Making business connections that count

business connections in China
Are you looking into how to make business connections in China? Are you starting a company and you want to make the right contacts? This article will provide you with some feedback and tips. Make sure that you understand the concept of Guanxi. If you need help with making business connections in China, read on.
Hopefully, by now you will have done business with Chinese, or at a minimum, people from Asia. You will likely have noticed that they form very close friend groups and relations with their families. In short, they take care of each other.
What exactly is guanxi? It is often referred to as networking or building relations with people. It is far more complicated than simple networking. Networking in places like the United Kingdom is going to an event, having a conversation, and passing them your business card. The hopes of an attorney at a networking event might be for referrals.

Building a professional network in China

Guanxi is building super close relationships with people. These people might take care of your house, drive your children, or help you get out of trouble. Let’s say you enter into a “guanxi relationship” with someone that works at a university. You might want to get help from this person, let’s call them Mr, Lu, to help your child get into the university.
Mr. Lu connects you to the right people and uses his influence. Your child gets into a good school. When Mr. Lu goes on vacation for a few weeks and asks you to take care of his dog, you better do it. That’s Guanxi. It’s like exchanging favors. Some of the favors might be small, and some might be big. Chinese business relationships are based on trust.
Some people in western countries think Guanxi is the same as corruption. It’s not the same thing. Think of it as favors. Corruption is something that is illegal. Do not engage in corruption, or you will need to hire one of our criminal lawyers.
Small business owners and guanxi

Small business owners and guanxi

The Chinese philosopher Confucius is said to be the one that brought the Guanxi culture to China. Confucius taught that everyone should build many different types of relationships. This meant business partners, families, friends, and community relationships.
There was a period of time in China when there was no legal system. There were no lawyers or judges. Therefore, Chinese people relied on Guanxi (relationships) to resolve their problems. People did not want to do bad things, or their reputation would be destroyed. To this day, a lot of family friends try to resolve their friends divorces by mediating. We have also seen friends and family get involved in resolving lawsuits. Sometimes it works well, other times we wish the friend would step aside and let our lawyers handle the problem.
These days, there is a strong legal system in China. People and companies in China can file lawsuits and divorces. However, people still seek protection and help from their family, friends, and connections.
Guanxi provided stability to the Chinese society before there was a legal system.

business connections in China

Alistair Vigier building relationships in China. However, it was 45 degrees outside, and he was not going to wear a suit…

Personal relationships and international business

People in China find it easier to deal with people they already know. This cannot be unstated. We have seen Chinese people dealing with lawsuits hire an immigration lawyer that they know to represent them. Even though the immigration lawyer knows very little about lawsuits, the person would rather hire a lawyer than they know.
If you want to do business in China, you are going to have to build actual relationships with people. Very close relationships. Chinese people see relationships as having a mutual obligation. It’s not a nice thing to do favors, you must do favors for family and friends.

Business connections in China and business practices

In the west, someone might use their relationships to pick a real estate agent. However, in China, people use relationships for everything. This includes where to go grocery shopping. Many westerns really struggle with building connections in China for this reason.
When you are building connections in China, you must focus on the relationship, not on the business terms. In the United States, it’s all about what the terms of the deal are. In China, you must build a strong relationship with the person first. This often happens before you even discuss the deal at all. Once there is a mutual relationship, then normally the person trusts you, and cares little of the terms.

Starting a company:

Challenges With Doing Business In China

The biggest challenge with companies from places like Canada, the United States, and Australia that come to China is being clear on why they want to expand into the country. Many people get too excited about the population. There is a big difference between the population and the market.

You need to slow down and do things right. Hire an accountant and lawyer in China. We can help you connect with one. China is a long term project. You are going to be there for a long time. It’s not something that you do for a bit and sees what happens.

It’s also hard to get information on the internet in China. That’s why it’s lucky that you found our website. You should bookmark our website as we constantly write business blogs.

Business connections in China

In China, things can be very complicated. There is always something going on behind the scenes. If you connect with a CEO, there is likely someone influencing this person. You need to find out about the person you are speaking to. Learn about this person and how they got into a power position. Someone’s wife or business partner might be calling the shots. You need to ask a lot of questions. Sometimes it’s someone from a government organization that is truly running things. That does not have to be a bad thing. However, you need to know the facts.

Here is a list of terms for you to do further research:

  • social networks
  • Chinese culture
  • Chinese society
  • international business
  • government officials
  • business in china
  • Chinese person
  • guanxi networks
  • business practices
  • personal relationships
  • guanxi practice
  • personal connection
  • guanxi in china
  • Chinese people
  • Chinese business

Author: Alistair Vigier, CEO of ClearWay Law

How To Protect Intellectual property in China

Protect Intellectual property in China

Are you looking into how to protect intellectual property in China? This article will tell you what you need to do. We have lawyers and consultants that can help you set up your business, intellectual property, trademarks, and tax compliance. Let our team do the work for you. You don’t want to make mistakes in China.

What is IP? It’s something that you will build over many years of being in business. For often, it is the most valuable part of a company. Before you spend a dollar on marketing or branding, you need to register your IP. If you have a trademark in Australia or England, it does not count in China.

If you are going to do business in China, you need to register the trademark in China. This needs to happen even if you are just doing import/export or e-commerce.

If you are already doing business in China, get one of our trademark agents to register your trademark ASAP. If someone registers before you, you are going to have a really tough time getting it back. You might have to spend a fortune to buy the trademark back from the person.

Where Do We Register Trademarks In China?

Trademarks in China and other IP is registered at the China National IP Administration. This organization is abbreviated as CNIPA. They register copyrights, IP, patents, and trademarks. You can get one of our consultants or lawyers to file the forms for you. It all has to be done in the Chinese language.

The first step is for our lawyers to do a search to see if there is already a registered trademark in China. We will see if there is a similar logo or name. We will discuss with you the results. Hopefully, there is nothing registered yet.

If there are similar results, then your lawyer can discuss what to do next. You might have to go to court or send demand letters. Sometimes people prefer to register their trademark outside of mainland China. You need to continue to use your trademark. If your company is inactive, someone can register to have it canceled. You might want to speak to one of our lawyers to see if there are any trademarks that are going to expire soon. You might be able to get a really good name and register it. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for a few months.

You need to protect intellectual property in China, and we can help.

