On November 28th, 2014, Mr. Cao Pingsheng, Partner of Grandall Law Firm, came to Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) to deliver a lecture titled “Capital Market and Securities Lawyers”. With the current Chinese capital market as the center focus, Lawyer Cao Pingsheng gave a detailed analysis about the major work and the prospect of the career development as a securities lawyer.
Lawyer Cao pointed out that, in the past, Initial Public Offerings (IPO) was the major way of corporations to be listed. Securities lawyers dealing with IPO has to work with high officials of corporations, sponsor representatives and accountants. Currently, the IPO market has been very crowded, resulting many changes in the capital market. One of the changes is the emergence of Merger and Acquisition (M&A). Also, with the ban-lifting of the non-tradable shares, the equity of corporations has become more dispersed, making the competition over the ownership of public corporations more intense. In this context, the significance of the role of lawyer is increasing sharply.
Additionally, Lawyer Cao gave lots of valuable advice on how to become a securities lawyer and indicated that STL students had a great advantage in the area of outbound investment. In the last part of the lecture, Lawyer Chen Yong from Dacheng Law Offices shared his own rich experiences in securities and relevant legal matters. After the end of the lecture, Lawyer Cao Pingsheng and his team had a face-to-face meeting with students from Investment and Law Firm Association.
By Eric H. Mao, Director of Academic Affairs
For the second year in a row, Peking University School of Transnational Law’s (STL) Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team bested 32 other Chinese schools to win the championship of the 12th annual CIETAC Cup in Beijing from November 17-21. The team is composed of 4 students, all 2Ls from the Class of 2017 – Guo Yufei, Liu Yi, Wang Biyu, and Yu Yadian.
A truly complete team performance, the Vis squad swept their way to the final round by arguing on behalf of the moot problem’s claimant, defeating teams from Jilin University in the quarterfinal round and China University of Political Science and Law in the semifinal round. Upon reaching the final round, the team switched sides, arguing on behalf of the respondent and then vanquishing Shantou University. Claimant oralists were Guo and Yu while respondent oralists were Liu and Wang.
Upon being announced the champions, the team rose to the stage and received their trophy to the applause of hundreds in attendance, among them judges, arbitrators, professors, students from around China and the world. In addition to the championship, the team garnered five Best Oralist awards, including the Best Oralist award for the quarterfinal round (Yu), semifinal round (Yu), and final round (Wang). Judges commented throughout the week on the team’s “deeply impressive” advocacy and “forceful” argumentation.
As champions, the team has now earned scholarships sponsored by CIETAC to support travel and accommodations at the international Vis competition in Vienna in March.
Guo commented, “I met lots of talented young students and had a taste of what real arbitration proceeding is like during the CIETAC Cup. This is an invaluable and memorable experience for me. Through CIETAC Cup, I also realize how far I’ve come since I entered into STL. The training here is extremely helpful.”
Wang added, “I am so glad that I have had the privilege to participate in the CIETAC Cup as a member of the STL Vis Team. The CIETAC Cup is a fascinating event where law students have the access to the real world of legal practice. What excites me more is that we managed to defend the championship for STL. The STL community has provided enormous support in all aspects, without which we would not be able to make our path to the final.”
The CIETAC Cup is sponsored by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). The CIETAC Cup uses the same case problem as the international Vis competition, focused around the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, and simulating an actual arbitral hearing. The competition is held entirely in English.
The four students on STL’s Vis team are among 23 who participate each year in the school’s international moot court program. The moot court competitions provide intense training in legal writing and oral advocacy, helping to augment skills acquired in the school’s Transnational Legal Practice program. Faculty coaches work closely with each moot court team to guide learning while the law school provides financial support for travel.
This year, in addition to the Vis team competing in Vienna, STL has teams competing in the Vis (east) Competition (based in Hong Kong), the European Law Student Association WTO Moot Court (based in Geneva), the International Criminal Court Trial Competition (based at the Hague), the Jessup International Law Moot Court (based in Washington, D.C.), and the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court (based in Hong Kong).
Additional coverage of the team’s achievement appeared in several national news organizations as below.
On November 19, 2014, Preston Torbert returned to Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) to present a lecture about the downfall of Arthur Andersen, one of the largest and most prestigious accounting firms in the world. The lecture focused on various theories about what caused the firm’s collapse, ranging from corporate governance failures, to severe breaches of professional ethics and standards, to ambiguity in the way the firm carried out its policies and internal operating procedures. The latter cause – ambiguity – is a topic that Mr. Torbert researches and teaches. His recent law review article – A Study of the Risks of Contract Ambiguity – was published in Volume 2, Issue 1 (2014) of STL’s Peking University Transnational Law Review. The article was one of the top ten most downloaded articles on SSRN in the fields of Contracts, Commercial Law, and Securities Law. Professor Torbert is a long-time visiting professor at STL, teaching a very pragmatic course on ambiguity and problems in multilingual contracts. He currently is Senior Counsel at Baker & McKenzie, where he was one of the founders of the firm’s China practice group and played a key role in establishing the firm’s Beijing and Taipei offices.
Following the lecture, members of STL’s Law Review Board presented Professor Torbert with a signed copy of the most recent edition of the Law Review, which includes Professor Torbert’s article.
On November 4, 2014, the Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) hosted a lunch-time lecture during which STL Visiting Assistant Professor Nicholas Frayn discussed an important criminal law case currently pending in the New York Court of Appeals. The case, People v. Dunbar, asks whether a program run by the Queens District Attorney of videotaped interviews with defendants conducted shortly before they were arraigned, at which point the right to counsel would attach, violated the defendants’ rights under the Fifth Amendment, which include protection from compelled self-incrimination.
