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Labor & Employment

Established in 1994, TransAsia's employment law practice is generally regarded as the market leader. Our practice has the longest history of that of any firm, local or international, in the country.

In February 2011, we formed a strategic affiliation with Littler Mendelson, the largest labor and employment labor law firm in the world. The alliance provides our clients with seamless and high-quality legal services in both jurisdictions. In light of increasing economic partnership and closer integration between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China we also formed an alliance with C&C Law Firm, a boutique Taiwanese firm experienced in handling a variety of legal matters including employment law, to better serve the needs of our multinational clients.

We also maintain close working relationships with the Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security and its local labor bureaus, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, and the nation's two largest human resources service providers: Foreign Enterprise Service Co., Ltd (FESCO) and China International Intellectech Corporation (CIIC).

With unparalleled experience advising clients on all aspects of employment matters in the PRC, TransAsia has been voted Law Firm of the Year for employment law in China in 2010, 2011 and 2013 by Chambers & Partners and the PRC Firm of the Year for Labor & Employment for 2011 - 2013 by China Law & Practice. TransAsia was also voted Law Firm of the Year for Employment & Industrial Relations for 2013 - 2016 by the China Business Law Journal, rounding out our sweep of the China labor and employment awards for 2013. We have also been designated as a Tier 1 firm by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2012 Issue).

Alliance with C&C Law Firm

C&C Law Firm is a boutique Taiwanese firm experienced in handling a variety of legal matters, including civil and criminal litigations, administrative proceedings (especially employment law), family and property law matters. Facing the challenge of globalization and the increasing economic partnership between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, C&C Law Firm cooperates with foreign legal professionals to provide clients with the most effective and reliable legal services across various jurisdictions.

Client Services

  • Pre-employment screening, employee recruitment and hiring
  • Overall legal compliance
  • All types of employment documents (employment contracts, employee handbooks, non-competition and non-disclosure agreements, intellectual property rights protection agreements, overseas training agreements and termination agreements)
  • Work hours and leave
  • Work safety
  • Wages (including overtime wages)
  • Social insurance, housing funds and welfare benefits
  • Establishment of trade unions and collective wage bargaining 
  • Termination and retrenchment
  • Stock options
  • Expatriate employment
  • Anti-discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Labor dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration and litigation)
  • Collective action and crisis management

Upon request, we also organize and conduct workshops and training sessions for our clients on key legal issues and developments. Recent workshops have focused on the 2008 Employment Contract Law, its implementing regulations, retrenchment issues, overtime work, trade unions and collective wage bargaining.

TransAsia Team

  • Dr. Isabelle I H Wan: Dr. Wan is the leader of TransAsia's employment law practice.  She has been advising on foreign direct investments in China for the past 26 years and on Chinese employment law issues for the past 23 years. Dr Wan began her practice in this area in 1994, the year in which the PRC Labor Law was promulgated. Since then, she has continued to work closely with the Ministry of Labor & Social Security (MOLSS) - now the Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security (MOHRSS) - to promote employment law in both the legal practice and for the purpose of academic study. In recognition of her contributions to this field and her efforts to foster a better understanding of the law among foreign investors, Dr Wan was nominated by the MOLSS in 1997 to be a Director of the China Labor Law Association. In late 2006, the MOLSS invited her to advise on the drafting of the landmark PRC ECL.

  • Mr Xing Xinmin: Mr Xing is the deputy leader of TransAsia's employment law practice. Previously, he served as general counsel of the MOLSS for 10 years. During that time, he participated in the drafting of a number of key pieces of legislation, such as the Labor Law and the Regulations for the Administration of Labor in Foreign-Invested Enterprises. Mr Xing is highly regarded and has substantial practical experience in advising clients on the drafting of employment-related documents, dispute resolution and handling of issues related to retrenchment.

  • Professor Jia Junling: Professor Jia is generally recognized as one of the foremost experts on PRC labor law and sits on the Advisory Panel of the MOHRSS. She is the Chairperson of the Peking University Institute of Labor & Social Security Law, Chairperson of the China Law Society Social Law Studies Institute, Director of the China Law Society, a senior member of the Legal Department of the ACFTU, a Standing Director of the China Association for Labor Studies, advisor to the Macau Social Security Society, and Executive Chairperson of the International Society for Labor Law & Policy, China.  Professor Jia also participated in the deliberations on the drafting of the Labor Law, Social Security Law, Collective Contract Law and the ECL.

