Photo of Jonathan Bench

Jonathan is co-chair of Harris Bricken’s corporate practice group, where he helps public and private companies with international and domestic business transactions. His clientele includes companies from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Jonathan has worked and consulted in the U.S., Asia, and South America and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

Jonathan co-hosts Harris Bricken’s weekly Global Law and Business podcast, which covers legal and economic business developments around the world. He is a regular contributor to the award-winning China Law Blog and the award-winning Canna Law Blog, where he shares his practical insights into doing business internationally and in the cannabis and emerging products industries.

Jonathan studied international business and international law at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., earning both JD and MBA degrees. He describes himself as a businessperson who went to law school rather than a lawyer who studied business. Jonathan’s business clients value his ability to think like a business owner as he provides sound legal guidance while maintaining key business issues at the forefront of the discussion.

Jonathan regularly presents to business owners and organizations regarding international business transactions, particularly foreign direct investment and the international cannabis trade.

In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his young family, enjoying the outdoors, practicing Hapkido, learning guitar, and working on his Spanish.

International M&ALately we have seen an uptick in international M&A work – some of it from China, some of it to China, some with other China alternative countries, like India and Malaysia, and some of it within the U.S. relating to U.S. subsidiaries owned by foreign companies. This increase coincides both with the world partially thawing

China contract damages

In my last post I discussed the importance of having the right person craft your China contracts. I am often asked (usually right after I quote our fee) whether a China contract I am proposing to write “is even enforceable in China.” I always give the same answer, which is more or less the following.

China contracts

I have never handled a DUI, a divorce, or any type of litigation, not even for friends or family. I have never negotiated with a union, navigated customs, immigration, or import/export duties, drafted a pension plan, or handled a bankruptcy. I could go on for pages listing out the legal matters I have never handled

China future business

Even with the current bilateral unrest in the U.S.-China relationship, the China market is still attractive because of its growing middle class (approximately 400 million) and its relatively easy plug-and-play manufacturing environment. A review of China’s manufacturing production over the past year shows that China hurt in Q1 of 2020 but continued apace starting in

Doing business in ChinaIn late June, China provided its 2020 updates to its Special Administrative Measures on Access to Foreign Investment (the “Negative List”), which outlines the economic sectors where foreign investment is prohibited or limited in some way. These 2020 updates were jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce

manufacturing contracts

Recently we have worked on several matter that involved reviewing multiple contracts and weeks’ worth of emails and WeChat correspondence to piece together how a China manufacturing deal went awry, with the aim to salvage the relationship between the Chinese manufacturer and our client, but mostly with the aim to determine whether we can help