Hwuason Lawyers, China’s first specialist tax law firm, has continued its investment into the development of the young tax law profession in China through a series of initiatives over the past few months. Since November 2009 Hwuason has held a series of speeches to law students at the law schools of the top universities in northern China to explain the appeal of the practicing tax law. Tax, until very recently, has been a profession quite separate from the legal profession. In light of the growing sophistication in China’s tax laws, Hwuason has recognized the growing need for tax practitioners with legal training. One of the aims of the firm has been to convince young lawyers of the attraction of this particular legal specialty.
This latest speech tour comes after the release of a book by the firm on the practice of tax law in China entitled, The Practice of China’s Tax Lawyers. The book detailed the experiences of the firm’s lawyers since the firm was established in 2005. The next step for the firm will be to release a video on Chinese tax law, which will include lectures (some in Chinese and some in English) from the firm’s lawyers on various aspects of practicing tax in China.
Liu Tianyong, Hwuason’s Managing Partner, comments that this push “is about attracting the best young lawyers to the tax specialty, whether it be with Hwuason or another firm, in order to increase the stocks of China’s tax lawyers.” Hwuason sees the development of the profession and the firm as being tied together. Once the business community realizes the additional skills that tax lawyers can provide, and the need for such skills in a sophisticated business culture, this will be beneficial to the firm. In this sense Hwuason’s motives are not “entirely altruistic” says Liu. However, the firm is investing substantial resources into this campaign and, Liu notes, there is “no promise of a return on this investment.” Liu recognises that his goals are very much in the long term. This is something that will take “5 years” says Liu. The firm is working closely with China tax luminaries, such as Liu Jianwen and Tang Gongliang, in developing the profession in China and can rightly be termed a pioneer in this respect.