Frequently Asked Questions
English Speaking Chinese Lawyers: AsiaBridge Law
Quotes from AsiaBridge Law are not based on the perceived depth of our client’s pockets. The fixed pricing structure applies to all clients regardless of industry, size, sex or nationality.
AsiaBridge Law leverages scale to offer clients a lower rate than if the client was invoiced direct from the local lawyers, while providing a superior customer service experience.
AsiaBridge Law is a Hong Kong registered company benefiting from HK’s tax exempt status when providing services to clients outside of HK. As such, for tax reasons, AsiaBridge Law is unable to provide services to HK based entities and individuals. In those cases, arrangements can be made for services to be provided by our PRC based partners rather than via AsiaBridge Law.
AsiaBridge Law's paralegals, support staff and the lawyers in our network all work remotely, we don’t have fancy offices or even a traditional boardroom! Rather than waste money on physical infrastructure, we choose to invest in systems and staff.
AsiaBridge Law compliments local lawyers with international project management. Our paralegals are bilingual Asians or Westerners working remotely from various locations around the world. They coordinate local lawyers on behalf of the client and provide account management to our clients in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian and other major languages.
Account Manager (AM)/ Paralegal
- Responsible for overall project performance.
- Client’s primary point of contact. Communications between the client and AM take place in English or other languages upon request.
- Coordinated the efforts of the local attorneys and other support staff.
Primary Legal Counsel (PLC)/ Local Lawyers
- Structures the project gates and performs the “heavy lifting” on the project.
- While communications among the Client, PLC and AM are managed by the AM, the identities of all parties will be made transparent for the client. Legal opinion is provided by the PLC. Neither ABL nor its officers, employees or sales associates provide legal representation or legal advice directly to the client.
Challenge: Asian lawyers fluent in European languages are few and far between. Bilingual lawyers charge a premium, yet a command of a foreign language is not an indication of a local lawyer’s legal skills. Sadly, most local lawyers are not trained in the Western concepts of customer service and project management.
Solution: Rather than focus on language skills, lawyers in our network are selected for the right mix of professionalism, honesty and affordability. The language & project management barriers are overcome through the use of translators and paralegals who coordinate the lawyers on behalf of the AsiaBridge Law clients while providing account management in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian and other major languages (as available at any given time).
Expectations: While the above solution provides affordable legal support in the language of the client, it is important to note that due to language and time zone issues, the system typically requires 24 to 48 hours for the client- paralegal- lawyer-paralegal-client communication cycle.
The vast majority of projects can be completed on schedule without the need for daily communications between AsiaBridge Law and Client. Shorter communication cycles can be arranged, but expedite or OT fees would be applicable. AsiaBridge Law clients place professionalism and affordability over speed.
Communications are conducted, almost exclusively between the paralegal and the client via email and the occasional conference call. As the lawyers/paralegals/translators & other support staff all work remotely and speak different languages, it is not realistic that face-to-face meeting can be arranged without the need to invoice the client for transportation to the meeting point, translation services and time away from the office. However, AsiaBridge Law utilizes cutting edge, secure, online project management software to ensure smooth communication and efficient delivery of services among the various team members and clients who are located around the world. As such, email communications and the occasional conference call are more than sufficient.
Check out the dispute resolution page for a detailed look at your legal options and related costs. The following commonly asked questions are answered:
- How are the Court Fees, Legal Fees, Other Costs & Time Frames for a court case in China?
- Is my loss large enough to make it worth while to hire AsiaBridge Law to help recover funds?
- Is it possible to pay for the demand letter services after funds have been recovered?
- If the due diligence shows that the target company has closed or is broke?
- We have been trying to contact the target company and it seems that the phone lines do not connect and our emails are being ignored. What does this mean?
- Should I share with the lawyer all of my emails to/from the subject company?
Full details are explained on this page, but here are the key points:
A retainer for General Counsel is invoiced as block of time which can be used on an as-needed basis. The larger the block of time purchased, the bigger the discount.
- 4 Hours
- 10 Hours
- 20 Hours
- 40 Hours
- 80 Hours
Check out the dispute resolution page for a detailed look at your legal options and related costs.
Great lawyers do not always make good business consultants.
Great business consultants are not lawyers.
We firmly believe that business consultants should not be offering legal advice on China (unless they are a lawyer registered in China) and Chinese lawyers should not be offering international business advice unless they have direct and meaningful experience with the issue at hand.
The AsiaBridge Law network includes both Chinese lawyers and International Business Consultants.
Click here to meet our business advisors and see how they work with the lawyers in our network to service our clients.
Please visit our page on "bilingual contracts" for answers to commonly asked questions, including:
- I don’t speak Chinese, how do I know if the contract includes the terms I want?
