The programme also enables the solicitors and barristers involved in the lawyers’ training to gain an insight into the Chinese legal system, and for relationships to be built between the UK and Chinese legal professions.

The lawyers come from all over China, including the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Kunming, Nantong (in Jiangsu Province), Changsha (in Hunan Province), Yantai (in Shandong province) and Ulumuqi (in Xinjiang Province). They have settled into
London life since their arrival in early June and recently began their studies in legal English at SOAS. They have expressed enthusiasm to
learn more about different areas of law and UK legal procedures and forms of dispute resolution and also British culture. The Bar Council and Law Society, with the support by their members, look forward to helping them achieve these aims over the next eleven months. Mr Ronghua Shen (Leslie), leader of the Chinese lawyers delegation said today “Since arriving in London two weeks ago we have experienced four seasons in one day and have begun to love the fresh air and friendly people we have encountered. Having begun the academic programme we are enjoying the wisdom of our various teachers, and value the programme greatly. We are looking forward to achieving the aims of improving our legal English, gaining practical experience in the legal system, and using some of the knowledge and skills we acquire in London in our law firms when we return to China.”

Chairman of the Bar Desmond Browne QC said today: “The Lord Chancellor’s Training Scheme is a most valuable opportunity for Chinese lawyers to learn about the legal system of England and Wales. The common law is one of this country’s most valuable exports and this remains the jurisdiction of choice for the resolution of international commercial disputes.

As well as an opportunity for our Chinese colleagues to learn about us, the Scheme is also an opportunity for us to learn from those in practice in the fastest growing economy in the world. If Britain is to maintain its leading position in the provision of international commercial legal services, we need to know what our partners and clients overseas expect of us. In the past decade, China’s growth has been remarkable. As it increasingly looks to the West for investment capital and high-tech knowhow, lawyers here are uniquely well placed to make this happen.”