternatives available and the risks involved for PE funds and firms, domestically and overseas. Despite tough times, a lot of companies are seeking capital, which is good news for PE and VC in the long run.

In Labour intensive, we gather some views from experts on changes to the Labour Contract Law that come into effect on 1 July. The regulations affect the establishment, licensing and operations of dispatch service providers. Inequalities between full-time and dispatch workers are addressed in areas of pay and job function, and also work classifications for dispatch personnel. Legal liabilities for dispatch agencies and companies have increased, so these views are a must read to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements.

With Chinese growth slowing and traditional commodity prices falling, Latin American law firms say a change is needed in the relationship with China, beyond natural resources. While acknowledging the dominance of trade in natural resources and commodities, Beyond resources explores the virtually untapped potential in Latin America for high-value exports, with lawyers pointing to the potential of the Chinese consumer market. They also note the changes in regulatory and infrastructural frameworks needed for this relationship to transition.

In our regular Profile series, we talk to one of China’s most prominent general counsel. An open mind is an interview with Shawn Zhao, GC for the multinational Hewlett-Packard and also a member of China Business Law Journal’s editorial board. Zhao tells how he restructured the China legal department within HP, transforming it into a more successful and integrated outfit. He also offers some insights about how to get the most out of your legal team.

Our June issue is filled with transitions, but with some of our feature stories, as with our delightful cover image, it remains to be seen what will emerge from the chrysalis.