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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Hui Zhong Law Firm

09 March 2017

The Chinese firm is acting in a billion-dollar real estate dispute

Treaty cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 24 (of which 14 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

Based in Beijing and Shanghai, Hui Zhong Law Firm was founded in 2013 as one of the first Chinese law firms to specialise in dispute resolution and has significant experience in the field thanks to its senior partners.

The international arbitration practice, comprising 10 partners, is led by Beijing-based co-founders Xinguang Cao and Ning Fei. Cao, who previously served as partner of another Chinese law firm for 21 years, was one of the first ever arbitrators appointed by CIETAC. Fei led the dispute resolution group at Jun He Law Office for five years and worked at CIETAC’s secretariat.

Senior consultant Shengchang Wang is the former vice chairman and secretary general of CIETAC who was controversially imprisoned after being part of a tribunal that ruled against Chinese interests in the PepsiCo arbitration, a major Sino-western dispute of the 2000s. The episode made Wang a champion of the arbitral community.

The firm often serves as co-counsel of choice for other international law firms on the GAR 100, such as Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Who uses it?

Financial services clients are prominent users of Hui Zhong, including the Bank of China, China Everbright, and Hong Kong’s Core Pacific-Yamaichi.

In other sectors, the firm has acted for clients as diverse as IBM, Hugo Boss, Swiss multinational ABB, US water treatment company Culligan, Danish biotechnology company Novozymes, US flash memory manufacturer SanDisk, and Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited (one of the largest petrochemical joint ventures in China).

Track record

Hui Zhong has a reputation for vigorously defending its clients. The firm has minimised the losses of its clients in arbitrations ranging from an UNCITRAL claim over a contract for the importation of soybeans to a CIETAC claim involving the Beijing subsidiary of the NBA.

The firm has also engineered advantageous settlements for its clients. The Chinese subsidiary of US chemicals provider Lubrizol retained the firm for parallel SIAC and SHIAC proceedings over a construction dispute and found itself settling the disputes after the firm adopted effective strategies in both proceedings.

Recent events

Hui Zhong recently helped a Taiwanese client settle a US$110 million claim against the Chinese government over the transfer of land use rights.

The firm continues to act (alongside Clifford Chance) for a US private equity firm in a US$300 million CIETAC dispute over a restaurant chain. In another significant matter, it is acting for China Central Properties in a US$1 billion real estate dispute, helping to coordinate related litigation in China, Korea and Barbados. 

The firm hired two new disputes partners. Jiang Hong, formerly secretary general of the Shanghai Sub-commission of the China Maritime Arbitration Commission; and Qiu Ming, a former Supreme People’s Court judge.

Yang Chao, Chen Jingjing, Yu Tiantao and Zhang Hongwu were all promoted from salary to equity partners in the disputes practice, and senior associate Yang Xueyu was promoted to counsel.

Equity partner Liu Guangming left in December 2015.

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