An article in IP Law & Bus., April 2008 at 31, states that the legal department of Haier has grown from four people in 1998 to more than 40 lawyers and patent agents. That’s a sizeable in-house legal team in any country. The article mentions that Huawei, Lenovo and Haier “are probably China’s leaders in terms of having large and sophisticated in-house legal departments.”
Posts have been scarce on this blog about law departments in China (See my post of July 30, 2006: metrics on the spending of Chinese law departments.) but we will certainly hear more from that booming country. Observers estimate that there may be 50,000 in-house counsel in China (See my posts of Oct. 19, 2005 #2; Aug. 4, 2007: BYD Co. and litigation; and June 13, 2006: Haier hires firms first, then specific lawyers.).