Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance

JunHe, with one of the largest environmental and work safety (EHS) law teams in China, is one of the pioneers in the area of EHS law practice. JunHe provides full-life cycle and well-rounded legal services in the EHS area for their clients, including project development and the establishment of joint ventures (such as obtaining approvals and the necessary permits for construction projects), M&As and the daily operations of manufacturing enterprises. The team also has expertise in the areas of EHS compliance evaluation and consulting, EHS training, government investigations and administrative hearing, reconsideration and litigation in connection with government penalties, etc.

JunHe maintains close working relationship with top law firms around the world, including routine cooperation with Latham & Watkins’ global environmental practice group. JunHe also collaborates with Latham & Watkins, the Environmental Law Institute and the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China in an initiative for the establishment of China International Business Dialogue on Environmental Governance (CIBDEG) and the organization of relevant Roundtables and activities.  In 2019, CIBDEG won the “Innovation in Collaboration” award by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers.

JunHe’s EHS law team serves a broad range of clients in the chemical, material, medical, aircraft, automobile, semi-conductor, engineering technology and testing, food and consumption industries, including Boeing, SQM, 3M, Renolit, Koch Industries, Invista, Henkel, Sealed Air, DowDupont, Axalta, Chevron, Diversey, ExxonMobil, SK Hynix, Lincoln Electric, brose, Gilbarco, KBR, Spectris, Sensient Technologies, Amazon, lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch and CJ Corporation.

JunHe’s provision of legal services covers, without limitation, the following aspects:

  • Legal advice on EHS-related approvals, licenses and permits necessary for construction projects, coordinating and supervising the preparation of environmental impact assessment report and safety assessment report by third-party institutions;

  • Legal advice on the regulatory requirements for new chemical substances, and toxic and hazardous metals/substances involved in construction projects;

  • Assisting enterprises (factories and laboratories, etc. ) during special EHS audits and providing legal advice on EHS issues in connection with their daily business operations (such as the determination and management of dangerous chemicals and major hazard sources, determination and management of hazardous waste (coordination with third-party identification institutions for identification of hazardous waste when needed), management of historical issues, discharge of pollutants, application of standards for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and evaluation and monitoring of occupational diseases);

  • Assisting enterprises in drafting and reviewing commercial contracts (including work safety management agreement) during their daily business operations, covering EHS management and vendor management;

  • Assisting enterprises in the design of overall transaction structures and providing legal advice on licenses and permits in connection with M&As and investment and financing projects, performing legal due diligence on targets (including special due diligence relating to zoning and EHS  issues), and assisting in the drafting and negotiation of transaction documents;

  • Assisting enterprises in the evaluation of relocation risks relating to pollution and providing advice on the legal and regulatory requirements for pollution treatment plans (including remediation of soil and groundwater pollution);

  • Assisting enterprises in responding to administrative cases and emergency accidents and drafting pleadings, and providing assistance in responding to government investigations, hearings, administrative reconsiderations and litigation;

  • Assisting enterprises in formulating and reviewing EHS management rules and regulations;

  • Providing EHS training for the executives and employees of enterprises; and

  • Following up and interpreting EHS-related policies, regulations and judicial cases.

Recent Representative Cases

Special Environmental Audits and Legal Advice

  • Provided legal advice for a major Asian conglomerate during its special environmental audit and reviewed the EHS regulations and policies of this conglomerate.

  • Conducted comprehensive EHS compliance audit on a number of potential vendors in China for a European company. 

  • Conducted comprehensive EHS compliance audit on a laboratory established by an overseas testing company in China. 

Due Diligence and Legal Advice for M&As

  • Performed special legal due diligence on the zoning and environmental issues of multinational groups in connection with their acquisition of Chinese factories, and provided legal advice for multinational companies on environmental permits and transition in connection with their asset acquisitions.

Environmental Pollution and Relocation Risk Evaluation

  • Provided evaluation services for multinational companies on the division of environmental liabilities and relocation risks that may be caused by soil pollution (including groundwater pollution), and provided evaluation and legal advice on the regulatory requirements for pollution treatment plans.

Responding to Government Investigations and Hearings

  • Guided and accompanied many companies to communicate and clarify with the environmental protection authorities in administrative cases regarding environmental protection issues (covering, without limitation, construction without approval, going into production without construction acceptance, excessive pollutant discharge, unorganized emission of VOC, incompleteness in environmental protection management records and the issues in relation to the labeling requirements for hazardous substances and waste), and assisted in drafting the pleadings and completing the hearing procedures.

Training on EHS Regulations 

  • Provided training for the Chinese legal team/management team of a major Asian conglomerate and a Chinese state-owned enterprise on EHS-related regulations;

  • Collaborated with a third-party legal information sharing platform and provided special training on EHS compliance for the executives and legal teams of multinational companies and advised on common issues in factory acquisitions/operations/shutdowns.

Dispute Resolution

  • Represented a multinational natural resources company in a case regarding a suspected crime of waste smuggling, which covered issues such as the identification of solid waste, environmental impact assessments, HS classifications, application of product standards, definition of customs declaration responsibilities, and the determination of liabilities of the domestic and foreign entities. JunHe’s team successfully persuaded the procuratorate not to file a lawsuit through continuous communications with the procuratorate and other governmental authorities.

  • Represented a large-scale grid company in a dispute regarding the infringement of rights relating to environmental pollution.

  • Represented a multinational catering company in a dispute regarding the infringement of rights relating to environmental pollution.