Environmental Compliance

JunHe, with one of the largest environmental law teams in China, is a pioneer in the area of environmental 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 reconsideration and litigation in connection with government penalties. 

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 environmental law team serves a broad range of clients in the chemical, material, medical, automobile, semi-conductor and food industries, including international chemical and petrochemical companies such as Renoilt, Invista, Henkel, DowDupont, Axalta, Chevron, Diversey, ExxonMobil, SK Hynix, Lincoln Electric 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;

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

  • Assisting enterprises during special environmental audits and providing legal advice on EHS issues in connection with their daily business operations (such as the determination and management of dangerous chemicals, determination and management of dangerous waste, discharge of pollutants, and evaluation of occupational diseases);

  • Assisting enterprises in drafting and reviewing commercial contracts 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 environmental 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;

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

  • Assisting enterprises in formulating 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 provided legal advice for other multinational companies on EHS issues arising from their daily business operations.

Due Diligence and Legal Advice for M&As

  • Performed special legal due diligence on the zoning and environmental issues of multinational groups such as Sealed Air and Broadview 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 and non-conformity with 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 of a major Asian conglomerate on EHS-related regulations, provided special training for the executives and legal teams of multinational companies in partnership with the Legal Executive Board (LEB) 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.