Notes from the Road: China

I’m at the end of a whirlwind trip to China. Five seminars in eight days—Beijing, Shanghai, then Beijing again.

The impetus for the trip was public seminars in Beijing and Shanghai. I was invited to give the seminars by Simon Huang, through his company SiS Conference Consulting. Simon organizes high-end legal and business training events. He’s very efficient, resourceful, and knowledgeable. He’s also good company. It was a real pleasure working with him.

Beijing DuckSimon was an impeccable host. Here we are in Beijing, eating—of course—Beijing duck.

In Shanghai, he treated me to a memorable lunch featuring local cuisine—duck tongues, taro root, and a host of other dishes. Needless to say, no General Tso’s chicken!

In addition to the public seminars, I gave in-house seminars at offices of two U.S. law firms, as well as an in-house seminar at the China unit of an international consortium. Each seminar is always different, but what united these seminars was the quiet enthusiasm and determination of many of those in attendance. Although I’d been told to expect little or no participation, that was far from the case. And I’m not so blasé that I didn’t enjoy the impromptu book-signing sessions that followed the public seminars.

This was the most busy I’ve been when visiting another country. I wouldn’t be surprised if I spend two weeks in Beijing and Shanghai in March 2016. And a public “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar is in the works for Hong Kong in November. Watch this space. [Update: Due to a scheduling conflict, the Hong Kong seminar will be in March 2016.]

PudongAs usual, I made little attempt to add sightseeing to the mix. But I did get off my duff and walk along the Bund in Shanghai, which offered the view of Pudong that you see to the right. With a stream of barges and tugs plying the waters of the Huangpu River, it made me think of what the Thames might have looked like during the Industrial Revolution.

Finally, here’s some feedback offered by participants in the public seminars:

The best contract-drafting training I have ever participated in.

The presentation was well delivered. The content was good and well-organized.

This seminar is excellent and helpful for my work.

Entertaining and engaging presentation and discussion.

This course opens a new world for us but we may face a lot of resistance to this clearer contract language. It is a revolution.

I think the seminar was very well prepare, well organized and very useful for my work as legal counsel.

It is a revolution for legal professionals and basically renders irrelevant what I learned previously. But I like it!

The class brought great and new resources for Chinese lawyers.

It takes courage to do this revolution. Adams is a brave man!

The presenter ignites brainstorming and facilitates active thinking.

A highly practical and user-friendly approach to the subject that can immediately be put into practice.

Very helpful. Especially for us non-native speakers, because we always follow the traditional pattern of contract templates without knowing why.

The presentation is really good and helpful.

The drafting exercises are especially interesting and challenging.

I like that Ken has a strong point of view. The seminar has a range from broad to detailed.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.