Transnational Practice and Dispute Resolution


Course: Ambiguity – The Problem of Bilingual Contracts
Professor: Preston Torbert

This course reviews and discusses many specific examples of ambiguity. Students learn to identify the various forms of ambiguity in bilingual contracts (and English-only contracts) and how to eliminate them. The readings introduce students to the major types of ambiguity and both current and novel suggestions for overcoming them.


Course: Analytical Methods for Lawyers
Professor: Douglas Levene

This course introduces students with little or no quantitative background to basic analytical techniques that attorneys need to master to represent their clients effectively. The class covers decision analysis, games and information, contracting, accounting, finance, microeconomics, and economic analysis of the law.


Course: Capital Market Transactions in Hong Kong
Professor: Norman Ho

This course is designed for students interested in working as corporate attorneys focusing on international capital markets transactions in Hong Kong. The course provides students with a substantive and practical overview of common equity capital markets transactions (e.g., Hong Kong IPOs, block trades) and debt capital markets transactions (e.g., high-yield bond issuances, dim sum bonds, convertible bonds). Students are introduced to common deal documentation in such transactions and learn drafting and negotiation skills that will help prepare them for future careers as transactional attorneys practicing in the region.


Course: China-Africa Dispute Settlement in Trade, Investment and Commerce
Professor: Won Kidane

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of dispute settlement, especially international arbitration, in international trade, investment, and commercial transactions, in the context of contemporary China-Africa economic relations.


Course: Client-Lawyer Interactions
Professor: Elie Vannier

This course puts students through several “real life” experiences and situations of lawyer/client interaction. Students initially tend to be destabilized by the apparent unpreparedness of both clients and lawyers, and the fact that clients might not be transparent or even reliable in their description of facts, circumstances and intentions. Students will learn how to cope with missing or biased information and frustration. They will discover during this course what are the roles, responsibilities and limits of each of the actors.


Course: Cross-Cultural Negotiations
Professor: Ray Campbell

All lawyers negotiate, no matter which practice specialty they choose. They negotiate on behalf of themselves and on behalf of clients. This course reviews the theory related to negotiation and promotes skill development by (i) using a context sensitive model of preparing for and conducting negotiations, and by (ii) working through exercises and mock negotiations that allow the students to put into practice what they have learned.


Course: Deal Documentation
Professor: Douglas Levene

This course teaches the basic elements of a business contract and provides students with writing exercises in which they apply the materials presented. There is one class session each week with Professor Levene; students then meet in small groups sessions with a C.V. Starr Lecturer. In the small group sessions, the C.V. Starr Lecturer goes over the homework assignments and gives additional exercises for the students to practice drafting skills.


Course: From Intent to Letter of Intent: When Law Meets Business
Professor: Elie Vannier

Clients have business issues they want to deal with, but a lack of legal education or, at a minimum, understanding, prevents them from adopting a realistic and holistic approach. There usually comes a time when parties have to sit down and agree on the main terms of their relationships, be it between individuals, individuals and organizations or between organizations. Parties have an intent and several goals. They are rarely identical on both sides of the table. Each party thinks that it has a comprehensive view of what the agreement should contain. In reality, it is the lawyers’ role to challenge and advise the client as to what are the essential components of the potential document reflecting the party’s intentions.

This course aims to teach Law School students how to bridge business goals and value added legal approaches and advice. Students will work in teams on various simulation exercises, from rather simple to sophisticated issues looking at international transactions and complex legal and/or financial instruments. Students will represent hypothetical parties and work on defining the main points of Letters of Intent.


Course: Global Corporate Compliance
Professor: Carole Basri

The course covers fundamentals of being an in-house counsel in a global corporation, including crisis management, corporate compliance, litigation management, conducting internal investigations, and understanding issues of professional responsibility and ethics in the context of having your employer as a client. The course gives special emphasis to issue spotting pertaining to antitrust/ competition Law; environmental law; securities Law; Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA)/ UK Anti-Bribery Act/ OECD Anti-Bribery Acts; intellectual property law; and employment law.


Course: International Civil Litigation
Professor: Paul Stephan

This course reviews the law governing transnational lawsuits, concentrating on the rules applied by U.S. courts. Topics covered include judicial jurisdiction, choice of forum, legislative jurisdiction, choice of law and international judicial assistance.


