What makes you tick | China Enterprise Law Journal

W.What Makes a Successful Law Firm? Or a winning in-house attorney? The legal profession hires the brightest minds in the country and naturally often brings these minds into intense competition that cannot be found in many other professions. In this issue, we talk to law firms and in-house consultants about everything from the secrets of their success to their business strategies and how they structure fee models for clients.

To control costs, more and more companies are running reverse auctions to select their legal vendors. Some law firms do their best to win deals at ever lower prices, while others choose to stay out of a low-cost spiral of competition, believing that low-cost deals are market killers in the long run and, more importantly, irresponsible are their customers.

Check out our cover story Tight times for our annual report on Chinese Legal Advice Fees, with a table showing the billing rates of 30 law firms. In the report, managing partners of law firms of all sizes reveal how they are adjusting their billing strategies to do business in the buyer’s market, while general counselors share what legal services they are willing to pay for and what qualities they are looking for to their outside legal representatives. The report is a must have for anyone interested in China legal services market.

In “On-the-fly Learning,” we take a look at the aviation industry, which is widely believed to be hardest hit by the pandemic. Interestingly, there were blessings to count in business aviation as more wealthy individuals (HNWIs) bought private jets to meet their travel needs when traditional flights were discontinued.

Minsheng Financial Leasing, one of the largest business aircraft leasing companies in Asia, made the most of this opportunity but also had to deal with its fair share of turmoil. Fiona Sun, the aviation giant’s chief legal advisor, offered us a co-pilot seat to see the challenges she faced in order to keep the business on a stable course.

In this issue, we’re also taking you to Jiangsu on China’s eastern east coast, a province that is playing the right notes to enter the legal market in eastern China, including the establishment of a Third Circuit Court and other specialized courts. Jiangsu on Song examines the legal market of this top economic player in the provinces. Large local law firm partners introduce the region’s most promising industries and explain how they are improving their practices. Also up for discussion is the fierce competition with large national law firms trying to get a piece of business in the province.

As you move into a different kind of competition, hear the opinions of recent winners of the China Business Law Journal’s internal awards on the strategies and practices that helped them make their way into the winning group. Most of them have emphasized a change in their role from legal advisor to business partner in recent years, with greater involvement in business operations and corporate strategy. As the role of an in-house attorney evolves, so do the skills required to be a successful general practitioner. How to be a Successful Internal Consultant compiles our winners’ favorite tips on how a modern GC can stand out from the rest.

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