The LCN interview: Wang Tianling

We are very pleased to be interviewing Wang Tianling, the founder of Henan Yixin Law Firm. Henan Yixin Law Firm is based in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, China. It was established in April 2001 after receiving authorisation from the Henan Provincial Department of Justice and now has 15 practicing lawyers and six legal assistants.

Why did you get into law?
There are a few reasons. First, I am interested in law. I took a degree in law at university, and studied it very systematically. This is the main reason I chose law as a career. Second, lawyers are of immense practical importance. They are the law’s workers, providing professional services to clients, protecting their legal rights and, bit by bit, upholding fairness and justice in society. When our work gets results, there is a real sense of achievement and we feel like a part of society. Of course, a successful lawyer can earn a healthy salary and that’s also quite attractive! Third, the work is freelance in nature. This means when I have finished my work I can spend my time on the things I like.

Who has been the most influential role model in your professional life?
I have a lot of idols, both Chinese and foreign. They include outstanding politicians, literary figures, artists and poets. But in terms of my career, the biggest role model for me is actually a character from a film – the main character Andy, from The Shawshank Redemption. His firm convictions and perseverance are also the main principles I hold to in my career.

What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the Chinese legal world over the next 10 years?
The growth of the internet and information technology is continuing to change every aspect of life in China. This is certain to be the biggest trend that affects the legal world over the next 10 years. Of course, the current economic and judicial reforms are also having a significant impact on the sector too.

What does Henan Province really need that UK businesses or people can help with?
First, technical support for company management. This is especially true for the emerging services industry. Second, help with the rules and practices of cross border trade and investment. Third, advice on utilising international finance and tax regulations. Fourth, Henan, and in particular Zhengzhou is one of China’s main transport hubs. Road, rail and air transport is very convenient and the area is at the centre of the Central Plains economy. Zhengzhou is constructing a major airport district, which will become one of the most important logistical centres in China. So in terms of investment, I would advise considering the logistics industry.

What types of clients do you enjoy working with the most?
Clients who are easy to communicate with and keep their promises.

What is the biggest challenge Henan businesses face if they want to expand internationally?
Companies from all over China, not just Henan companies, all face the same issue: They are not familiar with the regulations of market economies and the rules and practices of commercial trade. They don’t have much awareness of legal risks, and most importantly, they don’t have a good enough understanding of investment flows and information, and the related legal systems.

What kinds of projects you are working on most at this moment?
Our legal team is mostly working in company law, financial law, IPO law, stock issuances and the disposal of financial assets.

In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
Chen Daoming.

What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in law?
I would have become a teacher of literature or ancient Chinese history.

What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Learn as much as you can, and give yourself more experience of taking risks.

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