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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Hui Zhong Law Firm

18 February 2016

China’s first specialist dispute resolution firm and home to Wang Shengchang

People in Who’s Who Legal: 1
Pending cases as counsel: 30
Value of pending counsel work: US$1 billion
Treaty cases: 0
Current arbitrator appointments: 24 (of which 14 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator: 2

NEW ENTRY

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, comprised of 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 has been retained to act in two separate CIETAC arbitrations: in the first, it is serving as co-counsel to Clifford Chance for a US private equity firm in a US$300 million restaurant chain dispute; in the second, it acts for a Taiwanese company in a US$110 million claim against the Chinese government over the transfer of land use rights.

The firm says that it is acting in a real estate dispute that exceeds US$1 billion in value and associated litigation in China, Korea and Barbados. Hui Zhong, who is responsible for coordinating the various parties, is representing a subsidiary of China Central Properties in the proceedings.

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