With an established China practice and native language capabilities, law firm Hall & Wilcox has predicted their China practice will double within two years.
Head of the firm’s China practice Eugene Chen, said as the Chinese economy slows, investors are increasingly looking to Australia. Chen said the firm predicts Chinese businesses investing here will likely to keep them busy for the next 20 years.
“Really when things don’t go so well in china, the government and private enterprise is trying to diversify,” he said.
With four Chinese speaking legal professionals, the firm is able to produce legal documents in both Chinese and English, a capability Chen said gives Hall & Wilcox’s China practice an edge over other firms.
“Being able to serve the Chinese client in their language is critical in such negotiations,” he said.
“Key to getting deals done was having all transaction documents in both languages. The challenge was ensuring the client could understand Australian legal concepts, which are foreign to them.
“The team is well placed to ride the increase in investment between the two countries and the raft of big property development projects on the horizon,” Chen said.
As the middle class continues to rise, Chen said Chinese people are increasingly concerned with food safety and are paying more for Australian produce. He said that agribusiness and property are the drivers for Chinese investment.
“We have strong relationships with some of the largest Chinese property developers. We are also seeing a lot of Chinese investment in dairy, wheat and beef.”
The Hall & Wilcox team has acted for around $250m worth of deals with Chinese businesses since the beginning of this year.