Charles Zhan is a partner with Moulis Legal. 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.
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.
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’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.
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”). Adoption of the DS529 report, without appeal by either Australia or Indonesia, concludes a highly anticipated dispute, the implications of which go well beyond the product involved and the countries themselves.
On 24 September 2019 the Australian Minister for Industry revoked anti-subsidy duties applying to a Chinese exporter of aluminium extrusions. 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. Its reasoning demonstrates the upward-trending importance of competition principles in deciding “trade rules” matters – the disciplines of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguards.
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.
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.
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.
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”).
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. However there is nothing to suggest that the negotiations will be any easier than before. The 15 rounds of the negotiations so far, first launched in May 2005, have underlined the difficulties of the exercise. But viewed in a positive light, the talks up to now have exposed the differences in trade policy that exist between the two countries, differences which can now be of greater focus and new bargaining. Other developments in world trade and in the bilateral relationship suggest that there is more at stake than before, adding greater impetus to the negotiations.