Article: Working With Chinese & Korean Lawyers

Great little post from the China Law Blog entitled..

Working With Chinese and Korean Lawyers. The Big Four Issues With Each.

 Dan introduces his piece writing:

Last year, I wrote an article for the Complete Lawyer, entitled, "Working with Korean and Chinese Lawyers." I was originally asked to write on working with Asian lawyers, in general, but convinced the magazine to allow me to focus on just China and Korea. I asked for this limitation because I did not believe myself experienced enough in working with lawyers from other Asian countries to write about working with them and, more importantly, because I did not see enough similarities to talk of Asia as a whole.

I was reminded of that article today after receiving a complimentary email from a Chinese lawyer studying law here in the United States.

An article like this has to generalize a bit and there are certainly exceptions to everything I say, but having worked with dozens of law firms in Korea and China, I have noticed the following four problems in dealing with lawyers from those two countries, respectively:

Here’s the link to the full article

and these are the selected highlights


  • Non-responsiveness is the norm
  • Your matter is not important. Most Korean lawyers have plenty of work and any one matter from an overseas client is not likely to be of paramount importance to them
  •  Korean lawyers tend to view themselves as “above it all.
  • Korean lawyers simply do not respect the attorney-client privilege


  • There are many lawyers in China scrambling for work, but most of them have neither the experience nor the language skills to handle international clients. The problem is that most either do not know this or will not admit it
  • There are very few really good Chinese international law firms in China
  • China’s good lawyers are very smart and very well educated, but if they were truly well connected, they would most likely have a top position in the government or with a big company, and they would never have attended law school in the first place.
  • The typical Chinese lawyer’s response is to say yes.
  • Chinese lawyers do things the Chinese way. Chinese companies can get away with all sorts of things in China