  • Mr Guan Binfeng: Of Counsel to the employment law practice, MR Guan was previously the director of the legislation department and a deputy inspector of the ACFTU. His responsibilities included the drafting of various laws, regulations and other rules, including the ECL, as well as the original and subsequently amended Trade Union Law. Mr Guan specializes in advising and assisting clients on all legal issues concerning trade unions, including with regard to their establishment, collective bargaining procedures, the resolution of disputes involving trade unions, work stoppages, and trade union negotiations at all levels.

  • Helen Li: A partner of the employment law practice, Helen has been advising on foreign direct investments in China for the past 17 years and Chinese employment law issues for the past 13 years.  She has extensive experience in advising on a wide range of employment-related matters including employment contracts, wages, working hours, reward and disciplinary policies, and dispute resolution.  Helen also specializes in intellectual property law.

  • Joonho Tan: A partner of the employment law practice, Joonho advises on a wide range of employment-related issues including expatriate employment and secondment, stock option schemes and trade unions. He also specializes in foreign investments in China, including market entry structures, corporate and commercial issues, e-commerce, data protection and privacy, product liability and dispute resolution. He brings with him a wealth of experience from his previous position having practiced as a key member of the litigation and dispute resolution department of one of Malaysia's pre-eminent law firms.

  • Nina Wang: A partner of the employment law practice, Nina is also a Director of the Beijing Municipal Labor Law Society and has been an arbitrator at the Beijing Municipal Labor Dispute Arbitration Commission's Special Arbitration Court since 2001. Nina specializes in PRC employment and social security law, which involves advising clients on a wide range of issues relating to legal compliance, employment contracts, employee handbooks, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, social security and welfare benefits, mergers & acquisitions,  retrenchment, expatriate employment and labor dispute resolution (including mediation, arbitration and litigation).

Affiliation with Littler Mendelson

Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice in the world exclusively devoted to representing management. With more than 1,000 attorneys in more than 60 offices, Littler serves as the single source solution provider to the global employer community. Through an integrated worldwide strategy, Littler brings together practitioners from local markets experienced in local and cross-border labor and employment matters to provide seamless client service across national borders. Established in 1942, the Firm has litigated, mediated and negotiated some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record. For more information, visit www.littler.com.

Employment Law Forums

For the past 19 years, TransAsia has actively promoted a better understanding of PRC employment law and has facilitated an open dialogue between governmental authorities and multinational companies. With the official endorsement of the former MOLSS and with the support of FESCO, TransAsia was the first law firm to organize a full-scale conference on employment law issues called the "China Labor & Social Security Law Forum", which was held in Beijing and Hong Kong in 1997. Since then, we have hosted similar events in 1999, 2003 and 2005 in Shanghai and in 2007 in Beijing.

In July 2007, TransAsia hosted the "China Employment Contract Law International Forum", which featured senior officials from the National People's Congress, State Council, MOLSS and key local labor bureaus as panelists and speakers, who together provided the most authoritative interpretation of the new law. At this Forum, we also advised foreign investors on PRC laws to facilitate the establishment of legally compliant employment relationships.

In July 2010, TransAsia hosted the "China Employment Contract Law Workshop" addressing current trends and HR management and strategies. Senior government officials from the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress, Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and other national and local governmental agencies attended the workshop as speakers and gave an informative and practical exposition on Chinese employment laws as well as the appropriate methods of dealing with employment relationships and preventing collective actions such as strikes.

In May 2014, TransAsia co-hosted a workshop entitled "China Labor Law Forum" in Beijing with Littler Mendelson, the largest employment law firm in the world. The Forum - the most authoritative of its kind in China - included speeches by senior legislators, law enforcement officials, and members of the judiciary from Beijing and Shanghai, as well as HR directors and counsel from some of the world's leading companies.

