Preferential policies for law firms to set up offices in Lingang

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The Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone has recently launched policies aimed at promoting the legal service industry. These policies seek to attract legal service institutions and build up a legalized business environment in the special area.

Here are some of the policy highlights.


The Lingang Special Area welcomes well-known international arbitration, commercial mediation, and dispute resolution agencies. They will receive a grant of 2 million yuan (US$277,000) to set up businesses.

Overseas law firms are being invited to set up representative offices in the special area.

Legal rating agencies have included well-known law firms from other countries as well as those from Hong Kong and Macau in their rankings. They will each receive funding of up to 1.5 million yuan to set up offices in the area.

Those not on the list but intending to open an office in Lingang will receive a subsidy of up to 1 million yuan.

Domestic law firms are also being encouraged to engage with law firms from other countries to set up entities in the Lingang Special Area. Local firms will receive subsidies ranging from 1 million yuan to 2 million yuan.


Foreign legal professionals working in the Lingang Special Area will have access to 24-hour port visa services and will be granted a five-year work and residency permit.

Chinese nationals who have obtained foreign nationality will be eligible for a long-term residency visa for foreign talent (Category B) with a maximum validity period of 10 years.

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