Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Legal Counsel in Shanghai Zhangjiang, China

Position summary

To provide comprehensive in-house legal support for the Air Products operations in Asia. To advise on litigation matter, contractual and corporate issues, acquisitions, regulatory matters and other legal issues of relevance to the operations. To provide training and advice on risk management and compliance subjects (such as competition law, conflicts of interest) and support the application of the global corporate policies. To assist and advise on aspects of corporate administration. To support General Counsel, Asia, this person will be based in Shanghai PRC. The role will require strong team working and communication abilities (while maintaining legal professionalism) in a dynamic and challenging environment. This role requires proven experience and ability to operate with remote supervision as well as to support.

Nature and Scope

The Asia market is a major investment area of the Air Products group for its chemicals, industrial gases, electronics, steel and petroleum/petrochemical industry customers. The PRC market, in particular, is regarded as a key growth platform for the future success of the global Air Products.

In view of the businesses that we service the attention to risk management within the sales contracts is important. To achieve this can be challenging, both internally and externally, in an environment that has previously focused more on the relationship than the contract language. There is continuing need for the development and refining of standard forms and the communication of these forms to the business areas in an effective way. This will require frequent dialogue with the business areas and powers of persuasion, both internally and externally. This person will be expected actively to contribute to development of a systematic and accessible bank of legal knowledge and precedents for the Asian market (as part of the global law group’s knowledge management electronic archive).

The legal advisor will actively participate in negotiations with customers, suppliers, authorities, in support of the business areas and must be able to guide the direction or content of discussions where legally necessary. This person will require an ability to “reality check” proposals and positions taken to avoid unrealistic assumptions taking hold, while maintaining effective relations.

The businesses of Air Products in the PRC comprise the manufacture, processing and sale of industrial gases and related equipment and services. Increasingly legal support is required from the position holder for very significant projects involving joint venture structures and major state owned enterprises as partners. The position holder must have the ability to work within complex negotiating dynamics (both internal and external), to manage external legal advice as necessary and produce multiple levels of documentation for transactions involving often challenging legal issues, not always with certain outcomes (the risks of which will also need to be reported).


Quick learner/cross-cultural communicator, practical lawyer, solutions driver, enjoys giving training, strong appreciation of (willingness to learn) competition law, export licensing and compliance issues.

Credibility and authority to support very significant projects often involving complex legal issues requiring interface with internal management and external legal support

Ability to assimilate into multinational corporate culture

Highly disciplined, team worker with ability to handle matters with minimum supervision when required

Strong contractual drafting skills in both Chinese and English

Self-starter, working closely with Assistant General Counsel, Asia and the legal team

Willingness to travel within PRC and occasionally elsewhere

Focus on PRC litigation matters and commercial legal affairs (contract, compliance, employment, risk management, M&A etc)

Effectively managing external counsel and external legal cost

The candidate for this position should hold a degree from a reputable university and have relevant legal qualification with at least seven years post qualification experience. Experience may be in-house or within a reputable law firm and exposure to companies and clients in industrial and manufacturing sectors is desirable. High legal professional expertise and the ability to negotiate and draft contracts and effectively communicate legal and non-legal advice in a timely manner. Experience in handling litigation and arbitration is preferred. Strength of character, strong ethical sense and judgment and fluency in written and spoken English and Mandarin are essential.

Candidates who have less experience but with good potential and personality will also be considered.