IP enforcement

Divorce Rate In China

Divorce Rate In China

Should divorce be easier in China and what is the divorce rate in China? If more people are wanting to get divorced, why is it so hard?

In recent years, it seems more Chinese people are getting divorced. This is likely because there is less stigma around divorce than there used to be. In Canada, couples have to wait a year before they can get divorced. They need to separate, and then not get back together for 12 months.

Many people ask our divorce lawyers, you must not ever want to get married. This is not true. Separation lawyers see a lot of drama, but they also see a lot of good things happen. For example, there was one man that wanted to divorce because he got in a car accident. He was now not able to have children, and he wanted to divorce his wife. Why?

Because she had always wanted to have a child. When the wife found out that he was speaking to us about divorce, she told him she will stay with him forever. She doesn’t care what happened, she loves him. She refused to divorce him, which is possible in China, but not in places like Canada or the United States. This is a beautiful situation, and it makes us believe in love.

See the graphs in this article. It’s hard to find accurate statistics on how many people get divorced in China.

divorce in China

Source: Statista


Divorce process In China And The Divorce Rate In China

China’s family laws were created in 2003. The new laws made divorce much easier in China. In 2003, 1,300,000 people got divorced. Now around 4,500,000 people per year in China get divorced.

Should divorce be easier? I think that’s the wrong question. The real important thing is that people know who they are, and what they want before they get married. The problem with divorce and marriage isn’t that the court process is too easy or hard.

Instead, couples should take some simple steps to better prepare themselves for marriage. For example, they should have done things like travel together. Traveling together can be stressful at times. It requires a lot of planning and logistics. What else can couples do before they get married?

They should have lived together for at least a year. Waiting to live together until after marriage is a horrible idea. What happens if you start arguing right after you move in? That is to be expected. But it should get better over time. After six months, you should not be fighting over things like the dishes, trash, or who’s turn it is to cook dinner.

Prenup Contract In China

The last thing you should do is an insurance policy. It’s commonly known as a marriage contract or a prenup. You can still do it even if you are already married. If you are already married, it’s called a postnuptial agreement. This simply means that you were already married when you signed it. It’s the same agreement.

The contracts are also very similar to a divorce contract in what it includes. However, when you sign a prenup, you have no plans to ever get divorced. You must have heard by now that half of all marriage ends in divorce. This didn’t use to be true in China, but divorce is quickly growing in Asian countries. Divorce is now more socially acceptable and is therefore much easier to do.

Better yet, people that are divorced are able to get remarried to someone they are better suited for. Not everyone can pick the right person on their first attempt. There are so many people in China, how do you know this is the right person?

Chinese Divorce Law

Don’t get us wrong, you should get married. But have the marriage contract signed just in case. If you are part of the 50% of people that do not get a divorce, great! When you turn 65 years old together, and you are still happily married, or at least, still married, you can cut up the divorce contract.

It’s like getting house insurance (if you don’t need to, but you still do it.) You don’t get the insurance because you plan on your house burning down. Of course, you hope this never happens. But if it does happen, your life isn’t destroyed. You are not going to have to spend $400,000 on building a new house. The insurance company will pay for you. But keep in mind, that house fires are rare, and divorce is common.

Chinese Lawyer Services | Divorce Rate In China

Dealing with problems:

Should divorce be easier in China and is the divorce rate too high? We don’t know. Right now it can be simple, or it can be complex. Divorce can get nasty.

Divorce China foreigner

If you are a foreigner in China, and you need help with a divorce, contact us. We have English speaking lawyers that can help you. Someone from another country who is married to a Chinese citizen either in China or another country can get a divorce in China. It doesn’t matter if you are currently living in China or not.

Many people know a friend that got divorced. Many people think about divorce for a long time before they actually do it. So why are so many more Chinese people getting divorced? Is it because it’s easier these days? The divorce rate in China is now much higher than before.

According to the National Bureau Of Statistics of China, in the 1980’s, only around 500,000 people were getting divorced each year. The divorce rate has gone up 7x.

Common Reasons For Chinese Divorce

Some reasons that people get divorced are violence, financial problems, and cheating. Sometimes parties just grow apart and want to start over. Most people don’t want to stay in a loveless relationship. I would say that the main reason for divorce is that the marriage simply falls apart. 77% percent of people said they divorced for this reason. However, that might not be true.

They simply might not want to report to the government and their friends that they are having financial problems or that someone cheated. 14% of people said they got divorced because there was violence at home. Almost no one reports that they got divorced because of cheating.

One in four of the men said that their wife had cheated on them. Men are more likely to divorce their wives for cheating. Wang Baoquang, an actor in China, got divorced because his wife cheated on him. They have two children. They ended up in an expensive divorce with lawsuits over defamation. This divorce case happened in the Beijing court.

Wang Baoquang spoke openly about being cheated on. That is not common in Chinese culture. There was a study that said that women cheat when they are fighting with their husbands. This might be some sort of revenge, or to feel wanted again.

The same survey said that men can cheat at any time.

Author: Alistair Vigier

Divorce In China Culture

Divorce In China Culture

Are you interested in learning more about divorce in China culture? It has certainly changed a lot over the years. In the past, divorce was seen as one of the worse things you could do. If you were divorced, it was very unlikely that anyone would ever date you again. You were seen as someone who was tainted, unworthy at another chance at love. This was especially true for women. Women were to do everything they could to not get divorced, even if it meant staying married to someone who is cheating on them.

Times have changed. People are more open-minded to divorce these days. Some say that it’s rare that people get anything right on the first try. The Chinese divorce rate has increased 10x in the last 30 years. More Chinese are now open to being single and enjoying life. Many Chinese are also getting married much later in life.

Chinese Marriage And Divorce

If they have children or property, they must sign a separation agreement before the courts will approve the divorce.

I have some western friends in China who got married way too quickly.

They met a cute Chinese girl at a bar and instantly wanted to marry her. My guess is that it was probably more lust than love.

As the CEO of a divorce company that has clients in China and Canada, I see more divorce than most people.

Annie Yi and Taiwanese singer Harlem Yu divorced after 9 years of marriage.

Marriage Is Not A Short Term Thing

Some of my friends are still married, others got divorced after a few months or years.

There must be serious consequences for getting divorced. Otherwise, people will just get married for fun.

Having fun is for being single, or dating, it’s not marriage.

