Had a nice conversation yesterday with a bunch of my firm's
China lawyers and litigators, mostly on what is causing the
increase in litigation and arbitration against Chinese companies
and about some of the pitfalls peculiar to suing Chinese companies.
The impetus for this discussion was my having signed on to speak
(twice) about how to avoid litigation against Chinese and how to
deal with litigation and arbitration against Chinese companies if
Because litigating and arbitrating against Chinese companies is
rife with so many issues specific to China and to Chinese
companies, I am going to make this the first post in an indefinite
series on China Litigation and Arbitration. If you have any
questions regarding litigating or arbitrating against Chinese
companies, please leave them as a comment below or please email us
and we will try to incorporate answers in future posts within this
dispute resolution series.
My first litigation related talk is going to be at the Los
Angeles Athletic Club (in Los Angeles) on February 25 at 3:15 and
though entitled, Manufacturing in China/Asia: Keep Your Eyes Wide
Open, its focus is going to be almost exclusively on preventing and
handling litigation with Chinese companies. Its
"official" bullet points are as follows:
How to source products from China and
other emerging Asian economies
How to source products so as to avoid
product liability lawsuits
How to prevail in litigation against
your Asian manufacturer
Cross-claiming against your Asian
Immediately following my speech I will be participating on a
stellar panel discussing "Claims and Coverage Involving
Foreign Products." For more information regarding this
seminar, go here. And to secure a really good discount to
this event, please contact me at
my firm directly. My next China litigation talk will be in
Chicago in May and I will provide more information on that
In the meantime though, back to why we are seeing such a rapid
increase in litigation and arbitration involving Chinese companies.
Why is this occurring? We see two obvious reasons for this
increase. First, the mere fact that the relationship between so
many US and Chinese companies has become more mature. Ten years
ago, Chinese companies didn't want to rock the boat by suing
American and European companies and American and European companies
believed (generally rightly) that many of their Chinese
counterparts did not have sufficient assets to pay any judgment
anyway. On top of this, the contracts between the Chinese companies
and their Western counterparts were so often so poorly drafted as
to make prevailing on a lawsuit a crapshoot.
In the last few years, however, as both Western and Chinese
companies want good international contracts to protect themselves,
the risks of litigating (though always present) have declined. On
top of this, many Chinese companies have become more financially
stable and some of them now even have assets outside China.
The second reason for the recent uptick in litigation and
arbitration involving Chinese companies is the economic downturn in
China. Companies that are making money hand over fist on their core
business often view litigating or arbitrating as a time-sucking
nuisance that can impede their growth trajectory. But companies
with economic problems are often more open to pursuing new ways
(like litigation and arbitration) to acquire funds.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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We discuss Robinson Helicopter Company Incorporated v McDermott  HCA 22 .
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