Chris Devonshire-Ellis began Dezan Shira & Associates before China’s legal services industry was codified, and when business and foreign investment laws were rudimentary. The practice is now a multinational business with 17 Asian and 2 liaison offices spread across 6 countries. This episode deals with some of the more innovative solutions the practice has dealt with when dealing with investments into China.
Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Jun. 15 – While Dezan Shira & Associates certainly had humble beginnings, our concentration on foreign direct investment enabled the practice to develop sensibilities that foreign businesses alone possess when investing into China. In my view, spreading the practice too far by also going after domestic clients – regardless of the huge amounts of potential business out there – was going to interfere with receivables issues (as discussed here) and would diminish our focus on solving the problems of foreign investors. However, dealing with foreign investors in China can be complicated and adds additional layers of competency – and this costs more money. For example, all of our Chinese staff must speak and write fluent English – an educational bonus that adds another 30 percent on top of standard salaries. Several also speak additional languages such as German, Spanish, French and so on – Dezan Shira & Associates has always been a multilingual practice. For example, we also publish China Briefing in Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Continue reading