a Draft letter to former conglomerate clients He blames the deliberate secession on the Chinese government.
I am writing to share with you that, in response to the evolving regulatory environment for Chinese law firms in China — including new mandates and requirements related to data privacy, cyber security, capital control, and governance — Dentons is adjusting its relationship with the law firms of Beijing Dacheng (大成), the Chinese law firm partnership that It has been a member of the Dentons Group since 2015. Starting this month, 大成 – formerly China Region – will no longer be a member of the Dentons Group and will instead operate as a separate, independent legal entity under a Preferred Company relationship with Dentons.
Dentons will maintain its Hong Kong practices that predate the Dacheng Agreement.
While China’s data privacy laws are two years old, the new directives have turned the “Chinese version of the General Data Protection Regulation” into a compliance nightmare mired in vague national security rhetoric. The final version of the “Standard Contract Measures for Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information” and “Standard Contractual Clauses for Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information” entered into force recently, prohibiting the transfer of personal data outside of China without being subject to prohibition. Security assessment. And it all seems… exhausting:
To complete the mandatory government security assessment, the company subject to this assessment in China must submit a self-assessment report, cross-border data transfer agreement, application form, and any other documents/information required by the Cyberspace Administration. Based on the timeline in the Security Assessment Procedure, if the Company submits a suitable request, it will take approximately 60 days to complete the Security Assessment, but this time can be extended depending on the complexity of each request. Once approved, a security assessment is valid for two years, except that a new security assessment is required if there are certain changes, such as changes in how the foreign recipient uses data, or a change in control of the processor of the foreign recipient’s or personal information.
Some sources indicate that after six months, Only two companies managed to pass the evaluation process. This wouldn’t work with a global law firm structure, and even with the most avowedly well-intentioned, there are plenty of Western clients who would fear any process that would give a Chinese government entity access to its law firm’s systems.
Unfortunately, this story may have a “meet the old boss, like the old boss” feel to it. Even without Dacheng… Denton will likely have more lawyers than anyone else by next year.