Feb. 7 – Foreign law firms practicing China law, and advising clients on the same, must be registered and licensed by China’s Ministry of Justice, which also acts as the regulatory body. As of December 31, 2011, there were 208 licensed foreign law offices in China – please find the complete list below. A detailed list (in Chinese) is also provided by the Ministry of Justice on their official web site, you can view the list by clicking here.
Contents include the name of the firm, its country of origin, the date the China license was issued, and the firm’s web site (when applicable). We recommend for legal indemnity, legal insurance, and regulatory issues that foreign companies in China only use the services of China-registered practices.
Foreign firms authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Justice have to go through a rigorous application process, including capitalization of their China offices, a strict overview of their international competencies and thorough vetting procedures including legal references as to their suitability and good standing from the regulatory body in their own country.
Overseas law firms advising on matters of China law who are not registered with the Ministry of Justice are not authorized by the Chinese regulatory authorities to do so. The consequences of this can obviously be serious, in terms of the legitimacy of advice given, legal insurance considerations and misrepresentation issues.
(Readers may note that Dezan Shira & Associates, the owners of China Briefing, are a tax practice and therefore do not appear on this list)
Foreign Law Firms in China (December 31, 2011)
Beijing representative offices
Shanghai representative offices
Guangdong representative offices
Liaoning representative offices
Tianjin representative offices
Fujian representative offices
Dezan Shira & Associates are a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing legal establishment, tax, accounting and related business advisory services in China. The firm has assisted a number of foreign law firms establish operations in China and maintains twelve offices in China, including Hong Kong. To contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site at www.dezshira.com.
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A list of the regulations concerning the registration of foreign law firms in China can be found here: http://www.china.org.cn/english/DAT/214778.htm
Note representatives of foreign law firms in China are not permitted unless the firm concerned is licensed by the MOJ.
Urgently need to find a Canadian/US lawyer bassed at Shanghai/Suzhou to provide “Witnessing a Signature” service
Thanks for your message. Please reach out to your local embassy or consulate; they may be able to provide notarization services. Otherwise, do contact our advisory team here: http://www.dezshira.com/services/business-advisory
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