Chinese lawyers go outbound: international training of Chinese lawyers revitalised

Chinese lawyers to be seconded to Europe and Latin America through a programme backed by the Ministry of Justice and leading independent international firms.

February 6, 2012

Uría Menéndez, an Iberian independent law firm with offices in Europe, America and Asia, has overhauled the programme designed in collaboration with the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA) to train Chinese lawyers in cross-border work and management. The new training programme is based on the UK Lord Chancellor’s scheme, although it is noteworthy for being the only programme of its kind to be entrusted to a private entity by a Chinese governmental body. Furthermore, it is unique for simultaneously covering over ten jurisdictions in two continents, thus representing a further effort towards the globalisation of Chinese legal practice and firm management.

Those Chinese lawyers selected for the programme will commence their six-month training at Uría Menéndez’s head office in Madrid. The first part of the programme will consist of an introduction to international business law and firm management. Following this, the participants will be seconded to Uría Menéndez’s Brussels office, where they will become familiar with European legal issues of relevance to Chinese investors, and will visit the European Union’s key institutions. The participants final destination will be Europe or Latin America to work with Uría Menéndez or one of its best friends in real cross-border cases.

“The Latin American component of the programme is particularly attractive to Chinese companies, given the current trend of Chinese outbound investment and the relatively limited knowledge of Chinese firms regarding the local legal market” says Juan Martín Perrotto, managing partner of Uría Menédez’s Beijing office. Uría Menéndez is recognised as being one of the leading players in the region. The firm has five offices established in the most significant Latin American economies, with over 10% of the partners having resided and practised in the region for over 3 years. In 2010 alone, the Thomson Reuters League Tables ranked it as the eighth busiest firm in the world in cross-border M&A involving Latin America.

The programme has sparked a great deal of interest in the Chinese legal market and the number of applications is expected to be high. In Juan Martín Perrotto’s opinion “candidates should have a high level of English and some M&A experience or prospects of working in international deals. As the programme covers topics related to firm management such as conflict of interest management, partnership career, international strategy, and business development issues, a certain degree of seniority would be ideal”.

The programme begins in September and up to ten PRC lawyers will take part. All travel, living and other expenses are covered. To apply, candidates must contact either their local bar association or Uría Menéndez ( before 10 March, 2012.