Thought leadership from our experts

Q&A with Xi Liao

, Linklaters, China

What type of work is keeping you busy at the moment?

Over the past few months, I have been busy assisting clients in relation to merger control filings for their transactions. Specifically, I helped multinational companies on preparing and submitting filings to China's State Administration for Market Regulation for their cross-border deals, the most significant of which is Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited's proposed acquisition of Shire plc. I also advised Chinese SOEs and private companies with respect to the multijurisdictional filings for their mergers and outbound investments, including China National Nuclear Corporation's acquisition of China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group Corporation.

What is the biggest challenge in your current role?

As a Managing Associate at Linklaters, I find it most challenging to balance the multiple expectations placed on me. There is a continued need for me to do heavy-lifting and be on top of the nuts and bolts of the matters. In the meantime, as I grow senior, I am expected to be increasingly engaged in strategy planning, matter management, delegation and coordination, as well as business development.

If you could change one piece of legislation what would it be?

I wish that China's Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML") could be revamped to reflect the evolutions in circumstances. The AML, as China's first comprehensive competition law, was promulgated in 2007 and became effective in 2008. The past 10 years have witnessed significant developments in all aspects of the AML implementation (merger control, conduct rules and civil litigation) and how they have shaped the country's competition framework on both substance and procedure. It is a good time for the antitrust community to review the enforcement practice in the past decade and to codify proven experience and settled views.

What do you find most rewarding about working in law?

It allows me to grow all the time. Working in law requires that I keep learning new knowledge and developing new skills, without which I would have been phased out from the market. In addition, by providing practical solutions to clients, I can add value and make a difference to their transactions and operations – it feels good to be needed by others and to deliver what they need. Further, practicing law is intellectually challenging but it also gives me a sense of fulfilment after tacking a difficult problem.

What are your plans for the future?

I aim to become a good lawyer specialised in competition and antitrust law who is well recognised by clients and peers.