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China: Foreign firms restricted

Lehman Law intern Kevin Fisher at Chinablawger blogs on a law recently passed by the Chinese government which puts tight restrictions on foreign law firms operating in China. That non-Chinese cannot sit for the Chinese bar aside, he says, the new law is not too dissimilar from equivalent laws in other countries:

“To me, this seems like something of a natural process. As Chinese lawyers continue to grow in experience and competency, they will want their market back from foreigners. But Chinese law is in a tight spot. You can't just kick out foreign lawyers—their expertise and client base are too valuable. So I imagine that the Chinese government will start by slowly tightening the gray area that foreign lawyers have created for themselves. They will do this as much as they trust their own Chinese lawyers to pick up the slack. So the question is: how much faith do Chinese officials have in Chinese lawyers?”

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