GAR 100 - 16th Edition

Hui Zhong Law Firm

Hui Zhong Law Firm

Professional notice

Handling a series of real estate arbitrations with a combined value of over US$1 billion

People in Who’s Who Legal1
People in Future Leaders0
Pending cases as counsel11
Value of pending counsel workUS$2.23 billion
Treaty cases as counsel4
Third-party funded cases3
Current arbitrator appointments20 (14 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator4

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 17 partners and counsel and 22 associates, is spearheaded 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 JunHe Law Office for five years and worked at the CIETAC’s secretariat.

Senior consultant Shengchang Wang is the former vice chair 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.

Hui Zhong opened offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen in 2020. The firm played a significant part in drafting amendments to the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration rules, including its authority to hear investor-state cases and to administer cases under UNCITRAL rules. The firm often serves as co-counsel for GAR 30 firms 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 IBM, Hugo Boss, Swiss multinational ABB, US water treatment company Culligan, Danish biotech company Novozymes, US flash memory manufacturer SanDisk, and Shanghai Electric and Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited, one of China’s largest joint ventures.

The firm has also represented a number of individuals involved in high-value disputes.

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

It also represented several high-profile individuals, most notably the Chinese Olympic athlete Sun Yang, in a dispute with the World Anti-Doping Agency, where the firm was able to push the forming of a new panel in the Court of Arbitration for Sport that halved the original penalties imposed on the client.

Recent events

On the investment treaty front, the firm is acting as co-counsel with ArentFox Schiff for two Chinese investors who are claiming US$322 million in an ICSID arbitration against Cambodia under the ASEAN-China Agreement over the revocation of two telecommunications licences.

The firm is advising a Chinese private company in a US$120 million ICC arbitration in Hong Kong with a set of Egyptian counterparties. Before the Chinese courts, it is advising Wabtec (Shenyang) on its attempts to enforce a US$360 million HKIAC award against an engineering company.

The firm has also been involved in a series of cases arising from a large real estate project that saw more than 30 proceedings across four jurisdictions. The firm represented Beijing Zhongtian Hongye Real Estate Consulting in arbitral and judicial proceedings in China, and is acting as general coordinator for cases in other jurisdictions; the combined value of the cases exceeds US$1 billion.

The year 2022 saw partner Jingjing Chen leave the firm for JunHe Law Offices.

Client comment

Hao Junwei, legal director at Shanghai Electric Group, is using the firm in a high-value CIETAC claim against two state-owned entities concerning power plant designs. The Hui Zhong team is “well organised and very responsive” with extensive knowledge of Chinese contract law, property law and CIETAC arbitration, he says.

A co-counsel says the firm worked “very efficiently and practically” on a large-scale dispute, singling out the “impressively responsive, smart and thorough” Xueyu Yang. A US co-counsel says the team is “highly knowledgeable, effective and efficient”, adding that “they serve as a powerful bridge between Chinese and international law and practice, and appreciate nuances of civil and common law systems”.

Another co-counsel praised the exceptional quality of the firm’s work, stating that the firm brings “tremendous experience, substantive knowledge, and capability to the table”. They further highlight Fei as “strategic, well-connected, and bringing tremendous experience”, and Yang as “a good young partner, a hard worker”.



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 13 partners and 4 senior consultants, offering legal services to domestic and international clients from offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

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. Hui Zhong’s lawyers are on the panels of multiple arbitration and mediation institutions, including CIETAC, BAC, SHIAC, SCIA, CCPIT/CCOIC, SIAC, HKIAC, AIAC. Hui Zhong’s lawyers are also experienced in ICC arbitration and ad hoc arbitration. 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, employment law, sports law, etc.

With their commitment to professionalism, efficiency, responsiveness and excellence, Hui Zhong’s lawyers excel at teamwork. Over the past seven years, Hui Zhong’s  dispute resolution practice has developed in leaps and bounds. Its remarkable success testifies to the fact that, in addition to run-of-the-mill disputes, Hui Zhong is also ideally positioned to handle complex and challenging cases. These include multi-level cross-border disputes, parallel proceedings, disputes involving novel points of law and new types of disputes at the cutting edge, such as BITs disputes and sport-related disputes. 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 2023), Legal 500, Chambers & Partners Global and Asia-Pacific, The Lawyer China Elite, Legalband, and China Business Law Journal.

Hui Zhong’s lawyers play an active role in promoting international arbitration and disseminating knowledge of arbitration. Partner Fei Ning was appointed as a Vice Chairman of the Belt and Road Commission of the ICC Court and a faculty member of the GAR Academy. A number of Hui Zhong lawyers acted as speakers and mentors in high profile Training Courses in international commercial arbitration.

More details about Hui Zhong can be found on its website, including biographies of Hui Zhong’s lawyers.

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