China-EU School of Law students attended three international law firms guest lectures as part of their elective course “cross-border investments”. These lectures were organized to give them a real taste of how international firms work in the Chinese context and make them know more about cross-border M&A in practice.
Uría Menéndez lawyer guest lecture
On 22 April, accompanied by Assistant professor Caroline Daniels, students visited the Beijing office of Uría Menéndez, an internationally renowned Ibero-American law firm. They were welcomed by (Spanish qualified) Yushi Zhou and by Zhe Zhou, who gave students an honest account of what working at a big international law firm really is like. This was followed by a presentation on mergers and acquisitions in Europe, focusing on some of the difficulties for Chinese investors and/or clients both when it comes to understanding the law and the cultural differences. Senior lawyer Antonio Sánchez Cerbán joined in on the lecture, and closed off the event with some general take-aways for the students and some tips on how to best serve clients with practical advice.
Group photo at Uría Menéndez
On 23 April, students visited the Beijing office of CMS, one of the leading global law firms. They were accompanied by the CESL EuropeanExecutiveCo-Dean Monty Silley and Assistant Professor Zurab Gvelesiani. The students were welcomed by Nick Beckett, the Managing Partner of the Beijing Office of CMS. After a brief introduction of the law firm and its operational structure, Mr. Bennet delivered two-hour long lecture upon “IP Due Diligence in China and EU”. The students gained insights on how IP due diligence is conducted in practice, what challenges an IP counsel might face in the process and how to overcome them. Mr. Bennet also summarized the key differences between Chinese and EU IP regulations. The second half of the presentation was primarily focused on freedom-to-operate analysis.
CMS lawyer guest lecture
Group photo at CMS
Finally, on 25th April, students had another chance to learn from law practitioners. The lawyers of the German law firm WZR targeting primarily small and medium enterprises in their practice in China came to Changping to discuss various aspects of the digitalization and law. Assistant Professor Monika Prusinowska hosted the guest lecture.
Guest lecture by lawyers frm WZR
Mr. Jost Bloechl and Ms. Jingyi Wang, the lawyers of WZR, both collected their experience in China and Germany. When lecturing CESL students, they took them on a fascinating journey of the law and technology. The lawyers not only discussed various examples of the interplay between the two, but were also trying to predict the direction for the future. The internet courts or online company registries are already the reality, it will be interesting to watch where the technology will bring the law practice in the coming decades.
The students really gained a lot in these lectures. Not only could they have a better understanding of the content of this elective course, but also they would have a clearer career planning if they work in a law firm in the future.
By Caroline Daniels, Zurab Gvelesiani and Monika Prusinowska