Thursday 3 September, EDHEC LLM students were lucky to meet two reknowned speakers.
For its launching round table, the LLM in Law & tax management of EDHEC Business School [Note1] invited Nathalie DEBEIR, group general counsel at ADISSEO, a 2,000 employee group owned by a Chinese state owned investor, ChemChina since 2006, and by Blackstone group. They also invited Hubert BAZIN, Attorney at law, partner at DS Avocats, in charge of the Beijing office. He is a specialist of investing in China. Nathalie DEBEIR studied and worked both in France and in Canada.
Nathalie DEBEIR manages 5 in-house lawyers acting in M&A, corporate matters, business law, R&D, CSR, Environmental policy and so on. She also works closely with many lawyers. Nathalie DEBEIR is part of the managing committee of ADISSEO.
DS Avocats is a 150 lawyer company with a special focus on Asia. They mainly advise European companies settling in Asia. They were the first French lawyers settling in China. Being settled in China allows DS Avocats to advise Chinese companies willing to invest in Africa as African legislations are rather close from the French ones for historical reasons. DS Avocats noticed that China was based on civil law and therefore could be more easily understood by a French lawyer. Chinese legislation is pretty recent.
Among other questions, Christophe ROQUILLY, the co-director of the LLM, asked both speakers about cultural differences. Hubert BAZIN answered that the law and its application could be very different and therefore should be taken into account by investors. A Friend of Hubert BAZIN’s told him that in China, you start negotiation at the time you signed the contract. Hubert BAZIN agrees that if the context changes, Chinese people would not really feel bound whereas French people would. The Danone-Wahaha case is a famous but also very good example of such cultural risks. For Nathalie DEBEIR, however, apart for cultural differences, the activity of a Chinese company as investor in her company is very close from any other investor’s activity.
Two complementary views of law in a global context for French lawyers doing business in Asia.
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Maître de conférences at EDHEC Business School