18 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS CHINA • 亚洲法律杂志-中国版 JULY 2023 REGIONAL RANKING Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. They achieved high regional revenue per lawyer and developed a strong base of repeat clients. Local firms on the list generally have longer histories and enjoy territorial and first-mover advantages. Chongqing Baijus Law Firm, founded in 1998, is a leader in West China. Tang Yuzhou, senior partner and management committee member, emphasizes the importance of clarifying strategic positioning and development path. According to a plan issued by the Chongqing Municipal Justice Bureau, Chongqing aims to host 20 firms with national influence and international competitiveness, along with 35 specialized firms with 50 to 100 lawyers that have influence in central and western regions. Tang believes there is still room for further growth and upscaling of local Chongqing firms. Baijus plans to continue its longterm commitment to deepening and exploring large-scale development. In addition to the Chengdu office established in 2015 and subsequent offices in Guiyang, Hechuan, Rongchang, and Dazu, Baijus plans to open offices in key western cities like Kunming this year to increase its influence in the western legal market. Non-local firms are also expanding their presence beyond new first-tier cities like Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xi’an. For example, Hui Ye obtained approval to open its Yinchuan office in March, and Duan & Duan unveiled its Sichuan Mianyang office at the end of June. These firms are actively engaging in the upscaling exercise in West China. MYRIAD CHALLENGES While there is overall optimism about the legal services market in the west, industry observers acknowledge the challenges that need to be overcome. William Sun, equity partner, vice chairman of the global board of directors, and chairman of the China board of directors of Duan & Duan, highlights the need to explore new ways of delivering cross-border legal services in the era of the “Belt and Road Initiative.” Duan & Duan has established a Tashkent office in Uzbekistan, managed by the Chongqing proficiency in cross-border services, and the resources and capabilities of law firms in cross-border matters are also increasing. Zhang highlights the challenge of local lawyers struggling to enter the cross-border services market due to the preference of foreign-invested enterprises for lawyers from Beijing or Hong Kong. To address this, W&H has recruited experienced cross-border lawyers to provide more professional legal services and break the stereotype about the capabilities of western lawyers in cross-border matters. As more firms establish their presence in West China, new challenges arise. William Sun mentions the intensifying issues of integrated management, conflict of interest, and increased operating risks with the expansion of Duan & Duan. Local firm offices face the challenge of competing with local firms for market share and adapting to local policies during their development. Du and Zhang also point out problems such as unhealthy pressure, low fees, and malicious competition in the western legal services industry. Zhang emphasizes that emphasizing lower fees alone is not a sustainable approach and may erode the professional expertise of lawyers. Instead, W&H focuses on increasing costs and improving service quality to create a noticeable service advantage and stronger bargaining power. To tackle these challenges, firms are striving for a higher level of professional competence. Sun believes that professional strength and cross-border expertise should be the core competitiveness of Duan & Duan to face any challenges. W&H aims to create significant service differentiators by increasing costs and enhancing service quality. This approach enables clients to recognize the outstanding talent of the firm and avoids getting trapped in a meaningless cycle of low-price competition. Du highlights the strong demand for high-quality legal services from clients in West China, especially top clients. He sees greater potential in the West China market compared to first-tier cities and emphasizes the importance of building competitive barriers based on RISING LAWYERS – LOCAL LAW FIRMS 西部地区律师新星-本地律所 CAO PENG 曹鹏 Shaanxi Jiaxuan Law Firm 陕西稼轩律师事务所 CHEN HAN 陈汉 Yong Jia Xin Law Firm 陕西永嘉信律师事务所 LAI SIQI 赖思奇 Chongqing Baijus Law Firm 重庆百君律师事务所 LAN JUNWEI 兰军伟 Shaanxi Jindi Law Firm 陕西金镝律师事务所 LIN XUE 林学 K&H Law Firm 重庆坤源衡泰律师事务所 LIU XINYING 刘欣莹 Silkroad, Anchorite and Sage Law Firm 锦路安生律师事务所 WANG PEIYAO 王佩瑶 Help Reaching Law Firm 海普睿诚律师事务所 YANG WEIMIN 杨伟民 Guizhou Visen Law Firm 贵州惟胜道律师事务所 ZHAO KE 赵轲 Faxian Law Firm 四川发现律师事务所 ZHENG WENWEN 郑雯文 Tahota Law Firm 泰和泰律师事务所 office, to support this initiative and facilitate capacity-building of cross-border legal services. Zhang Xiaowei, director of the management committee of W&H Law Firm, also recognizes the shifting landscape brought about by the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the increasing foreign investment in the west. However, with the rise of global projects, enterprises face new risks and challenges. The requirements for lawyers’ risk control, compliance management capabilities,