Legal Focus Group Quarterly Update - Q1 2014

Published on 2014-06-11

With the liberalising momentum created by the 3rd Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the launch of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, 2014 is set to bring even more changes - some of which will fundamentally change the way that business is done here.

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Article by William Soileau, Senior Associate at Pinsent Masons LLP

2013 was a year of many important legal developments here, some of which could have profound implications for China's economy and society.

With the liberalising momentum created by the 3rd Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the launch of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, 2014 is set to bring even more changes - some of which will fundamentally change the way that business is done here.

The Legal Focus Group is planning a series of events this year to highlight important new legal developments and evolving best practices.

On 1 March 2014, changes in the Company Law will come into effect that will do away with key aspects of the registered capital approval regime, and fundamentally change the company registration landscape. In March, the Legal Focus Group will hold a seminar discussing the Company Law changes and their impact on foreign-invested companies in particular.

Data privacy suddenly became a topic of intense interest in 2013 with the arrest of Peter Humphrey, a British citizen and long-time private investigator here. In April, the Legal Focus Group will hold a seminar looking at the legal landscape and practical risks in this area.
All companies doing business here, or planning to, must adapt to China's challenging employment law landscape. With changes to the visa rules in 2013, issues for expats were again to the fore. In May, the Legal Focus Group will host a seminar on legal developments and best practices for HR management of both domestic and expat employees.

Amendments to the PRC Trademark Law were passed last summer, and will take effect on 1 May 2014, bringing important improvements to trademark protection and administration. In June, the Legal Focus Group will host a seminar focusing on developments in the Trademark Law that are of most importance to foreign companies.

Foreign investors continue to grow in China through acquisitions, and foreign managers here are increasingly called on to support the process. Developments across the legal landscape are changing M&A practice here in fundamental ways, impacting everything from financing through due diligence. In June, the Legal Focus Group will host a seminar on the nuts and bolts of M&A transactions. In September, we will focus on developments in PRC bank lending practices, for acquisition financing and more broadly.

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