Insider’s look at legal services in China: Introduction to the series (Part 1)

When it comes to China business law, three questions are commonly asked by international business people:

  1. How do I protect my Intellectual Property?
  2. What should be in the contract?
  3. How much do lawyers charge?

This series of 17 short posts is designed to help answer those questions and more.


Types of Lawyers in China/Fee Structures/ Author’s Perspective

Essentially there are three types of law firms and pricing structures.

At the high end you will find the large international firms who have offices in major cities around the globe, including China, supporting their HQ back in N. America or Europe.  Their service and communication skills are excellent. Clientele are multinationals that need a law firm with a global presence.  China services are priced on par or higher than typical fees structure in N. America or Europe.

At the other end of the spectrum you will find the local Chinese firms who mainly provide services to Chinese clients in Chinese language.  Occasionally they take on a Western client. While they have great pricing (compared to N. America or Europe) but the level of English language skills and weak service attitude may leave something to be desired.

In the middle are the Chinese owned law firms that focus on international clients (SME’s mainly) who wish to do business in China. Their pricing structure and communication/service level is somewhere in the middle of the international and local law firms.  I serve on the board of directors at such a law firm in South China and with their permission I will use their internal documents and content from their website to offer the readers of this blog an inside look the fee structure and services offered.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the series/Types of Lawyers in China/Fee Structures/ Author’s Perspective (Part 1)

IP Registration: Introduction (Part 2)

IP Registration: Copyrights (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 3)

IP Registration: Copyrights (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 4)

IP Registration: Trademarks (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 5)

IP Registration: Trademarks (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 6)

IP Registration: Introduction to Patents (Design/ Utility/ Invention) (Part 7)

IP Registration: Design Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 8)

IP Registration:  Design Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 9)

IP Registration: Utility Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 10)

IP Registration:  Utility Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 11)

IP Registration: Invention Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 12)

IP Registration:  Invention Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 13)

Contracts & Purchase Orders (Part 14)

Dispute Resolution: Introduction & Process (Negotiations, Demand Letters & Litigation) (Part 15)

Dispute Resolution: Fee Structure (Negotiations, Demand Letters & Litigation) (Part 16)

Having a lawyer on retainer: Costs and Coverage (Part 17)


About the author: Mike Bellamy

Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( Author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

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