China Desk

China has become an integral part of the global economy. The second largest economy in the world is also one of the most important trading partners in Asia for Germany. Economic relations between the two countries have developed extremely dynamically in recent years. Numerous German and other European companies have branches in China and many Chinese companies are now also making direct investments in Europe.

In the 2018/2019 financial year, Luther once again achieved a record result of over EUR 200 million, making us one of the top 10 law firms in Germany in terms of sales. An increasing share is thereby generated by business in and with Asia, where Luther, with five offices and around 100 professionals, is a well-known player. In addition, we have a large China team at several German locations, led by partners with many years of experience in Asian business. For decades, we have been advising German and European companies - many of them hidden champions - on all questions of business law in China and throughout Asia. Furthermore, we advise Chinese investors on their outward investments, where Europe in particular has attracted a large proportion in recent years.

More than 30 German and Chinese professionals at several locations in Germany and Shanghai have been advising German and European companies on all business law issues in China for decades. All team members have lived and worked in China, Singapore or other Asian countries and are therefore very familiar with the respective jurisdiction and the local customs and particularities in this dynamic region. In addition, Luther's China team supports Chinese investors in cross-border M&A transactions, restructurings and IPOs, as well as on the establishment of companies and joint venture projects in Germany and Europe. The many Sino-German investment projects that our team has successfully supported are proof of our expertise.

We are convinced that complex and international projects require well-coordinated team work in diverse disciplines in order to provide efficient and optimal advice to our clients. Depending on the specific nature of a project, we bring together a bespoke team of specialists for each project. Our broad network enables us to staff each transaction with a mix of lawyers, tax practitioners and M&A advisers with extensive international experience of comparable transactions and local colleagues who have in-depth understanding of local laws, procedures and regulations. Our professionals are familiar with high-profile transactional work as well as on the ground negotiations with government officials. The effective coordination of the work processes in different jurisdictions and the timely delivery of our services within our client’s budget are ensured by one central contact person who can be contacted at anytime should queries arise.

We advise you across borders with the support of our Shanghai office and ensure that our clients receive advice from one single source, regardless of location and time zone.

We offer our clients personalized advice – in German, English or Chinese.

Our range of advisory

For german and european enterprises (inbound)

We offer our clients operating in China a wide range of legal and tax advisory services.

We support foreign investors in the assessment of location and investment criteria, the preparation of feasibility studies, the structuring of investment projects, acquisitions and joint ventures. Finding and implementing solutions for sensitive areas like outsourcing, technology transfer and know-how protection also forms part of our work. Alongside our clients we negotiate with future partners and regulatory authorities and ensure the enforcement of their rights, in and out of court as well as in arbitration proceedings.

Our legal and tax advisory services in China are complemented by our Corporate Secretarial Services: special service providers take over all important administrative areas for the local subsidiaries of our clients, from bookkeeping and payroll accounting to ensuring that the often complex tax regulations and other regulatory requirements are met by a one-stop solution.

From Germany, we regularly assist our clients in investment projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Providing legal and tax advice on market entry and on all contractual issues is our "day-to-day business". In recent years, we have also successfully completed more than a hundred acquisitions and joint venture projects with Asian partners, many of them in China. Our clients include well-known family businesses and internationally active corporations, for whom we have most recently been involved in the restructuring of a joint venture with production sites in China and other countries and in the sale of a business unit in China and Taiwan as part of a bidding process.

Frequently requested advisory services:

  • Antitrust law
  • Capital market law and initial public offerings (IPO)
  • Corporate law and restructuring
  • Corporate secretarial services
  • Employment law
  • Intellectual property rights and technology transfer
  • International commercial and distribution law
  • Investment consulting and market entry
  • Joint ventures
  • Litigation and dispute resolution, arbitration proceedings
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Real estate law and land use rights
  • Tax law
For chinese enterprises (outbound)

Our Sino-German team is trusted by many Chinese private and state-owned companies, which we comprehensively advise on market entry, acquisitions and their business activities in Europe. Due to the increased number of company acquisitions and the recent tightening of foreign investment laws in European countries, above all due to the increase in Chinese takeovers in the field of European key technologies, investment control has become considerably more important in recent years. We advise Chinese buyers as well as European vendors, in particular within the framework of bidding procedures, with regard to the requirements of investment control according to the investment laws in Germany and across Europe, and assist with approval procedures and the obtaining of clearance certificates by the respective authorities.

In recent months, we supported a listed Chinese automotive supplier in several acquisitions in Germany and accompanied the reorganization of the German group of companies of a well-known Chinese household appliance manufacturer. In addition, we frequently work for the European shareholders or the company management when Chinese investors enter the European market, for example we advised the supervisory board of a listed machine manufacturer in Cologne when it was taken over by a Chinese state-owned group.

Frequently requested advisory services:

  • Antitrust law
  • Capital market law and initial public offerings (IPO)
  • Corporate law and restructuring
  • Employment law
  • Establishment of companies and branches
  • Intellectual property law and technology transfer
  • International commercial and distribution law
  • Investment control according to the German AWG/AWV (Foreign Trade Act) as well as ex-amination procedures of the EU and other European states
  • Joint ventures
  • Litigation and dispute resolution, arbitration proceedings
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Real estate law
  • Tax law

Key Contact >>

Key Contact

Thomas Weidlich, LL.M. (Hull)

Partner

T +49 221 9937 16280

Dr SHEN Yuan / 沈媛 博士 LL.M. (CUPL/Köln)

Senior Associate

T +49 221 9937 25075

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Our China Team