How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?
It was a serendipitous combination of my prior Chinese government experience and the nature of the clients of the law firm when I joined private practice. As the deputy chair of the Foreign Investment Law Division of the Department of Treaty and Law of the then Ministry of Foreign Economic Trade and Cooperation (now Ministry of Commerce), I had already worked on matters involving China’s energy industry. And when I moved into private practice, I joined a law firm with significant energy clients.
Aside from low commodity prices what do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
If we take our industry as the traditional oil and gas business, then a significant challenge will likely come from competition from renewable energy and other alternative sources of energy. A lot of attention is being paid by more and more countries towards developing other sources of energy such as solar, wind, and even nuclear. Demand for oil (especially) will be impacted by the growing desire for cleaner sources of energy, which will compound pricing woes.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
You have the collective experience and expertise of over 900 lawyers at your disposal. Even though we are located in 28 offices around the globe, we operate as one firm and work together seamlessly to serve our clients.
What is your goal in attending this event and what takeaways would you like other attendees to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia and further afield?
It is always a pleasure to attend the Energy Council events, as it gives me a chance to catch up with many old friends and contacts in the energy industry in one place (not easy to do!) and to also share and exchange current insights with industry insiders.
I hope the other attendees would appreciate the depth and breadth of Dechert’s experience in the energy industry and our ability to effectively advise clients on their energy transactions, no matter where it is placed in the value chain and no matter where it is located in the world.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
I have been fortunate to have been able to advise the Chinese energy companies on their initial international M&A activities, and to have been able to continue to work with them on their increasingly larger and more complex transactions. I am proud to see the Chinese energy companies emerge as serious and confident competitors on the international stage, and to have earned their trust and respect.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
East Africa. My family and I have very fond memories of our safari trips there. Being able to photograph the magnificent animals in their natural habitats is both an incredible and humbling experience.
All-time favourite film?
The Godfather trilogy. And yes, including the much maligned Godfather III!
About Yong Xiao
Yong Xiao is the Partner of Dechert LLP, and practices in the area of corporate law, with a focus on the energy and natural resources, mining and metals, oil and gas sectors. Mr. Xiao has significant experience in China assisting clients with cross-border transactions.
Mr. Xiao represents Chinese companies, including a number of China’s largest state-owned businesses, on international mergers and acquisitions and foreign direct investments. His practice also includes seeking approvals from high-level government agencies and conducting anti-monopoly filings.
Mr. Xiao is described as a “prominent figure in the [energy] market, recognized for his abundant experience advising Chinese state-owned entities on overseas investments” in the 2017 edition of Chambers Asia-Pacific, where he has been listed as a leading lawyer for energy and natural resources in China since 2012. He is also recommended in Chambers Global 2016, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017, IFLR1000 2016 and Who’s Who Legal 2016.
Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Xiao served as head of the China practice and partner in the energy transactions and projects group at Vinson & Elkins. His previous experience also includes working as the Assistant Chair of the Foreign Investment Law Division of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Trade and Cooperation (MOFTEC) of the People’s Republic of China.
About Yong Xiao
由于肖律师在为中国国企提供海外投资法律服务方面具有丰富经验，他被2017年《钱伯斯亚洲》评为是【能源】市场上的杰出人物，并肯定他自2012年以来一直被评为中国能源和自然资源领域杰出律师的地位。此外，肖律师也是2016年《钱伯斯全球》、2017年《法律500强·亚洲》、2016年《国际金融法律评论》以及2016年度《Who’s Who Legal》的推荐律师。