Marriage is a commitment to take care of someone in sickness and in health. It’s not something you try out for a few months.

Vladimir Putin got divorced. It’s more common than you think.

Best Way Is To Stay Married | Divorce in China culture

One way to make divorce less complicated is to try and not get divorced in the first place.

Before filing for divorce, couples should try mediation. In Canada, mediation is normally done by a professionally trained lawyer.

In China, most mediation is done by a mutual friend or a family member. One of the spouses will ask a friend to speak to their spouse. The goal is to see if the friend can fix things for the couple.

This is unfair to the friend. The friend will be put in a stressful situation where they must try and save their friend’s marriage. They will also run the risk of getting involved in the drama.

It is best to hire a family law consultant or lawyer to deal with your marriage. You can tell your legal advisor you want to try and stay married.

Zhang Yuqi and film director Wang Quan’an divorced after 4 years of marriage.

Should Divorce Be Easier?

No-Fault Divorce | Divorce in China culture

One big difference between divorce in the west and China is no-fault divorce. In Canada, it doesn’t matter why you want to get divorced. If you are not happy, you can still get divorced.

In China, it’s much harder. You will have to prove that your spouse did something bad and that because of this you should be entitled to a divorce.

You will have to convince a judge by using evidence. Perhaps you will show pictures or Wechat messages to the court.

If your spouse cheated on you, then the court will likely approve your divorce.

If your spouse did something really bad in China, like starting a new family outside of the marriage, then the courts might award all the property to you.

If the couple is just having a dispute, the court might tell them to go speak to a family psychologist instead.

In China, many people stay married until their child turns 18. The parents wait until the child leaves for University.

Should Divorce Be Easier? | Child Support In China

For this reason, there are many fewer child custody battles in China. Once a child turns 18, there is no custody to fight over.

In Canada, someone might divorce when their child is only 8 years old. That means that there are still 10 years of parental responsibility left.

People are willing to spend money on child custody battles if they might not get to see their child for ten years if they lose the family law lawsuit.

Divorce can get nasty, with businesses being sold.

Is There Alimony In China?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is also not common in China. However, in western countries, the spouse that makes more money might have to pay a monthly amount to their ex-spouse for many years.

Family law is changing in China, and I would not be surprised if divorce gets more complicated as things like alimony are added to Chinese law. Divorce is unlikely to ever get more simple.

Should divorce be easier in China? We don’t make the rules, but we can help you with them!

Read more articles about Chinese divorce and marriage culture below.

  • procedure divorce in China
  • divorce in China child custody
  • foreigner divorce in China
  • divorce in China who gets what

Bankruptcy in China

Bankruptcy in China

Are you looking into bankruptcy in China? If you need to shut down your company, do not just run away. This can lead to China filing criminal charges against you, filing lawsuits, or bashing you via the media. There are correct ways to do things. We have top bankruptcy lawyers in Beijing and other major Chinese cities that can deal with your debts and assets.

China did not use to have any bankruptcy or insolvency laws. However, China has now set up a bankruptcy court. These laws apply to Chinese companies, government-owned companies, and companies from other countries doing business in China.


Closing your business in China


Expanding to China is a big decision, and we hope it goes well for you. If you plan it properly and get legal advice when setting up, things should workout. Maybe you grow from Australia to Shanghai. You reach out to the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, and you end up raising 4.5 million RMB. This money is to be used to grow your marketing, technology, and sales team.

You end up building the product, let us say an app, but you are too late. There is a company from New Zealand that has beat you to market! Investors will not give you any more money, as they think you missed your chance. You do not agree. You go to a bank and borrow other 2 million RMB so that you can push your product aggressively on Baidu and WeChat ads.


Enterprise bankruptcy law


Your sales increase, but investors still do not think you can beat the New Zealand company. Sadly, the increase in revenue still doesn’t lead to profits, and the bank demands that you repay the loan. You cannot come up with the money.

What are you going to do? Some people rush to the airport and try to fly back to Australia before a lawsuit is filed. Once a lawsuit is filed, you might get exit banned. However, doing this sort of thing is not honourable, and it will likely follow you back to Australia.

Enterprise bankruptcy law


Chinese Bankruptcy liquidation


The bank in China might release a story to the media that you engaged in fraud in China. The internet is available around the world, including in your home country. If you still have, or plan to have a business in Australia, you do not want to be accused of fraud.

The bank in China also might contact the police. The Chinese police could issue an Interpol (international police) warrant, asking for your arrest in any country that recognises Interpol.

Our point is obvious, do not run from your problems. Contact an insolvency expert and deal with them. Do not leave a wave of destruction behind you.


A Story About Debt And The Bankruptcy System


We know someone in real life, let us call him Steve McMullen. Steve is from London England. He started a law firm, and the business did very well. His firm became one of the top business law firms in London. However, Steve had bigger plans. He wanted to expand to other cities in England. These cities included Canterbury, Essex, and Birmingham. Steve did not have the cash reserves to do this.

So, Steve put out advertisements in places like Craigslist and on other websites. It advertised that his firm, McMullen Law, would pay 12% internet on any loans. McMullen Law wanted to raise one million dollars and would pay $120,000 on the internet per year.

This sort of interest rate is more favourable than using a credit card. Banks sometimes lend unsecured business loans, but it is rare.


Bankruptcy Proceedings And Bankruptcy in China


McMullen Law was successful in raising the money. All Steve had to do was earn around $300,000 in profit per year from the expansion, and it would be worth it. $120,000 would go towards interest, and the rest would be profit. So, what was the problem?

At the end of three years, Steve had to repay the $1,000,000 in principle. Instead of McMullen Law saving some of the profit money to get ready for the repayment, it reinvested everything.

It could not repay any of the loans, and it went bankrupt. And this was a law firm that was meant to be knowledgeable about the law and risk management.

Sometimes a small amount of debt can lead to lead to the downfall of a company. It does not always have to lead to bankruptcy. For example, there was a restaurant that borrowed $200,000 from an employee. The loan was only meant to be for three months.

At the end of the three months, the employee asked for the money back. The hot pot restaurant could not pay the money back, the employee hired a lawyer, filed a lawsuit, and won. The employee ended up taking over the assets of the hot pot restaurant and selling it to another person for $250,000.