Government Relations and Human Resources Service Providers

Due to our long-standing practice in this field of law, our contributions in promoting PRC employment law in and outside of China, and our reputation for integrity, we have developed close professional working relationships with the following influential governmental agencies:

  • Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (the sole authority with the right to interpret PRC laws)
  • Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council
  • Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security and its various local bureaus
  • State Administration of Social Security
  • All-China Federation of Trade Unions and various local trade unions, such as those in Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, Chongqing, Suzhou and Tianjin

We also maintain close working relationships with the nation's three largest human resources service providers – the Beijing Foreign Enterprise Service Co., Ltd., Shanghai Foreign Service Co., Ltd., and CIIC.

Publications and Newsletters

In addition to client work, we also have a tradition of writing and publishing books on employment law in China.

  • 1995: Our lawyers conceived of and wrote China Labor and Social Security Law - Essential Facts Explained, a bilingual loose-leaf guide that was endorsed by the MOHRSS for the duration of our involvement.
  • 2001: In conjunction with the MOLSS, we produced the bilingual publication, China Employee Wages - Statistics and Analysis, the first-ever public release of detailed statistics on wages and labor costs in the PRC.
  • 2009: Xing Xinmin and TransAsia jointly produced a Chinese language guide, The Employment Contract Law: Implementation Strategy and Risk Prevention.
  • 2010: At the request of the Legislative Affairs Office of the National People's Congress, TransAsia produced the official English version of its Interpretation of the Employment Contract Law, a guide to the 2008 PRC ECL.
  • 2010: TransAsia produced the official English version of the publication, Using Employment Contracts Skillfully & Reducing Labor Disputes, at the request of the author of the Chinese version, Mr. Chen Peiyong, a renowned expert on labor law and a senior official of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.
  • In addition, we regularly produce an employment law newsletter to help clients stay abreast of the latest PRC legislative and policy developments at both the national and local levels.

    Representative Transactions

    • Advised a manufacturing company on a class action lawsuit brought by more than 350 employees for RMB 48m compensation for the alleged failure to pay overtime wages and underpaid social insurance contributions for more than 10 years
    • Negotiated a settlement with more than 160 striking migrant workers involving over 16 years of unpaid social insurance payments, housing fund contributions and overtime wages
    • Advised a multinational company on the retrenchment of more than 800 employees at its joint venture company
    • Represented Accenture in its international integration with Nokia’s Symbian operating system project, including the related transfer of employees
    • Represented Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on its US$2 billion avionics landmark joint venture with GE in China, the signing of which was attended by both Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on 25 January 2011
    • Advised a multinational manufacturer on labor disputes arising from 13 years of unpaid social insurance and housing fund contributions for over 1600 employees
    • Advised International Venue Group on the hiring of expatriates and Chinese employees for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo
    • Advised Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the hiring of Chinese personnel for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    • Successfully defended an international venture capital fund in a labor dispute brought by its ex-CEO for the termination of his employment contract – the amount claimed for is the largest claim to date in Shanghai
    • Advised an international retailer on labor disputes involving over 550 employees in Tianjin with respect to non-compliance with social security payments and housing fund contributions for over 10 years where the principal amount at issue was RMB 27 million
    • Advised various clients on establishing trade unions and on resolving disputes involving trade unions
    • Advised various clients on crisis situations involving strikes, work stoppages and collective wage bargaining
    • Representative Clients

      • ABInBev
      • Accenture
      • Adobe
      • Airbus
      • Amazon.com / Joyo.com
      • ASML
      • Aviation Industry Corp of China
      • Axalta
      • BBC
      • Bombardier
      • Carter's
      • CCTV
      • Chevron
      • Citigroup
      • CNH – Fiat Industrial
      • CNN
      • China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)
      • Dassault Systèmes
      • DNB Bank ASA
      • GE
      • Google
      • H & M
      • Hermès
      • Inditex (Zara)
      • Intercontinental Hotels Group
      • International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI)
      • Kodak
      • Lonza
      • LVMH
      • Marsh
      • New York Times
      • News Corporation
      • Pret A Manger
      • Reignwood Group
      • Royal Bank of Scotland
      • Schering-Plough
      • Schneider Electric
      • Standard Chartered Bank
      • Statoil
      • Thomson Reuters
      • Time Warner
      • UL
      • UTC Aerospace Systems
      • Veolia Water
      • Walt Disney
      • Zoll Medical Corporation