GAR 100 - 13th Edition

Hui Zhong Law Firm

Professional notice

New recruits strengthen team leading US$1 billion multi-jurisdiction real estate dispute

People in Who's Who Legal1
Pending cases as counsel25
Value of pending counsel workUS$1.32 billion
Treaty cases0
Third-party funded cases1
Current arbitrator appointments37 (20 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator7

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.

The practice, comprising 15 partners, consultants and counsel, is led by co-founders Xinguang Cao and Ning Fei in Beijing. Cao, who served as senior partner of Haiwen & Partners for 21 years, was one of the first arbitrators appointed by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). Fei led the dispute resolution group at Jun He Law Office for five years and worked at the CIETAC’s secretariat.

Senior consultant Shengchang Wang is the former vice chairman and secretary general of CIETAC who was controversially imprisoned for 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 for other international law firms on the GAR 100, such as Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Hui Zhong also played a lead role in drafting amendments to the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) rules, including its authority to hear investor-state cases and to administer cases under UNCITRAL rules.

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 IBM, Hugo Boss, Swiss multinational ABB, US water treatment company Culligan, Danish bio-tech company Novozymes, US flash memory manufacturer SanDisk, and Shanghai Electric and Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited, one of China’s largest joint ventures.

Track record

The firm has minimised its clients’ losses 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. US chemicals provider Lubrizol retained the firm for parallel SIAC and SHIAC proceedings over a construction dispute that settled. The firm also settled a US$33 million HKIAC case over the sale of goods.

For another client, Hui Zhong reached a settlement with a Japanese supplier in a US$35 million HKIAC case. The supplier withdrew its claim on the second day of the hearing.

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

Recent events

Hui Zhong 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 remains lead counsel to Beijing Zhongtian Hongye Real Estate Consulting in arbitral and judicial proceedings in China, also acting as general coordinator for related litigation in Korea and Barbados – over 30 proceedings in total worth US$1 billion.

Meanwhile, an in-depth study conducted by Hui Zhong on how to reform the remuneration system in China’s arbitration institutions helped to influence the Beijing Arbitration Commission’s reform of its arbitration fees schedule.  

One partner left the firm, while Xiaohu Ma and Dihuang Song joined, both at partner level, from US law firm Morrison & Foerster and Guangzhou-based firm Wang Jing & Co respectively.

Client comment

Ginger Lu of medical equipment manufacturer Smith & Nephew praises the team’s “solid legal knowledge, practical solution, smart strategy, remarkable logic and strong business acumen”. Shanghai-based partner Jingjing Chen offers “big-picture thinking and attention to details”, and is “eloquent and practical”, Lu adds.

Offices:

Beijing Office
Suite 516 North Tower, Beijing Kerry Centre, 1 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District,
Beijing, PRC 100020
T: 86 (10) 5639 9688
F: 86 (10) 5639 9699 

Shanghai Office
Rm 1507, Jing An Kerry Center, Tower 1, 1515 Nanjing Road West, Jing An District,
Shanghai, PRC 200040
T: 86 (21) 2226 1200
F: 86 (21) 5370 0292

Website:
www.huizhonglaw.com

Founded in June 2013, Hui Zhong Law Firm (“Hui Zhong”) is a Chinese boutique law firm specializing in domestic and international dispute resolution. Hui Zhong now have more than 30 lawyers, including 12 partners and 3 senior consultants, offering law services in Beijing and Shanghai.

Despite Hui Zhong’s relatively short history, the depth of experience and high standing of its members are widely acclaimed – each of Hui Zhong’s partners have practiced law for a number of decades. Many are key players in the world of international arbitration and transnational litigation. They have served as leading legal counsel, co-counsel and legal experts in hundreds of significant and complex cross-border commercial disputes, appearing before courts and arbitration bodies in a variety of jurisdictions. Moreover, Hui Zhong’s lawyers are on the panels of multiple arbitration and mediation institutions, including CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC, SCIA, CCPIT/CCOIC, SIAC, HKIAC, AIAC. Their expertise spans a wide range of areas, including energy & resources, finance, real estate, joint ventures, M&A, engineering and construction, sales and purchase agreements, intellectual property, technology transfer, international investment agreements such as BITs and employment law, etc.

With their commitment to professionalism, efficiency, responsiveness and excellence, Hui Zhong’s lawyers excel at teamwork. Over the past five years, Hui Zhong has achieved a remarkable success in international arbitration. Hui Zhong’s handling of complex, multi-jurisdictional, multilingual and high profile arbitrations earned it the reputation of a rising star. The disputed amount in some of the cases exceeds US$ 100 million.

Hui Zhong has been listed, recommended or highly ranked by GAR 100 (2016 through 2020), Legal 500, Chambers & Partners Global and Asia-Pacific, The Lawyer China Elite, Legalband, Asialaw Profiles, Benchmark and China Business Law Journal.

More details about Hui Zhong can be found on its website (www.huizhonglaw.com), including biographies of Hui Zhong’s lawyers.

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