Influential Women in IP Class of 2020: Vivien Chan


Vivien Chan

Influential Women in IP Class of 2020: Vivien Chan

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Vivien Chan helps major multinational corporations and listed companies to do business in Greater China, as she tells WIPR.

Why did you become a lawyer?

I became a lawyer to bring positive changes and solutions to my clients’ businesses.

How did you become founding partner of Vivien Chan & Co? 

After I obtained a law degree from the University of London, I undertook a traineeship with a major city firm in London. In the early 1980s, I returned to Hong Kong and joined an international law firm as a corporate mergers and acquisitions lawyer. 

I founded Vivien Chan & Co in 1985. In 1992, our firm became one of the first to be awarded a licence for a Beijing law office. We celebrate our 35 years as a Greater China premier firm this year. 

"We promote on talent, irrespective of age, gender or background."

Our Hong Kong and China teams have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of Chinese legal culture and market dynamics. We help major multinational corporations and listed companies to do business in Greater China and the Asian region. The key is we know China (which is a civil law country) and we understand our clients, as we grew up in Hong Kong, a common law market economy.

What’s your biggest achievement?

I am proud that I have founded and built a Greater China stellar legal practice over 35 years. It has been a rewarding experience and we pride ourselves on having established and maintained a loyal and long-standing client portfolio of multinationals and Fortune 500 companies.

What’s the best part about your job?

Providing solution-orientated advice and obtaining success for our clients’ business needs.

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

Dealing with misguided competition.

Have you faced any barriers or challenges in your career? 

Things do not always work out as we expect. You must have a good sense of humour and try not to take yourself too seriously. Events will always happen, but how we respond to them can make all the difference. You have to love what you are doing, so that you will be happy when you successfully tackle the problem.

What advice would you give to those looking to enter the IP profession? 

Be very good at what you do and, most of all, enjoy the journey. God will take care of the rest. 

How are you involved in promoting diversity?

Our firm has a non-discrimination mechanism in place, to ensure we employ staff of all ages, genders and backgrounds. We promote on talent, irrespective of age, gender or background. 

Our female lawyers outnumber their male counterparts in the firm—this is not limited to those in junior positions, but is true also for the senior roles. 

Vivien Chan is the founding and managing partner of Vivien Chan & Co, a Greater China law firm in Hong Kong and Beijing. She has more than 40 years’ experience in mergers and acquisitions, China direct investment, technology transfers, information technology, IP and related tax issues. She can be contacted at:

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