File for bankruptcy In China


File for bankruptcy In China


Having the right contracts when raising money or borrowing money can be the difference between winning a lawsuit or losing it. Do not assume that just because you have the money, you are in the power position. If this person has enough money to give you large sums of money, there can afford to hire a good law firm. This law firm will hold you accountable. You might not even be able to afford a lawyer.

This is why at the very least, you should have a legal consultant put together a contract that protects you. How can a contract protect you? It can make the “court area” in a place that is favourable for you. Maybe you are raising money in China, but you can write into the contract that a court in Australia has the power to regulate the agreement.

You can also make the repayment terms very flexible. If someone asks for their money back, it can say that you have a year to repay it. That is much better than only having 30 days to repay the money. Spend some money on legal fees to protect yourself.


Here are some of the things you can use a bankruptcy lawyer for:

  • Going bankrupt by decision
  • Being forced into bankruptcy
  • Restructuring your debts
  • Negotiating with creditors in China
  • International debt disputes
  • Closing down your Chinese company or company in China
  • enterprise bankruptcy law
  • bankruptcy liquidation
  • personal bankruptcy
  • bankruptcy system
  • file for bankruptcy
  • bankruptcy proceedings

Chinese Employment Laws And Bankruptcy


The laws of China also relate to employment law. The government of China wants to know that your employees will be taken care of. In China, employees are most important than unsecured debt holders. However, people with security are ahead of the employees.

Keep in mind that the new bankruptcy laws in China only apply to companies, not to people. There are no laws for personal bankruptcy.

If your company can’t meet its payments, and if it doesn’t have enough assets to cover the debts, then you should speak to a legal professional.


Background On Chinese Law And bankruptcy liquidation


Hong Kong and Macao are outside of the powers of the Supreme Court of China. However, with Hong Kong’s new security laws, this may no longer be true. Make sure you get legal advice from one of our insolvency lawyers. Hong Kong uses British common law, and Macao uses civil law (like China.)

Some high courts in China only accept cases that are over $40 million in USD. Others will deal with insolvency amounts over $7 million.

Some provinces that have people with low incomes will hear smaller amounts. It’s really complicated to find the right Chinese courthouse to file in.

There are 390 intermediate courts in China. Most foreign company bankruptcy cases are heard in Intermediate Courts.


Legal Services In China | Bankruptcy in China


Starting a company:

Legal paperwork:

  • Employment contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • China company due diligence (is the company a scam?)

Dealing with problems:


Applying For Bankruptcy in China

Applying For Bankruptcy in China


Your first step is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer in China. They will file forms with the “People’s Court” in the place that you do business. If the courts accept your application, then someone will be appointed to administer the bankruptcy proceedings. There are a number of law firms and companies that focus on doing administration for bankruptcies in China.

Many of the companies are full of accountants and lawyers. The court will decide for you which company is picked. The company will work for the courts, not you. The people you owe money to will have say in which bankruptcy administration is hired.

Once an administrator is hired, they will prepare financial statements. Once that is done, they will decide if the business should keep running, if the company should be sold, or if the company should be shut down and liquidated.

If the assets are sold, the administrator will decide which offers to accept (subject to the court’s approval.) All creditors must reach out to the administrator within a certain period of time. The courts will decide how long of a period it will be. Sometimes the period is one month. Normally the bankruptcy is advertised in the media and newspapers. A letter might also be sent out to a number of parties.


What Debts Can Be Claimed With enterprise bankruptcy law?


You can claim things like lawsuit judgments, money that is owed to you, or secured debt. There will be a meeting where all the people that are owed money get together. If you have applied to be allowed to submit a claim, then you can attend the meeting.

The point of the meeting is to go over the claims that have been submitted to see which claims are real. The administrator will also be evaluated. There will also likely be a vote to determine if the business should continue operating or if it should be shut down.

There also might be talks about selling off all the assets.

Clio Legal Trend Report 2020

Clio Legal Trend Report 2020


According to the Clio Legal Trend Report 2020, firms with deep technology adoption are projected to collect nearly $40,000 more annually per lawyer. This indicates a powerful advantage of cloud-based and client-centered technologies.

This article will cover what you need to know about the 2020 Clio Legal Trend Report.

Today, Clio, the leader in cloud-based legal technology, released its 2020 Legal Trends Report, revealing an unprecedented rate of technology adoption in the legal industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that firms embracing cloud-based and client-centered legal technologies are projected to collect nearly $40,000 more this year, per lawyer, than those slow to adopt the technology.

“The technological transformation of the legal industry that we expected to take place over the next five to ten years is now being compressed into weeks and months due to the pandemic,” said Jack Newton, CEO, and Co-founder of Clio. “More than ever, lawyers realize that technology is a powerful differentiator in building a better normal going forward and legal professionals who had hesitated to adopt technology in the past were suddenly forced to rapidly adapt to this new reality.”


How To Grow Your Law Practice


Included in the report was an analysis of data from tens of thousands of legal professionals comparing revenue earnings of firms using multiple cloud-based, client-centered solutions that are part of the Clio platform. The analysis showed that firms using electronic payments, client portals, and client intake and CRM solutions collected nearly $20,000 more per lawyer in 2019. In 2020, firms using these solutions are projected to collect nearly $40,000 more, indicating that these technologies have significantly mitigated the impact of the pandemic on these firms and is accelerating their recovery.

The future of brick-and-mortar legal services remains uncertain among lawyers. Included in this year’s report was a MaxDiff analysis designed to better understand what’s most important to legal professionals and their clients. Operating out of commercial office space ranked the least important to both legal professionals and their clients while using technology to organize their firm was determined to be one of the most important success indicators by lawyers.

Survey data also showed that physical, in-person legal services are far from the default for law firms with 79% of law firms relying on cloud technology to store firm data, and 83% meeting with clients virtually.


Clio Legal Trend Report 2020


The shift to virtual, cloud-based legal services may already be well underway. Seven percent of legal professionals said that they had let go of their commercial office space after the start of the pandemic, and 12% are unsure if they will keep their commercial office space in the future.

The majority of consumers also favor a lawyer who offers technology solutions with 69% of consumers preferring to share documents electronically, 65% preferring to pay through electronic payments, and 56% preferring video conferencing over a phone call. Moreover, both lawyers and consumers see the benefit of the permanent implementation of technology. Ninety-six percent of legal professionals plan to continue using cloud technology beyond the pandemic to store firm data, while 37% of consumers said that in the future, most if not all lawyers should run their practice virtually.

