Charles Zhan

Partner and Head of International Trade
Practice areas
Competition and regulatory
International trade
Public and administrative law
China business
Dispute resolution
Energy and infrastructure
Manufacturing and supply chain
Languages spoken
English, Mandarin

Charles Zhan is a partner with Moulis Legal and also heads our international trade practice. He is a leading lawyer in our international regulatory and commercial law practice.

Charles’ practice focuses on trade defence and cross-border transactions. He is well versed in advising private and public sector clients in trade defence matters. Charles also leads Moulis Legal’s China Business Desk with respect to a broad range of commercial matters including competition, investment, and cross-border disputation and enforcement.

Charles has represented major international companies operating in a range of industries, including in the agrichemical, aluminium, automobile, electrical, energy, engineering, glass, paper, renewable, and steel sectors. He has a superior understanding of the dynamic trade, investment and business issues concerning Australia and its major trading partners at the policy and legal levels, and hands-on experience in representing clients across various Asian and European countries, including acting on behalf of foreign governments in their trade law and policy relationship with Australia.

Charles has assisted clients in a variety of trade defence matters. These include anti-dumping and countervailing investigations and appeals, customs compliance, competition law, cross-border trade dispute, matters involving international investment, commercial transactions, and commercial and judicial review litigation. Charles’ analytical and problem-solving skills, strong commercial acumen, strategic thinking, and cross-cultural understanding allow him to provide top quality and highly regarded advice to our clients.

Before moving to Australia, Charles lived in Beijing and studied in Shanghai where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law majoring in Maritime Law. He gained a variety of experiences in Beijing in commercial law, maritime arbitration and international air cargo logistics before studying at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he was awarded with a Juris Doctor. Naturally, Charles communicates in both Mandarin and English, at the highest business and technical level.

Charles actively engages with the business and legal communities through his regular participation at various local and internationally focused business and industry council events, and has hosted seminars regarding cross-border trade, investment issues, and Australia-China business development. Charles also takes an active role in Australia’s key China trade NGO, as vice-president of the ACT Division of the Australia China Business Council.

Outside of work, Charles is completing his newest Master of Law degree in Public and International Law with the University of Melbourne, whilst also finding time to enjoy good food, gardens, books, movies, and (non-work related) travels with his family.

Knowledge pieces by Charles Zhan
Moulis Legal is Australia's contributor to Chambers Global Practice Guides 2024 | International Trade

This commentary on the international and cross border regulations that affect inbound and outbound Australian trade is required reading for in-house counsel and other company officers who need to know about the relevant regulatory authorities, cross-border compliance, accompanying legal risk, and more.

Moulis Legal in Chambers and Partners’ recently launched Asia-Pacific 2024 Guide

Moulis Legal’s International Trade team astutely looks at the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Australia’s “green tariff” on carbon – a new “dumping” ground?

To mark the beginning of EU CBAM, as well as Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen’s yearlong review of policy options to address carbon leakage and trade displacement, over the next weeks Moulis Legal’s international trade team will explore 7 considerations and potential effects that a carbon border adjustment mechanism may have on Australia’s industries, exporters and importers.

Australia’s carbon border tax adjustment race starts… now

In the newly opened review into whether to introduce an Australian Climate Border Adjustment Mechanism, Australian and global business will likely argue for new rules and processes to ensure any new mechanism operates fairly to achieve genuine climate goals, rather than as a tool for protectionism.

Check your carbon credits – ESG green shoots or greenwashing?

Investors, employees, customers and consumers are requiring greater environmental sustainability from companies they interact with. Unsurprisingly companies are responding to the demand to be more environmentally responsible, one way or another. One of the important commercial responses is through the generation and trading of carbon credits.

Didi fined $1.2B for breaching China’s data security laws

Last year, we reported on China’s new Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) which came into force on 1 November 2021. PIPL sits alongside the Data Security Law (DSL) and Cybersecurity Law (CSL) at the heart of China’s integrated cyber and data governance regime.

Australia’s anti-dumping excuse against Indonesia is paper-thin, says WTO

On 27 January 2020, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, made up of all WTO Members, adopted the panel report in a dispute initiated by Indonesia regarding anti-dumping measures imposed by Australia on imports of A4 copy paper from Indonesia (“Australia –A4 Copy Paper or “DS529”).

Government body calls time on aluminium dumping arm-wrestle

On 24 September 2019 the Australian Minister for Industry revoked anti-subsidy duties applying to a Chinese exporter of aluminium extrusions.[1] The outcome is a reminder that the rule of law holds sway over the policies of protection that are presently impacting heavily on regulators the world over. 

Moulis Legal’s Charles Zhan addresses top EU trade officials

Moulis Legal Senior Associate Charles Zhan addressed the European Union’s top trade officials on issues and trends in Australian anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules at a briefing session on 24 August 2017 in Canberra. The session, attended by counsellors representing the 28 EU Member States, heard from Mr Zhan about the increasing technicality and uncompromising enforcement of these rules by the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission in recent years.

ChAFTA and what it means for Canberra

If Canberra wants a slice of the money expected to flow from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (“ChAFTA”) it will have to ramp up its efforts to sell its attractiveness as a place to invest, especially in the property market.

Aggressive anti-dumping protection – the dark side of Australia’s FTA romance

Australia’s signing of recent free trade agreements (“FTAs”) with China, Japan and South Korea, and the reportedly concluded but as yet unseen Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“the TPP”), have put trade back in the centre of Australia’s policy and economic dialogue. A major topic of that debate is trade protection. With tariffs being reduced to zero or next to zero across almost all goods from our major trading partners, the role of ordinary tariffs as an instrument of protection, or of long term adjustment, has disappeared. Australian industry, although being enhanced in an outgoing sense, is now more fully exposed to international price competition than it has ever been.

Australia has a new leader – will ChAFTA continue to be supported?

On 14 September 2015 the Australian Liberal Party voted to remove the Hon Tony Abbott as leader of the Australian Liberal Party and to replace him with the Hon Malcolm Turnbull. As a result, Malcolm Turnbull will today become the new Prime Minister of Australia.

Moulis Legal at ACBC Export Forum 2015

Daniel Moulis highlighted the growing familiarity of China as a place for Australians to do business in his address to the ACBC Export Forum at Sofitel Sydney on 15 July 2015. At the same time, he pointed out that it would be a mistake to assume too much, and that gaining a full understanding of both the legal niceties of the deal and your prospective business partners was of critical importance.

Moulis Legal attends Chambers Asia Guide Awards in Hong Kong

Moulis Legal’s Charles Zhan and Christopher Hewitt, Head of the Brisbane Office, attended the exclusive Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards on Monday evening in Hong Kong. The awards ceremony brought together the legal elite in Asia-Pacific to recognise the region’s leading law firms. Moulis legal was recently recognised by Chambers Asia-Pacific as a market leading law firm and was invited to attend the awards.

Can China’s mine be yours? Six tips for tapping new coal and gas opportunities

The development of China’s coal and seam gas industries is now a key policy goal of the country’s peak economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”).

Australia-China trade deal – prospects and pitfalls

In recent announcements, the Australian and Chinese Governments have suggested that they will re-energise their free trade agreement (“FTA”) negotiations. New enthusiasm for this initiative will be welcomed by traders and investors.