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China in focus: Impact on UK legal services

1 August 2017

The sheer size of China’s economy and its role in global trade and foreign investment mean that changes in its fortunes or ambitions will have some impact on the UK legal services sector - particularly on large global law firms and smaller firms with interests connected to China.

According to the UK government's 2016 guide on doing business in China:

  • the UK is the second largest EU investor into China and Chinese investment into the UK has increased so as to establish the UK as the most popular major destination in Europe
  • as the number of foreign enterprises investing in China and doing business with Chinese partners has increased so has the number of commercial disputes
  • China has increasingly sophisticated IP and legal systems which are used by large numbers of British companies to obtain IP protection and enforcement relief.

This Horizon Scanning report looks at possible futures of changing fortunes for China and what a rise or fall in the Chinese economy and its position on the world stage might mean for the legal sector.