“The future of the legal industry will be cloud-based and client-centered,” said Newton. “The advantages of better service, increased efficiency, and a more flexible business environment will only continue to benefit both lawyers and their clients.”

How To Grow Your Law Practice

Client Satisfaction For Law Firms


Client satisfaction—and the resulting reviews and referrals—were the most important factors to firm success, which creates a strong impetus for tailoring legal services to client needs. Consumers also indicated that issues related to the affordability of legal services, as well as transparency into overall costs and payment flexibility, were key in determining the heritability of a lawyer. As many lawyers turn to technology to streamline firm operations, often beyond the walls of commercial office space, we may be seeing an opportunity for lawyers to redefine their pricing and payment strategies through payment plans, flat fee services, unbundled legal services, and subscription to help open up their services to underserved legal markets that would be otherwise unable to afford legal services.

Now in its fifth year, the 2020 report includes Clio’s real-time analysis on the impacts of COVID-19 on the legal industry from March to August encapsulating: anonymized and aggregated responses from 150,000 legal professionals using Clio over the last two years, as well as, survey responses from 1,000 legal professionals and 1,000 general consumers in the U.S on what they deem most important to them today and in a post-COVID world.


Clio Is Cloud-Based and Client-Centered 


In light of recent findings, Clio transforms its product roadmap to help the legal industry create a better normal. At the eighth annual Clio Cloud Conference, Jack Newton, CEO and Co-founder of Clio, unveiled findings confirming a rapid and compressed transformation of the legal industry brought on by the pandemic. To better support these permanent changes, Clio is expanding its mission to transform the practice of law, for good, to include how society engages with, delivers, and experiences legal services.

“The notion of returning back to normal is altogether shortsighted,” said Jack Newton, CEO, and Co-founder, Clio. “Instead, we should be thinking about how we can build a better normal. With this, we are looking beyond merely making the practice of law easier for lawyers. We are looking at redesigning our product roadmap to better serve the legal profession, and ultimately, the clients that depend on them.”

At the outset of the pandemic, Clio undertook in-depth research to understand the challenges US legal professionals face due to the global pandemic. Clio discovered that firms using a variety of cloud-based and client-centered technologies such as practice management software, online payments, client portals, and client intake and legal CRM software were able to better adapt to the new environment brought about by COVID-19, serve more individuals while seeing better revenue than firms conducting the same amount of work without these tools.


The Future Of Legal


The Future Of Legal | Clio Legal Trend Report 2020


“The future of legal is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet,” said Newton. “Firms that move to hybrid or cloud-first practices and reexamine the packaging and delivery of their services will be the ones who succeed and will be in a position to serve a wider clientele. Our role is to ensure they have the tools to do that successfully.”

In his keynote, Jack revealed a number of new solutions and integrations that take the place of fixed and outdated models. These virtual by design releases focus on key stages of the client the journey from discoverability to retention, and close the gap between what drives law firm success and hireability.


Connecting clients with lawyers online


The findings from the 2020 Legal Trends Report show that the need for physical law firms is becoming irrelevant in the wake of affordable and technology-based solutions. Both legal professionals and their potential clients agree that a physical office space ranks at the very bottom as a driver of a firm’s success and hireability. Additionally, when looking for legal services, 57% of consumers search on their own, with Google owning more than 90% of the global search market share.


Google My Business integration

To ensure lawyers are marketing and engaging with potential clients where they are searching for legal help, Clio announced an integration with Google My Business. With a free Google Business Profile, prospective clients can review, email, and call a firm directly within their initial Google search. Clio customers will be able to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps and create, publish, and manage their Google Business Profile directly from Clio. With this development, Clio is ensuring businesses are showing up to prospective clients in the right way.


Google My Business integration


Paid consultations | Clio Legal Trend Report


Although Clio has offered Clio Payments, an e-payment solution powered by LawPay, for years, the organization recently launched an easy and flexible a way for clients to schedule paid consultations with Clio lawyers online, reducing client intake costs, and no shows.

The majority of consumers (69%) prefer working with a lawyer that can share documents electronically through a web page, app, or online portal.


Clio for Clients | Legal Trend Report


To ensure clients can stay connected with their lawyer, get updates from anywhere, and expedited case documentation, Clio announced a brand new app designed for legal clients specifically called Clio for Clients. This is their first foray in legal client technology and was met with resounding excitement at the conference. With Clio for Clients, clients of Clio lawyers can receive updates, documents, and communicate with their lawyer via one singular secure app designed for them.

E-signatures: Clio Manage users can now save time by preparing, sending, and electronically signing documents directly from Clio Manage. Reviewed and signed documents are saved automatically in Clio. This removes the hassle of downloading, printing, or scanning documents to get them signed.


Collaborating and communicating remotely


84% of legal professionals say they could serve their clients even better if more parts of their practice were automated with technology. Additionally, a significant minority of consumers (37%) prefer to meet virtually with a lawyer for a consultation or first meeting, and 50% would rather conduct any further meetings through video conference.

Microsoft Teams integration: While some law firms have transitioned back to the office, the need to collaborate remotely remains permanent. With Clio for Microsoft Teams, Clio customers can automatically create new teams when they create a new matter in Clio and access them at any time from the Matter Dashboard.

Zoom integration: In one click, Clio customers can add a unique Zoom link to their Clio Manage calendar invites. Any meeting can be made a Zoom meeting, and event invites include all the details needed to join the video call, including a password.

Dialpad: Clio Manage’s integration with Dialpad enables firms to take advantage of having a dedicated business phone line, without having to be tied down to a fixed landline. With Dialpad, customers can work remotely and rapidly scale the communication needs of their practice, capture billable and non-billable hours spent with clients, streamline, and keep logs of their communications.


Clio Legal Trend Report 2020

Automating and improving collections | Clio Legal Trend Report 2020

In June, 71% of legal professionals were concerned about their clients’ ability to pay legal fees than before the pandemic. However, as uncovered in this year’s Legal Trends Report, firms that adopt more than one technology, such as online payments and billing, see a compounding positive effect in business performance, including revenue collection.

