Shanghai’s location at the estuary of the Yangtze River attracts rainfall for a third of the year. Lawyers from the region will feel at home in Ireland then, a country not renowned for its weather. Earlier this year, law firm A&L Goodbody officially launched its pioneering Chinese Lawyer Exchange Programme, signing agreements with 15 Chinese law firms and universities, such as Beijing’s King & Wood Mallesons and Shanghai’s East China University of Political Science and Law. The programme will provide six-month placements at the firm’s Dublin office as well as in-house experience with clients such as Pfizer, Bank of Ireland and Telefónica O2. Such is the initiative that Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny applauded the firm for its ‘enterprise’ and ‘courage’.
The purpose of the project is to promote inbound and outbound investment between the two countries. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland has long been a bright spot for the Irish economy, with headline multinationals such as Microsoft and Google choosing Ireland to base their European operations during the 1990s. More recently, however, there has been a surge in momentum.