Developing Finance-related Legal Services
(1) Shanghai Court of Financial Arbitration
The Shanghai Court of Financial Arbitration (SCFA), a dedicated dispute resolution agency providing independent financial arbitration services, was officially established by the Shanghai Arbitration Commission on December 18, 2007.
The SCFA currently has 167 arbitrators, from financial experts to top lawyers, academic professors and retired judges. In response to the increasing international nature of arbitration cases, there are also 14 arbitrators from other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as Hong Kong.
(2) China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Shanghai Sub-Commission
The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) was established in April 1956. The Shanghai Municipal People’s Government approved the establishment of CIETAC Shanghai in 1988 to handle domestic and international commercial disputes through arbitration. As of 2012, CIETAC Shanghai has heard more than 5000 cases and has a good reputation both in China and overseas for the independence and fairness of its resolutions.
Many of the cases handled by CIETAC Shanghai involved foreign banks, insurance companies or other organizations; in some instances, neither party was from Shanghai. This clearly shows the trans-national and trans-regional nature of CIETAC Shanghai.
(1) China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)/China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) Shanghai Mediation Center
The CCPIT/CCOIC Shanghai Mediation Center, a specialized commercial mediation organization, was established in 1994. The Shanghai Mediation Center abides by the Mediation Rules of the CCPIT and CCOIC. Under the provisions of these Rules, the Shanghai Mediation Center can mediate disputes in the areas of finance, securities, investment, insurance, trade, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, real estate, project contracts and transportation, and can also handle cases involving other countries or other Chinese regions or territories.
(2) Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center
Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center was officially established on January 8, 2011. The Center was established as an independent third party mediation agency with the approval of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Social Organizations. Mediated disputes include: (1) international/foreign company disputes, including but not limited to: disputes between foreign investors, or between foreign investors and Chinese corporations, natural persons and/or economic organizations; (2) disputes related to the Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwan; (3) disputes between domestic enterprises, organizations or individuals; (4) disputes on other commercial matters.
3. Lawyers Service
There are a growing number of law firms and lawyers that are highly specialized in the area of financial law. By the end of 2010, there were 778 lawyers with degrees in finance, representing 5.8% of the city’s lawyers; 68 law firms (6%) and 1144 lawyers (8.5%) were specializing in finance. In recent years, to meet the needs of the developing international financial center, there has been an increase in training courses for lawyers specializing in finance. Each year, young lawyers, including finance lawyers, are sent to train in law firms overseas in areas where Shanghai faces a serious shortage of qualified professionals. This has helped to raise the level of financial specialization in the legal industry.
4. Notarial Services
Notarial agencies have long contributed notarial and legal services and legal safeguarding to China’s reforms reform and opening up and to the development of the financial markets. Notaries provide a great many services in financial areas, such as dealing with loans, mortgages, securities, notes, financing, guarantees, credit information, escrow, insurance and executing certificates. The notarial sector in Shanghai has developed well in recent years. Currently, there are 21 notarial offices and 407 notaries. Each year they notarize around 40,000 documents, provide more than 200 types of notarization and issue notarized documents to more than 100 countries and regions.