Automatic bill reminders: New to Clio Manage, customers will have the ability to automatically send out gentle reminders to their clients about their account balances. This feature eliminates time-consuming administrative tasks and allows customers to spend their efforts on doing billable work, procuring clients, and spending time growing their firm.


Building the operating system for legal

76% of legal professionals believe that legal services can be streamlined when conducted virtually, while 68% say technology has helped their firms deliver better client experiences during the pandemic.

We are a Chinese legal services company. If you want to learn more about us, see the links below. Our lawyers use the Clio Legal Trend Report 2020 to serve their clients better.

Starting a company:

Legal paperwork:

  • Employment contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • China company due diligence (is the company a scam?)

Dealing with problems:


Secure legal identity | Clio Legal Trend Report 2020


Clio is doubling down on creating a singular operating system for legal by streamlining the process of logging in to all the key solutions legal professionals have come to rely on. Launching with Fastcase, Legalboards, and myFirmData, Clio customers will now be able to login using the same credentials they use for Clio Manage and Clio Grow. By eliminating the need to create separate emails and passwords for each integration partner, Clio is creating more secure and streamlined workflows for its customers and plans to launch a single sign-on with its over 200 integrations.

During the initial impact of the pandemic, 83% of legal professionals viewed cloud technology as necessary to the survival of their law firms, and as many as 82% said that technology had become more relevant. Now, the vast majority (85%) of law firms are using digital technologies to manage their practice. With no end in sight of the need for better cloud-based and client-centered solutions, Clio will continue to roll out client-centered and cloud-based solutions that better meet the needs of all involved in the legal system.

Let us know what you thought of the Clio Legal Trend Report 2020.


2020 Reisman Award Winners


Five outstanding law firms have been awarded a Reisman Award. Clio has recognized the law firms for their innovative approaches to delivering legal services. Clio, the leader in cloud-based legal technology, announced the winners of the fourth annual Reisman Awards. Recipients included Clio customers who have demonstrated law firm excellence and innovation over the last year.

“We were absolutely blown away by the amazing ways Clio customers leverage our platform to better the lives of their clients, employees, and communities,” said Jack Newton.

“This year has been one of immense and rapid change, presenting a variety of new challenges. We’re proud to recognize legal professionals who are making a profound impact on the world through their work.”


Best New Law Firm: Schneck Immigration Law


The best new law firm award honors a newcomer. They have weathered the trials of entrepreneurship and come out on top. After working at a large firm, Kristen Schneck broke out on her own. She created a law firm that focused on creating a culture of career growth for women. She also created a more diverse and inclusive workplace. The firm could better serve the needs of the Pennsylvania community. She is now considered a leading voice in Pennsylvania. This is on the topic of Immigration Law. Schneck has seen great success and has added three additional staff. Also, the firm is currently adding a second partner immigration attorney.


2020 Reisman Award Winners


Best Growth Story: Jodi Ann Donato | Clio Legal Trend Report 2020


The best growth story honors a firm that has experienced exceptional gains. After suffering an office fire in December 2017, Donato Law moved into a temporary office in New York. Then they experienced a second setback when a pipe burst due to the cold. Thankfully, Jodi Ann Donato stored the vast majority of her work in Clio. Therefore, Jodi was able to recover over time. This happened without any downtime. Fast forward to 2019, and Donato Law took in 21% more cases than they did the previous year. The firm almost doubling between October 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019. This was compared to the same period from 2018. On top of this, Donata Law’s accounts receivable is the lowest it has ever been in their 27 years of practice. They didn’t have to institute collections actions against any clients in 2019.


Clio Legal Trend Report 2020 | Community Champion: Osborn Gambale Beckley


Community champion honors firms that prioritize giving back to their communities. This is whether it be through pro bono work, donations, volunteering, mentorship, or another altruistic activity. Counsel Carolina is an equal access law firm committed to closing the justice gap in North Carolina. The state sees almost 80% of the civil legal needs of regular people not being met every year. To make justice more accessible and affordable for all, Justin Osborn and his team travel around the state. They host free legal advice events in their custom 33ft RV. They also provide advice on site with community partners. Since they opened in April 2019, they hosted 59 events in 13 cities. They also volunteered 1308 hours of pro bono service and helped over 799 people in their community.


Clio Legal Trend Report 2020 | Legal Innovation: Roche Legal


Legal innovation honors a practice that has successfully challenged industry norms. This is either through technology, delivery of legal services, or meeting the needs of a non-traditional market. Based in the UK, Roche Legal is dedicated to giving a voice to the elderly and vulnerable. They also demystify the legal process and changing perceptions about the profession. The driving force behind Roche Legal is its dedication to embracing new technology.

This ensures they offer unique client service innovations. They meet clients virtually and create eBooks clients can use to navigate the legal process. Roche Law also offers clients an innovative online Will writing and Lasting Power of Attorney service. This took two years to develop and has just four sections for the client to complete. Their remote Will writing system gives clients a prompt and efficient service. This is wherever they are in the world without having to rely on postal service.


Excellence in Client Service: Ceiba Forté Law Firm


Excellence in client service honors a practice that has successfully implemented a client-centered approach to running their firm. It must be better for their clients and their business. Ceiba Forte Law Firm focuses on serving the Minnesota Hispanic community with their civil, business, and employment matters.

To ensure that the experience they provide clients is approachable they inject a little fun in the consultation process. They offer story cards to better capture the way a client feels about their case and use visual charts to ensure they know why the client is asking the questions they are. To ensure legal services are affordable they offer alternative fee arrangements like flat fees, contingency, and hybrids. A core belief at Ceiba Forte Law is adapting to the needs of every client, especially for hard-working Hispanics, foreigners, and immigrants, and communicating in a clear way to ensure all their clients understand the legal process and are at ease.

The Reisman Awards celebrate the legal industry’s game changers, groundbreakers, and pioneers. “By recognizing firms of different sizes and at different levels of success, we’re highlighting the most enterprising and ambitious of our community,” said Newton. “Our customers are on the leading edge of this industry, and we’re proud to honor their hard work.”

Did you find the Clio Legal Trend Report 2020 interesting?

Learn more about the Reisman Awards.

China and the United States Are Stuck in an Unhealthy Marriage



China and the United States have been having a massive trade dispute for years now. You might wonder why a legal company is writing about global trade? Because it affects many of the clients that our lawyers in China represent. We have seen many foreign companies leave China to open in other countries, like Vietnam.