Before joining STL, Professor Frayn was an attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Practice, the largest public defender program in the United States. At the Legal Aid Society, he litigated dozens of cases in which defendants had given videotaped statements under the program at issue in People v. Dunbar. Professor Frayn described the various arguments that have been raised in the filings and engaged the audience of STL students and faculty with challenging questions about defendant’s “rights” in the United States criminal justice system.
Professor Frayn teaches criminal law in STL’s first-year J.D. curriculum.
On November 4, 2014, the Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) welcomed Professor Daniel M. Filler, Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Professor Filler, a criminal law and legal ethics scholar, presented a lecture on “The New Dawn of Hands-on Legal Education,” about the new emphasis in American legal education on the importance of experiential learning. Following the lecture, Professor Filler met with groups of STL students and faculty to learn more about STL’s innovative J.D./J.M. program of study and to share his experience at Drexel, a law school known for its extensive experiential “co-op” programs.
In addition to his faculty and administrative positions at Drexel, Professor Filler is the co-founder of one of the most widely read law professor blogs, The Faculty Lounge, which has twice won awards from the American Bar Association as one of the Top 100 law blogs in the United States. In September, 2014, STL Associate Professor Ray Campbell was invited to be a guest blogger on The Faculty Lounge.
In the evening of October 30, 2014, Peking University Intellectual Property Association (IPA) was greatly honored to have Ms. Guohua (Annie) Wu, senior partner at Jincheng, Tongda & Neal (JT&N), on campus to give senior students a lecture on Chinese overseas M&A practice. She started with a brief introduction to some key legal issues related to Chinese overseas M&A including new trends and difficulties for Chinese corporations in M&A transactions in the United States. Then she shared her extensive experience working in both international and domestic law firms as a transactional lawyer as well as being a law school student in Cornell Law School before she started her career. In Q&A section she answered questions from students in terms of job-hunting for a law firm position, as well as how to develop essential career skills as a junior associate. Prof. Richard Schepard attended the lecture and also contributed to some topics covered during the talk.
Impressed by Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) graduates’ excellent performance at JT&N, Ms. Wu also expressed her intention to recruit more STL students for internship with her team.
Ms. Guohua (Annie) Wu is a leading lawyer on Corporate & M&A. She practiced law for about ten years with two prestigious international law firms, Sullivan and Cromwell (New York) and Kirkland and Ellis (Chicago). Prior to joining Jincheng Tongda & Neal, she was a partner in the Beijing office of Paul Hastings & Janovsky LLP.
On October 29, 2014, the Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) Career Services Office hosted its second Law Careers Series Public Lecture on “An Introduction to US Patent Law and Litigation Practice”. The lecture was given by Qingyu Yin from Finnegan who has significant experience in patent litigation, patent preparation and prosecution, and client counseling in the fields of semiconductor technologies, materials science, electronic circuits, telecommunications, optical communications, and information technology.
During his lecture, Mr. Yin used some cases to introduce the general situation and latest trends of US patent law. Also, he shared his work experience on barrister in US.
The Career Services Office is planning to hold more public lectures of Law Careers Series in order to help students plan their careers and further developments.
October 15, 2014, the presidential election of STL students’ union (STLSU) 2014-2015 was held at C105. Dean McConnaughay, Dean Toomey and members of Students’ Union attended the election. The members of Students’ Union summarized their work in the previous year and expressed their expectation for STLSU. At the end of this conference, every student to exercise their voting right actively, the new leaders of STL-SU produced successfully.
Dean McConnaughay first delivered a speech to comment on the achievement of STLSU in the previous year. Then, Li Hang, president of STLSU, together with the members of STLSU summarized their work in the previous year and expressed their expectation for STLSU. In the previous year, by the regular Dean meetings and information bulletin system, STL successfully build up the effective communication platform within STL community. Students can express their concerns and suggestions, such as lecture guest invitation, academic schedule and career service. During the past year, the Student Union has organized colorful activities to enrich students’ life and to promote friendship, such as New Year’s Party, the Halloween’s Party, and Dean’s Cup basketball competition.
In the last, the four candidates for presidium each gave their campaign speeches and answered questions from audiences. Though the secret ballot, Li Jianwei from 3L was elected as the new president of STLSU. Huang Qingyu and Deng Zhicong are elected as the new vice-presidents. With the great achievement last year, we are looking forward to see the performance of STLSU under the new leadership.
On October 13, 2014, Melissa H. Maxman, a leading litigator with a specialty in antitrust litigation in the United State, gave a lecture on American antitrust law.
Ms. Maxman is currently a member in the firm Cozen O’Conner’s Commercial Litigation Group and the cochair of the Antitrust Practice Group, working in the Washington, D.C., office. In addition to her antitrust practice, she has extensive experience in RICO and environmental law and commercial and criminal litigation. Ms. Maxman has advised domestic corporations on international antitrust issues, including the coordination of compliance with U.S., and foreign antitrust laws by U.S. corporations and their foreign subsidiaries. She has also advised foreign corporations on the application of and compliance with U.S. antitrust laws. She has represented clients in civil and criminal matters before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, in actions before the Federal Trade Commission, and in private civil matters. Ms. Maxman has prosecuted and defended complex litigation, including class actions, involving antitrust, RICO, environmental and intellectual property laws.
In the lecture, Ms. Maxman gave a comprehensive introduction of US antitrust law and shared her experience of being an antitrust litigator in US. Based on her practice, she used vivid examples to explain why an antitrust law is needed, the types of antitrust law violation and its consequences and also her suggestions on antitrust compliance. She introduced the Sherman Act and the related concepts which are essential to understanding of the law.
Ms. Maxman’s observations and advice gave the students an opportunity to expose to this important practice area which is an area of intense attention and growing importance in China. This lecture is one of the series of programs arranged by the Career Services Office to give students an opportunity to learn more about the broad array of career options in law.