28 Mar, 2012

A&L Goodbody Signs Agreements with Top Chinese Law Firms and Universities

Chinese Lawyers’ Programme will help facilitate inbound and outbound investment

A&L Goodbody, the leading Irish corporate law firm, has signed agreements with 15 of China’s top law firms and Universities, which will help facilitate inbound and outbound investment between the two countries.


The signings were part of the official announcement event in Beijing yesterday, attended by the Irish Prime Minister, Mr Enda Kenny, for the A&L Goodbody Chinese Lawyers’ Programme. The placement programme is the first of its kind and is designed to be a long term collaborative initiative.


Chinese firms participating in the Programme act for most of China’s biggest companies, including many with a presence in Europe or outbound investment strategies. The programme will benefit these Firms as they increasingly represent their clients in international transactions. The Chinese lawyers participating in the placement programme gain a knowledge and familiarity of Ireland as an ideal and very welcoming base for their clients’ expansion into Europe and other Western markets. They also gain an in depth understanding of many of the common law concepts underpinning most international transactions.


The Programme was devised in 2010, commencing when the Firm welcomed its first set of Chinese lawyers on six month placements in September 2011. A further seven lawyers are currently working in A&L Goodbody’s Dublin office, servicing clients and gaining frontline exposure to the Firm’s international client base, global advisory partners and Irish State agencies involved in inbound and outbound investment. During their time with A&L Goodbody, the Chinese lawyers also have the opportunity to work in-house with clients or government agencies, including the likes of CRH, Elan Corporation, Pfizer, Icon, Davy, Bank of Ireland, AIB, GE, Telefonica O2, Treasury Holdings/TCT, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.


Speaking at the event Irish Prime Minister, Mr Enda Kenny: “As one of the world’s most open economies Ireland relies on the vision and initiative of business leaders to identify and develop new areas of cooperation with international partners. I would like to congratulate A&L Goodbody for their enterprise and their courage in developing this programme which has the potential to take the business relationship between China and Ireland to a new plane in its development of a professional network which will benefit both countries.”


Julian Yarr, Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody said: “We believe this programme will significantly enhance our ability to service Chinese clients interested in setting up operations in Ireland and Europe, as well as offering Irish firms doing business in China unique expertise and insight through our Chinese lawyers, who are sitting with us in Dublin. We believe, and are already seeing, how this Programme will develop stronger cultural ties and understanding of Ireland and China, and inevitably forge stronger trade links between our respective countries.”


John Given, Corporate Partner and Head of the Firm’s China Group at A&L Goodbody, spearheaded the initiative with the participating Chinese law firms and both Chinese and Irish Governments. He today spoke of the genesis of the initiative, saying: ”The programme was borne from seeing an opportunity for leading Irish enterprises to create meaningful links with counterparty Chinese organisations of a similar calibre and client service ethos. The experience has been enriching for the Firm, our partner Chinese firms and our clients, who have benefited from the considerable knowledge and expertise of the exceptional lawyers in the programme.”


He went on to speak of how the programme is expanding, saying “With the introduction of summer internship students from Peking University and East China University of Political Science and Law, we are confident that many of the next generation of talented Chinese lawyers will also gain valuable exposure to Ireland through A&L Goodbody.”


The programme is a key part of A&L Goodbody’s growing international practice, which has seen the firm expand its New York office and open up a new office on the West Coast of America in Palo Alto, California, in addition to its offices in Dublin, Belfast and London.


The firm has also been assisting a number of other stakeholders in corporate Ireland in introducing similar programmes in their areas.


All costs of the Programme, which are estimated to run to several million euro, are being borne by A&L Goodbody.


The participating firms include China’s largest law firms including King & Wood Malleson, JunHe and Fangda.

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