Our roots trace back to 1994 when the Hong Kong office of Stephenson Harwood opened its first China representative office in Guangzhou. Twenty years later, in 2014, an independent Chinese law firm named Wei Tu was established by former colleagues. Stephenson Harwood formed an association with this firm which goes by the name of “Stephenson Harwood - Wei Tu (China) Association”.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

This association allows us to offer a ‘one stop service’ for Hong Kong, English and PRC law advice (with the PRC advice provided by Wei Tu). We are therefore in a unique position in being able to offer clients a genuinely seamless and complementary service in the PRC.

With both international and local expertise within the Stephenson Harwood – Wei Tu (China) Association*, we have an insight into how business is done in the region. The core services include: dispute resolution, corporate, banking and finance, employment and intellectual property.

* Wei Tu (a PRC law firm registered in Guangzhou) and Stephenson Harwood (a law firm registered in Hong Kong) are in a CEPA association under the name “Stephenson Harwood - Wei Tu (China) Association”. CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) is a free trade agreement concluded between Mainland China and Hong Kong. Under CEPA, Hong Kong based law firms are permitted to operate in association with Mainland Chinese law firms to provide comprehensive legal services in Mainland China governed by Chinese and non-Chinese laws.

Dispute resolution

Acted for clients in arbitration before CIETAC, Guangzhou Arbitration Commission, Shanghai Arbitration Commission and South China International Arbitration Centre in relation to sales of goods contract disputes.

Acted for Chinese clients and instructing English solicitors and barristers in arbitration before LCIA arbitration relating to a series of sales of goods contract.

Gave guidance to foreign and Chinese clients on the conduct of arbitration before LMAA for purpose of securing recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards in China.

Represented a US-listed multinational corporation and technology company to make defence in the court case filed by its distributors in China. After almost 8 years two instance trial proceeding, we successfully defended the client’s interests and gain a complete victory in this court case.

Advised and represented shipowners in disputes arising in respect of charter party, and dealing with cargo lien, cargo disposal, security arrangement, bills of lading cross claims, conflict of laws, PRC court litigations.

Advised and represented cargo owners in disputes arising in respect of bills of lading and wrongful cargo lien/detention, and dealing with ship arrest, security arrangement, claims for damage due to wrongful cargo lien/detention, PRC court litigations.

Represented a Chinese heavy industrial company to file the re-trial case before Supreme Court and successfully assisted the client to have the dispute settled.

Acted for shipping companies and P&I Clubs before PRC maritime courts, appeal courts and the Supreme Court of PRC in connection with disputes arising from bill of lading, charter parties, ship arrest, and evidence preservation actions.

Represented Guangzhou branch of a multinational bank to file the lawsuit to chase after outstanding 20 million bank loan, assisting the client to work out the litigation strategy and taking other legal action to press the defendants.

Advised a major UK consulting company in relation to the shareholder dispute with its Chinese partner.


Represented a number of foreign investors to set up JV and WFOE in China, including negotiating with various PRC governmental authorites.

Advised a global leading coffee machine manufacturer to purchase the land from a state-owned company in Shenzhen in amount of approximately RMB 100 million, conducting due diligence, negotiation with the government and state-owned company and going through the complicated process of bidding, auction and listing.

Represented a top French furniture company to acquire shares of a Guangzhou company, and conducting due diligence, structuring various contracts and negotiation with the target company.

Represented a US airplane appliance producer in the acquisition of further interests in one of its joint venture with a Chinese state owned company. The acquisition is completed by public bidding through China Beijing Equity Exchange.

Provided legal services to a US listed consumer goods corporation regarding setting up a plant in Guangzhou Economic Development Zone, The amount of project is USD 600 million dollars and was divided into 3 phases for development and construction. Our services include drafting the investment agreement with the local government, negotiating with the local government concerning the agreement and various incentive policies.

Providing overall legal services for an Italian company in the liquidation of their wholly-owned subsidiary established in Guangdong province and assisted the client to establish a new subsidiary in Zhejiang province. Assisted a Hong Kong listed company in relation to the liquidation of one of its factories with more than 20 years of history and around 1,000 staff in Guangdong province.

Assisted a major UK electronics products distributor in relation to the acquisition of shares in a Chinese producer of power supply fittings.

Banking and finance

Advised one of the biggest Chinese banks on trade finance issue.

Advised a Norwegian bank on issues related to ship finance and refund guarantee.

Advised a South African bank on issues related to a repo contract, in connection with its insurance claim in South Africa.

Acted for a major PRC bank in restructuring its secured shipping loan facility covered by Sinosure lease policy.

Acted for a European bank in a shipping loan facility covered by Sinosure buyer’s credit policy.

Acted for an European bank in a shipping loan facility involving standby charter arrangement from borrower’s PRC parent company.

Acted for a major PRC bank’s Hong Kong branch in relation to a cross-border trade finance facility.

Acted for a European bank’s PRC branch in relation to its standard trade finance documentation to be used in the PRC.

Acted for a Hong Kong bank’s PRC branches in relation to its standard trade finance documentation to be used in the PRC.

Acted for a European bank’s PRC branch in relation to its standard working capital loan documentation.


Represented and provided legal advice for a large multinational company to lay off 510 employees and close down 23 branches. In addition to working out detailed strategy and plans, we also oversaw the implementation of the layoff plan in order to minimize the legal risks. The client successfully laid off its 510 employees and closed 23 branch offices without incurring any additional risks and costs.

Represented a French multinational to lay off 160 employees, assisting the client to work out the lay-off plan including the coordination with the different government agency.

Defended a multinational company in labour dispute cases in which 17 employees filed labour arbitration against the client and assisting the client to negotiate with the employees.

Advised and represented reputable multi-national company in disputes relating to employee’s embezzlement of company property, dealing with company internal investigation and filing criminal investigation report.

Advised and represented OEM factories in disputes relating to employee retirement compensation in PRC labour arbitration and court litigations.

Advising multiple clients in issues relating to employee injury on-the-job.

Advised a European manufacturer in implementing mass layoffs in its PRC subsidiary.

Represented various foreign invested enterprises before labour arbitration tribunals and PRC courts in relation to various labour disputes.

Intellectual Property

Represented a large multinational brewer to file the well-known trademark protection case in front of Guangzhou Intellectual Property People’s court.

Represented an American seed company to expand its business in China through an IP transaction with a Chinese listed company.

Carried out activities of protection of intellectual property rights in China on behalf of an Italian company in preventing infringement acts of trademark and patent at Canton Fair and other big exhibitions; reached settlement agreements with more than 20 infringers; took administrative and judicial actions for rights protection against infringers who continued infringement.

Represented a multinational consulting firm to file the copyright infringement case before the court against a competitor in the market and getting a favourable judgment after two instance trial.

Acted for an Italian company to file the lawsuit before PRC court in relation to a trademark license agreement and getting a favourable judgment.

Acted for an European company to file the arbitration before CIETAC in relation to a trademark transfer agreement and assisting the client to settle the dispute.

Xianming Lu

Xianming Lu Managing partner

T: +86 20 8388 0590
M: +86 135 7004 9832 Email Xianming Office: Guangzhou

Xiangman Shen

Xiangman Shen Senior partner

T: +86 20 8388 0590
M: +86 138 0252 5603 Email Xiangman | Vcard Office: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai

Latest news & insights

19 Jun 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood's associated Chinese firm, Wei Tu, welcomes three new partners and promotes a fourth

Stephenson Harwood LLP's associated firm in China, Wei Tu, has strengthened its practice with the arrival of partners Xiangman Shen, Kehua Zhang and Henry Zhu, as well..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.