China Working Group - From the Co-Chairs - December 2021

Monday 13 December 2021

Dear members,

The China Working Group of the IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum worked jointly with the IBA Young Lawyers’ Committee and organised a series of training sessions for the young lawyers in China and the region. The training sessions were held from 22 June to 11 August 2021, with the aim of helping young lawyers to develop their skills and broaden their vision by using the IBA's international resources. The training programme included eight sessions of panel discussions. The topics were carefully designed, based on the investigations of the IBA member firms and discussions with the local bars including those in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. They covered not only hot topics in the industry, such as cross-border M&A and investment between China and Europe, but also the soft-skill topics such as how to build client relationships. Each panel covered five to six partners and experts from different jurisdictions followed by a Q&A session.

This eight-part training webinar series is part of an ongoing programme devised by the IBA’s Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI) to assist young lawyers and junior members of the profession with their understanding of the fundamentals of international legal practice.

The programme was welcomed and well-received by the young lawyers. For the eight sessions, there was a total of 5,570 registrations recorded and 1,901 unique registrants. Out of the 5,570 registration records, 2,828 were from China. This hit the record for such an IBA event.

In the surveys which followed each session, over 70 per cent of the participants in six out of eight sessions rated the overall content of the webinar as ‘excellent’. Over 90 per cent of participants in all sessions engaged in the webinar from the beginning to the end. Out of a total of 41 speakers, 35 were rated ‘excellent’ by over 50 per cent of the participants of that webinar. The most welcomed speaker, Rachel McGuckian, Scholarship Officer, IBA Professional Ethics Committee, received an ‘excellent’ rating from a record high of over 87 per cent of participants of the session titled ‘Avoiding Conflict of Interests and other Ethic Traps’.

On the question ‘what did you enjoy or value most about this webinar?’, the survey received a variety of positive answers from the participants including: ‘very practical’, ‘very informative’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘excellent engagement from all of the speakers’, ‘enjoyed the responses and insight of the speakers to be invaluable’, ‘the sharing of knowledge across different jurisdictions which broadens our visions’, ‘quite convenient for local lawyers to have a big picture of international legal practice’, ‘collection of all-round elites and sharing with them abundant experiences and ideas’, ‘topic very useful for young lawyers’, ‘listening to ideas from other countries is exciting’, ‘all contents were so well organized and the panellists gave what we young practitioners need most’, ‘presentation and analysis was awesome’, ‘good for newcomers in the field’, ‘discussion about culture differences’, ‘time control was good’ and others.

When asked about any suggestions for improving the webinar in the survey, the young lawyers who participated in the webinars gave a very positive response and made suggestions such as, ‘please hold another that builds on this topic', ‘hope the webinar can be held every week’, ‘I would like to see more female speakers’, ‘continue engaging me during the pandemic lockdown’, ‘add more details on VC’, ‘continue to arrange such splendid webinars’, 'more time for Q&As’, ‘it would great if the speakers can deliver the keynotes of the contents’, ‘PPT can be shared in advance’, ‘the hours are limited and should be expanded a little to one hour and 30 minutes’ and other valuable suggestions.

Over 90 per cent of participants said they would attend another similar webinar in the future when asked such question in the survey after the webinar.

Kind regards,

Caroline Berube
Co-Chair of the China Working Group; IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum

David Dali Liu
Co-Chair of the China Working Group; IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum