Dear clients, contacts and friends,
Nobody expected 2020 to work out the way it did, and I am no exception. At work, I was looking forward to another booming year, a grand 10-year celebration of R&P China Lawyers with clients and friends, and lots of travel to meet existing and new clients. At a personal level, I hoped to get my pilot’s license, enjoy great holidays in exciting places, and spend quality time with my wife and kids.
At least the latter worked out well!
A Final Look at 2020…
Everyone has faced difficulties in 2020. In China, life was basically normal minus restrictions on travel outside China. Business was challenging, but not more so than for many of our European and American clients. We were proud to stand by their side.
We were fortunate to keep our team together, including Robin Tabbers and Koen Naber in Shanghai, Rogier van Bijnen in Hong Kong and Fabian Knopf in Beijing; but we also welcomed new talent: Peng Qiao joined from AstraZeneca to further develop our compliance practice, Annabella Fu is a specialist in regulatory matters, and Art Dicker strengthens our offering to technology companies and start-ups.
We also re-branded our corporate services division as Acclime China, now part of the Acclime brand led by old friends Martin Crawford and Debby Davidson. Our clients continue to enjoy an integrated package of legal and corporate services support and can now benefit from Acclime’s network across Asia.
What about 2021?
Half-way measures are not my style, so I am optimistic about what 2021 will bring. Business as usual it may be not, but these are my most important pledges:
- We will continue to be your trusted advisers in China. Focus areas for 2021 are investment, restructuring, and M&A; compliance and regulatory matters; and litigation / arbitration; but whatever your (legal) challenges in China, we are ready to assist!
- As soon as borders open up, I want to spend more time with clients and friends all over the world. I have missed you dearly and cannot wait to reconnect with you face-to-face in Europe, North America, or China.
- On a personal level: I sometimes feel like a juggler with lots of balls in the air, the biggest of which include (in no particular order) running a law firm, helping my clients, expanding Acclime’s footprint in China, being there for my kids (hobbies, socially, academically), loving and supporting my wife (in whatever she does), spending quality time with my parents, my brother and my closest friends, and occasionally enjoying some time for myself. Whatever happens, I wouldn’t miss any of this for the world!
A big thanks to all my connections to make my life so meaningful. Together, let us make sure that 2021 will be extremely cool and rewarding in all respects!
4 January 2021