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To be a good China litigator is not easy, but it's definitely rewarding.

To be a good China litigator, not only do you have to have a sound understanding of Chinese law, but you need to be able to apply your knowledge to the commercial realities of the situation and come up with a strategy, which you will then need to communicate clearly and effectively to clients. Good communication and drafting skills are also vital when working with counsels and witnesses to prepare your client’s case and when dealing with the other side.

An exciting and key role for the solicitor in litigation is to play the detective. To build your client’s case, you need to spot the strengths in your own evidence and the weaknesses in the other side’s case, often hidden amongst large quantities of documents. A forensic eye and attention to detail are therefore important attributes, as is the ability to step back from the detail and see the overall game plan.

Finally, being organised will help you to keep on top of your caseload as there are often a lot of elements of a case to juggle at the same time and you are likely to be handling a number of matters simultaneously, all with differing issues and deadlines.

To be a good China litigator is not easy, but it's definitely rewarding.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ in litigation and in fact, it is the variety of the work that makes it such an attractive option. There is also plenty of scope to be given responsibility for aspects of a case, or even a whole matter, right from the start. In any one day you might be working on several different cases, all at varying stages of the litigation process. You might be attending court or a conference with counsel, meeting a client for the first time to discuss a new matter or a witness to go through their evidence; you might be reviewing documents to find a ‘smoking gun’ or drafting a settlement proposal to the other side.

Like any job, there are elements of a litigator’s workload which can be stressful (for example, preparing an urgent injunction application on behalf of an enthusiastic but elusive client) or dull (such as wading through thousands of documents to work out what should be disclosed). However, the sheer variety of the work, the teamwork involved in preparing a case and the satisfaction of getting a good result for the client far outweigh those disadvantages.

In terms of managing a caseload, the timetable determined by the court on your cases will help you to anticipate when you are likely to be busiest, but there are always unexpected developments so you need to be flexible and adept at working under time pressure.

I like the career as being a litigator in China. Defending and arguing divorce cases, commercial disputes, employment law, intellectual property litigation and other cases in court inspire and fascinate me!


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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.