Sector Snapshot: Legal Services

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We have not had a review of China’s legal eagles on this blog since October 2004!

Thanks to China Daily, we can now provide an overdue and updated snapshot of the legal sector in China.

China Law, By Numbers

• Lawyers: Over 166,000 (up from 110,000 in 2004)

• Law Firms: Over 15,000 (up from 10,000)

• Foreign Law Firms: 224 representatives offices, plus 65 offices from Hong Kong firms (up from 160)

• Lawsuits: Around 2 million

• Billings: RMB30.09 billion (US$4.54 billion)

There is no doubt that China has a lot of laws (and 2 million lawsuits a year), law firms (over 15,000) and lawyers (over 166,000, billing some RMB30.9 billion), but how about advances in the rule of law (versus the rule of the people interpreting it)? The statistics tell one side of the story, the other side is still catching up and, like most things in China it is not a black-and-white situation.

News Source: Xinhua h/t @leonacraig

Update 31/08/2010: A Bloomberg report suggests there could be 2 million lawyers in China by 2020. Seems a lot…

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