China has also taken a tough stance on its relations with American companies. Facebook got banned from China in 2009 when the company failed to comply with Chinese government information requests. Google and China have also been unable to agree on their issues.


In 2018, China was the largest trading partner of the USA. The two countries traded over $650 billion with each other.


The United States has an economy of $20.49 trillion and is China’s largest trading partner. In 2018, the Chinese GDP in nominal terms stood at $13.37 trillion.


Both the United States and Chinese economies need each other. There’s no going back from globalization. China needs the USA to buy its low-cost products and manufactured goods. The USA needs low-cost imports from China to make cheaper products.


China and the United States Dispute


The New Cold War


It is likely that for the next few decades, the relationship between China and the United States will be like the cold war that existed between the Soviet Union for 45 years. Instead of real war, both countries will spend billions of dollars on influence, hacking, technological innovation, and banning each other’s companies and diplomates.


The first cold war with the Soviet Union entailed a space race, the building of aircraft carriers, spying, and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. In 2020, the new cold war will involve each country’s ability to mine data, hack, and organize data. 


As became obvious in the 2013 Edward Snowden Global surveillance disclosures, countries can use their major companies to collect mass amounts of data, both domestically and internationally. As was the case with the Soviet Union and the US, both China and the USA will put pressure on each other until one of the countries collapses. The two countries cannot share the “gold medal.”


If you need legal advice from a lawyer in China, contact us using the form on this page. A lawyer will contact you directly.


Author: Alistair Vigier 韦理德


China and the United States Dispute | Get Help From A Chinese Law Firm


Starting a company:

Legal paperwork:

  • Employment contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • China company due diligence (is the company a scam?)

Dealing with problems:

Is Beijing A Good Place To Live?

Are you wondering if Beijing is a good place to live? This article will form part of our immigration law series for moving and working in China. This article will also focus more on the positives of Beijing. You can search elsewhere for any downsides to the city.

Most people from countries like Canada, Australia, and England might move to China for a few years to work. They will often stay for a short period of time. However, some marry a Chinese person, stay married for five years, and then apply for their Chinese green card. We covered the green card in detail in the article in the link. Therefore, the people in your circle might change every few years.

We also wrote an article about starting a business in China. We can help people from other countries with immigration law, business law, or family law.


Beijing Subway Map


The subway system in Beijing is very easy to use. The only time I had a hard time with it was when my subway card ran out of money. I gave 100 RMB to the subway person and pointed to the card. I was hoping they would know that I want to put 100 RMB on the card. Someone had to come and help with the translation.

It’s also extremely cheap to ride the subway. It costs around $2 to get across Beijing.


Beijing A Good Place To Live

Beijing Food Culture


Food is most people’s favorite thing in Beijing. This includes the local’s favorite thing. Chinese people speak about food a lot. However, keep in mind that most people in China think that their city’s food is the best.

The most famous Beijing dish is called Peking duck.

If you want to know if Beijing is a good place to live, you should first visit there. If you decide you want to get a work permit or apply for your permanent residency, then contact us. We will connect you with one of our immigration consultants in Beijing.


How Much Does It Cost To Live In Beijing?


Rent is normally the most expensive part of living in Beijing. You can expect to spend around 6000 RMB per month. It’s not very expensive for living in a condo in downtown Beijing. You can pay up to 15,000 RMB if you want a luxury apartment in a central location.

Groceries are very cheap in China. You can expect to spend around 400 RMB every time you go to the grocery store for two people. All the other costs are very cheap in Beijing as well. For two phones, it’s about $20/month.

Most people eat outside a lot in China. Most people spend around 1000 RMB per month, but they eat out all the time.

It’s also very cheap to order food and easy to have it delivered to your home.


Places To See In Beijing | Is Beijing A Good Place To Live?


Going to the Great Wall of China is often one of the people’s favorite experiences in China. It’s so amazing. It’s sort of like going to Paris and seeing medieval buildings. When I went there, it was to a remote part of the Great Wall far away from all the tourists. I was sitting in this old guard tower, where people 800 years ago would have been sitting with their bow and arrows. It’s pretty unreal to think about.

It’s a lot of work to hike on the wall. Some areas have a cable car that will take you up. The views are amazing.

The Forbidden City was pretty cool but nowhere near as cool as the Great Wall. It gets very busy in the Forbidden City.

The Summer Palace is also a neat place. It’s a good place to go for a walk, and it’s very relaxing. There is also the Temple of Heaven. There are people doing mediation and you can walk into the temple.

There is also a place called the Lama Temple. Most people have never heard of it. There is also a street nearby where there is a lot of great food.


Author: Alistair Vigier 韦理德

Immigrating to China

Are you look at immigrating to China? The rules for how to do it can vary from country to country. We recommend reading this overview and then going to the end of the article to see if there is a detailed guide for your home country.

The immigration rules for your country can change depending on if your country is getting along well with China or not. For example, countries like Canada and Australia have started to argue with China. As such, it has become harder for people in those countries to immigrate to China.

This article will focus on getting your “Chinese green card.” We will not touch on visitors, student visas, transit visas, or work visas. The reason for this is that it’s something that you can do without a lawyer. However, if you are applying for a work permit or a green card, you should get legal advice from a lawyer or one of our immigration consultants. It’s not expensive, and if you get rejected, it could have a massive impact on your future.

See our article at the end of the article on getting your work permit.

Sometimes trying to save a small amount of money on immigration can cost you a lot of future earnings. Don’t make this common mistake.

Will China welcome more immigrants?

There has been a draft bill put forward in China that would make it easier for foreigners to get their “Chinese green card.” There are now over one million foreigners working in China. Of course, that is only a small part of the $1.4 billion population.

China has some of the toughest immigration policies in the world. It’s easy to work there for a short period of time, it’s hard to move there. The USA issues one million green cards per year. China, only around 200.

If you can find a way to add value to China, it might be an easier way to get your green card. China also likes it when foreign companies invest large amounts of money.

In the last 16 years, only 10,000 people have got green cards. One of these people is Elon Musk because he invested a large amount of money in building the Tesla factory in Shanghai.

See our articles below on legal issues in China.

