Saturday, June 5, 2010

First - Kill All the Lawyers: Premier Legal Advice for Becoming a World-Class Business

By Stephen A. Nelson
 Renowned Taipei lawyer C.V. Chen has some advice for anyone doing business in Taiwan and China: "Get good legal advice" and make it an integral part of your decision-making process.
Chen is a managing partner at Lee and Li, one of Taiwan's premier law firms. He gave his free advice while speaking at a joint meeting of the British, American and French chambers of commerce in Taipei.

Chen warmed up the crowd by telling a couple of jokes at his own expense. He first cited William Shakespeare's best-known legal advice, "First, kill all the lawyers!"

Then he asked, "How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?"
This reporter was the only one who dared speak aloud the correct answer,"How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? His lips move."  

"That's right," Chen concurred.

All kidding aside, Chen engaged his audience with true stories and cautionary tales underlining the importance of being honest. Well, at least legal. That means paying attention to:
  • the law in your home country
  • the law in those countries where you do business
  • international law
Those who fail to obey the law do so at their own peril, Chen says. And this holds true whether you're a foreign business operating in Taiwan or a Taiwanese business operating in another country.
Yes, even in China. And even though Chen admits that "rule of law is a foreign concept in Chinese society."
From April, 2005

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