Economic and Business Law in Asia concludes in Hong Kong

MLS JD students have spent a week in Hong Kong SAR as part of the elective subject Economic and Business Law in Asia.

 Associate Professor Andrew Godwin, Dr Hop Dang and students at the Ashurst Hong Kong office. Photo: supplied.

Associate Professor Andrew Godwin, Dr Hop Dang and students at the Ashurst Hong Kong office. Image: supplied.

Seminars this week took place in the offices of Linklaters, Skadden Arps and Ashurst, where students engaged in interactive sessions. Associate Professor Andrew Godwin led talks on the commercial relationship of Hong Kong SAR and mainland China, sovereign immunity in commercial transactions, and resolving disputes in the two jurisdictions.

Students also had candid discussions with associates and partners from the three law firms, including Wilfred Ho and Antony Dapiran (Skadden Arps), Roger Dong (Ashurst) and Christopher Yip (Linklaters).

Dr Dang hosts students in an international arbitration moot at Skadden Arps’ Hong Kong office. Image: supplied.

Dr Dang hosts students in an international arbitration moot at Skadden Arps’ Hong Kong office. Image: supplied.

First-year JD student Minnie Xu said the experience has broadened her career horizons.

“Almost every day we were able to speak to people practicing or studying international commercial law in some way, which has allowed me to understand which area of practice and what kind of work I’m more interested in,” she said.

“Having classes in different law firms also helped me to get a sense of the different working environments and cultures at each law firm. EBLA has certainly affected my career ambitions and I’m now considering applying for clerkships and internships in Hong Kong and mainland China.”

Students discussing Hong Kong’s commercial relationship with mainland China, at Skadden Arps’ Hong Kong office. Image: supplied.

Students discussing Hong Kong’s commercial relationship with mainland China, at Skadden Arps’ Hong Kong office. Image: supplied.

This week also saw the conclusion of the daily negotiation simulations and an international arbitration moot facilitated by Dr Hop Dang, with students successfully closing a cross-border finance deal between private and public parties in an emerging market.

“EBLA is one of the most practical subjects that I have ever done,” said second-year student The Noe San.

“Andrew [Godwin] taught us how to analyse the key legal risks and cultural issues for foreign investment into jurisdictions such as mainland China, and how this compared to our Melbourne legal training, whilst Hop’s case study scenarios allowed me to put it into practice in negotiations and arbitration.

“Overall, it was both challenging and fascinating.”

Associate Professor Andrew Godwin, Dr Hop Dang, alumni and students gather at the farewell dinner.

Associate Professor Andrew Godwin, Dr Hop Dang, alumni and students gather at the farewell dinner. Image: supplied.

Despite the very intensive timetable, students also had the opportunity to explore Hong Kong, including hiking Victoria Peak, viewing the Hong Kong Light Show and ferry cruises in Kowloon Bay.

The subject concluded with a farewell dinner.

By James Occleshaw

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