Course: International Commercial Arbitration
Professor: Varies

International Commercial Arbitration (“ICA”) is the most widely used method for the resolution of international business disputes. It sometimes is supplemented by other alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR), such as mediation or conciliation. ICA mainly involves private parties, but it also can be used for the resolution of economic disputes between a private party (e.g. a transnational corporation) and a state. This course examines the context in which ICA occurs, including the 1958 New York Convention and the differences between institutional and ad hoc arbitrations. The course also compares international commercial arbitration to the special area of treaty-based investor-state arbitration (e.g. ICSID proceedings). Special attention is paid to private arbitration and mediation procedures in Asia, e.g. in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China.


Course: International Project Finance
Professor: John Niehuss

This course considers the legal aspects of a special type of finance used to fund major projects in the infrastructure (primarily power and transport), oil and gas and mining sectors. It focuses on projects involving cross border investment and finance and concentrates on the legal issues that arise at each stage of a typical project finance transaction, including preparation, structuring, financing, construction, operation and renegotiation.


Course: Law and Practice of China-Foreign Business Transactions
Professor: Thomas Man

This is a practice-oriented course designed to provide essential legal knowledge and practical skills fundamental to private practice in China-foreign business transactions. It will examine the regulatory framework governing, and major practical issues relating to, business transactions between entities and individuals of China (PRC) and foreign jurisdictions. Areas to be covered include Chinese-foreign joint ventures, M&A, PE/VC investment, technology transfer, anti-corruption and FCPA, commercial contracts, employment, anti-monopoly, environmental protection and other related fields. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of the ever-changing Chinese regulatory environment and the technical skills in representing foreign business clients in conducting various types of commercial and business transactions, including best practices in understanding, interpreting and communicating ambiguities and uncertainties in Chinese laws and regulations and in reviewing, drafting and negotiating bilingual commercial contracts.


Course: Professional Responsibility
Professor: Ray Campbell

Professional Responsibility is a required upper-level course concerned with the ethical standards, professional responsibilities, and regulation of attorneys and judges. The course prepares students to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), as well as providing a basis for making professionally responsible decisions in actual practice. The course draws upon comparative and international material when relevant.


Course: Techniques for Drafting Contracts
Professor: Richard Schepard

The object of this course is to familiarize students with techniques used by practitioners for the drafting of contracts (e.g., use of defined terms, the importance of “Whereas Clauses,” how to draft applicable law, dispute resolution, integration and modification of contract provisions, etc.). The course uses as examples an agency agreement, a distribution agreement, a license agreement, a joint venture agreement and an acquisition agreement (or at least a Term Sheet for an acquisition situation). Students are given “Term Sheets” describing various preliminary agreements reached by two parties to a potential transaction and are asked to draft various contractual provisions for the actual final agreement covering the transaction.


Course: Transnational Legal Practice
Professor: C.V. Starr Lecturers

Transnational Legal Practice helps acclimate students to law school and to the basic tasks required for the first year of legal writing: understanding the relationships between judicial opinions, reading judicial opinions (critically), deriving legal rules from judicial opinions, and applying legal rules to new sets of facts. Students learn the basics of good legal writing, from the contexts in which legal writing is used, to the use of rubrics (IRAC and CREAC) to help structure writing, to the effective use of analogies to construct legal argument.


Course: Transnational Real Estate Transactions
Professor: James Hagy

More than ever, business lawyers are afforded the opportunity – and the challenge – of coordinating and planning projects abroad in markets unfamiliar to them, as well as advising international clients with in-bound investments in the lawyer’s home market. This course addresses the following topics: structuring, transactional goals, due diligence, letters of intent, memoranda of understanding and similar preliminary documentation, and deal implementation.


Course: Treaty Arbitration
Professor: Mark Feldman

From 1980 to 2000, States entered into nearly 1,700 bilateral investment treaties (BITs). This treaty practice has given rise to a sharp increase in treaty arbitration between investors and States. For example, from 1972 to 1996, the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered 38 investor-State cases; from 1997 to 2011, that number increased to 331.

This course will address the rapid growth of treaty arbitration practice and key challenges that have emerged within the practice area. In particular, the course will address the following topics: (i) policy goals driving the formation of over 2000 BITs; (ii) core investment treaty substantive obligations (most-favored-nation, national treatment, minimum standard of treatment/fair and equitable treatment, expropriation); (iii) issues of jurisdiction and admissibility (definition of “investor” and “investment,” time bar, standing, denial of benefits provisions); (iv) arbitral rules (in particular, ICSID and UNCITRAL); (v) arbitral institutions (in particular, ICSID and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)); (vi) appointment, challenge, and removal of arbitrators; (vii) annulment and enforcement of awards; and (viii) transparency and amicus participation.

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Peking University School of Transnational Law

Room 410, School of Transnational Law
Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School,
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District,
Shenzhen, China 518055