- Do Contracts Mean Anything in China?
- Do I need a Bilingual Contract?
- I have an existing contract template that I use back home. Can I hire a lawyer in China to adjust it for use in China?
- I want to use my bilingual contract over and over again with multiple suppliers, but I don’t speak Chinese. How do I update the Chinese parts of my bilingual contracts when I have new orders to place?
- I don’t speak Chinese, how do I know that the Chinese company’s real name (in Chinese) is on the contract?
- How is a NNN different from a NDA?
If you have registered your Intellectual Property in a nation that is party to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in theory, you have some basic protection in China. However, in practice, there are a number of loopholes commonly exploited by Chinese entities to "legally steal" WIPO registered IP in China.
Here is a detailed look at how to protect yourself and close up exposure to these loopholes:
Do I Have Coverage in China if I Register My IP Via WIPO/ Madrid System?
The answer depends on the type of Intellectual Property you wish to register. Check out the following pages for details on costs/process/time frame for your specific Intellectual Property:
- Copyright Registration
- Trademark Registration
- Patent Registration (Utility Patents/ Design Patents/ Invention Patents)
Monitoring of Intellectual Property Rights:
The following article offers free tools, tips and strategies, that you can use on your own, to monitor the marketplace and your partners, to ensure your Intellectual Property Rights are being respected: Learn how to monitor your intellectual property rights in China
Click here if you would like to retain the investigators at AsiaBridge Law to monitor your Intellectual Property in China.
Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights:
Demand Letters (AKA "cease and desist"), Litigation and Police Action are some of the common actions to be considered. Visit the Dispute Resolution page to learn more.
AsiaBridge Law offer many types of Due Diligence. Before visiting our Due Diligence Page, you may want to review this whitepaper that answers the following key questions:
- How to evaluate both the target company and the risks in a given transaction?
- Specialized Due Diligence:
- Due Diligence on Suppliers
- Due Diligence for Investors
- Due Diligence on Logistics Firm
- Due Diligence on Sourcing Agents
- Due Diligence on Inspection Agents
- Due Diligence on Chinese lawyers
- and even how to conduct Due Diligence on Due Diligence providers!
The above whitepaper will be of particular interest if you are thinking about:
- Purchasing goods from a Chinese supplier
- Hiring a China based service provider
- Investing in a Chinese business
- Representing a Chinese company overseas
- Hiring a senior executive for a position in China
AsiaBridge Law offers two types of Due Diligence:
- Red Flag Assessment (RFA) for Transaction Risk, Scam & Fraud
- Corporate Assessment (CA): Stability, Assets & Reputation
The RFA is useful when:
- you are doing business with a Chinese supplier of goods or services.
The CA is useful when:
- you are doing business with a Chinese supplier of goods or services,
- you are doing business with a Chinese customer,
- you are thinking about forming a partnership with a Chinese entity.
China Sourcing: Due Diligence
When you are buying from a Chinese entity, either report will help you avoid scams by confirming if the target entity is real or not. After verifying that the entity is real,
- The RFA looks at the risk associated with the deal offered by the target entity.
- The CA focuses on the financial stability of the target entity.
The two reports are designed to complement each other and it is recommended you conduct both forms of due diligence on suppliers.
Here is detailed look at where the two reports overlap and where they are specialized:
Covered in either report:
- Is it a real company (not a fake scam)?
- Who are the owners and legal representatives?
- What is the official address?
- Are they a manufacturer, distributor, trading company or other type of business?
- Are they licensed to export products out of China?
- Are the licensed to sell in the China domestic market?
- # and type of Employees on Record?
- When were they incorporated?
- Has their scope of business changed over time?
- In what type of building do they work? (office, warehouse, apartment, factory…)
The RFA offers the following additional items not found in the CA:
- How risky is the proposed payment method & terms of trade?
- Is the official signature being used?
- Are the documents and certificates provided authentic and valid?
- Are there red flags found on the company’s website and business listings?
- Are they well-represented at trade shows?
- Does their offering appear to be a good fit for your needs?
- Other red flags
The CA offers the following additional items not found in the RFA:
- Total Assets
- Total Liabilities
- Taxes Paid
- Corporate Status
- Sales & Purchasing Data
- Litigation Records
- Media Coverage & Reputation
- Registered Trademarks & Patents
- Key Financial Ratios such as
- Return on net assets (%)
- Return on total assets (%)
- Net profit margin (%)
- Turnover of total assets Asset liability ratio (%).
In order to ensure we are a good fit for your needs, please watch this short video which explains AsiaBridge Law’s fee structure and service offering.
We look forward to being of service.