Dealing with problems:

How To Get Your Chinese Green Card | Immigrating to China

Most people can travel to China for school or visit. It’s also easily possible to travel to China to attend a four-day conference. However, getting your Chinese green card is much more difficult. See the list below for a list of the ways that you can get your Chinese “PR.”

  • You have been married to someone with a Chinese passport or green card for more than five years
  • There has been a lot of investment into China from you or your company
  • Getting your PR from being a skilled worker
  • Getting offered your green card because you have done things that benefit China greatly

You need to be healthy, have no criminal record, and have money in the bank. China does not want to support you. You should come to China to benefit society.

China welcome more immigrants

Do You Meet The Criteria? Get Your Immigration Consultant To Apply

There will be an application form with a bunch of information required. You will need to show something from your country that you have no criminal record back home. Your application will go to your local government or public security branch. If you hire an agent or consultant to submit the paperwork, they will have to have something giving them the power to do so.

You will also submit your passport, something from a doctor, and other documents (it will be a lot.) If you miss any of the required information, or it’s unclear, your application will be REJECTED.

It will take many months for you to hear back on your application. The Bureau of Public Security will be the ones investigating your paperwork, and you. If you are approved and are living back home (like in Australia,) then you will have to get a D visa and then collect your green card within thirty days of entering China.

To keep your green card, you must spend 20% of your time in China.

Unless you are someone that is super important, like an athlete, wealthy CEO, or scientist, it’s hard to get your PR. Therefore, most people get their PR from being married to a Chinese person for more than five years.


Immigrating to China

Photo: Twofortnights

Read More About Immigrating To China

Setting up a joint venture with a Chinese company

joint venture with a Chinese company

Are you looking at setting up a joint venture with a Chinese company? Our lawyers and paralegals have a lot of experience and stories to tell about this. Many companies in places like the United States, Australia, and England want to tap into the Chinese market. It’s massive, with $1.4 billion people. If you target the top 10% of income earners, that’s 140 million people that could be your customer.

Many of these top 10% of income earners in China are located in places like Beijing and Shanghai. Therefore, we have lawyers in these places. We also service Tianjin, as it’s a massive port city. You might have never heard of Tianjin, but it has over 12 million people. The capital of Australia, Sydney, has only 5 million people.

It’s this kind of statistic that makes western people excited about expanding into Asia. And of course, China is the most successful market in Asia. Japan used to be the leader but after the market crash in Japan in 1991, and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, China took over most of the economic power in Asia.

If you want to hire a paralegal, consultant, or lawyer in China, contact us at 1-844-466-6529 or fill out the form on the side of this page. If we don’t answer, just leave a detailed message. We operate a 24-hour business, so sometimes we are away from the phones.

Companies Expanding Into China | Joint Venture With A Chinese company

Many companies in the west want to expand but are nervous about China. They hear a lot of stories in the media, and also from friends of theirs that have companies in Asia. Some of the stories are true, and others are nonsense.

As is the case with most business plans, there are pros and cons to growing into China. Most companies want to set up a joint venture with a Chinese company. The idea is that the Chinese company has already built out the connections and the infrastructure. Let’s say your company is called Organic Skin Inc.

Organic Skin wants to start selling their organic lotion in Beijing. So you decide to enter into a joint venture with a company that has relationships with all the grocery stores in Beijing. Perhaps your product will be carried in 250 grocery stores. The name of the joint venture company is Beijing Wholesale Ltd (we just made it up.)

Beijing Wholesale Ltd will also help you get on their WeChat platform. In addition, they will promote your business via e-commerce on Alibaba and

What Are The Benefits of the Joint Venture?

The company will likely have a lot of followers on their social media. This will make it easy for you to test the market quickly. The last thing you want to do is spend years building up your following, to find out people don’t like your products. You can pay a marketing company to build your “paid” followers, but they have never tried your product. You then have to convince these people to try your product. Will they like it?

If you use the WeChat account of Beijing Wholesale, they might offer an amazing promotion. For example, for the month of June, the products of Organic Skin are 50% off! If people are not willing to buy when it’s 50% off, they never will.

Benefits of the Joint Venture

What Are The Risk of a Joint Venture With A Chinese Company?

If they purchase the products and complain, it’s a bad sign. We have seen this happen. A consulting company in Shanghai (Shanghai Imports) helped a Canadian company (Healthy Co) expand to China. Shanghai Imports had a booth at a health conference. Healthy Co provided tons of samples for people to take. I believe they gave out thousands of products, and also sold hundreds of bottles of organic face cream. The branding and packaging of Health Co were fantastic.

People loved the products and ordered more. Sadly, Health Co had a hard time delivering the products from Toronto to Shanghai. They refused to work with experts, and their shipments were seized by the Chinese customs agents.

Also, people tried to return the products because they turned “brown” after a month. Shanghai Imports decided to stop working with Health Co.

What do you need to get a Chinese lawyer to do?

The situation above shows the risks when your product doesn’t meet the market need. It also shows that there are operational risks. However, there are also risks between the two companies.

Let’s say that Healthy Co’s products where successful. Suddenly, everyone is placing orders to Shanghai Imports. It takes three weeks for the organic products to arrive in Shanghai from Toronto and clear customs. Organic products don’t last very long because they have no preservatives.

Suddenly, it makes more sense for the Canadian company to make its products in Shanghai. The Canadian company gives its “secret sauce” to Shanghai Imports so that the products can be made. Eventually, the Shanghai company decides that they no longer want to share 50/50 with Health Co.

What can Health Co do? Hopefully, they had a lawyer in Shanghai to create a tight joint venture agreement. If they did, it might say that all legal issues will be dealt with in by arbitration in a court in Toronto. Also, both parties agree that a judgment made by the Toronto arbitration is enforceable in a court in Shanghai.

Once the judgment shows that Shanghai Imports owes Health Co $2 million, Health Co can hire a Shanghai lawyer to enforce the judgment and collect payment. Maybe Health Co can take over the warehouse as payment.

Lawyers know the law and how to deal with problems. Call us. Below are some of our services.

How A Lawyer In China Can Help You

Starting a company:

  • Setting up a joint venture with a Chinese company
  • Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE)
  • A Representative company
  • Immigrating to China
  • Intellectual property
  • Taxes
  • Making connections in China (consulting services)
  • Raising capital in China

Legal paperwork:

  • Employment contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • China company due diligence (is the company a scam?)

Dealing with problems: