The best part of
my job is that
I can influence
and train young
the Chinese IP
WIPR Influential Women in IP 2020
20 Influential women
Spring Chang has played a central role in the growth of her
firm, Chang Tsi & Partners, and is proud of its successes in
promoting diversity, as she tells WIPR.
Why did you become a lawyer?
As a child, becoming a lawyer was my dream—I thought
it was a very noble career. Law is the cornerstone of a
free, democratic and just country. As an important part
of a country’s legal system, the lawyer is the promoter
of freedom, democracy and justice. Even to this day, I
maintain my conviction that I can contribute to the
legal system. I am proud to be a lawyer.
How did you become founding partner of
Chang Tsi & Partners?
After I obtained my LLM degree from China
University of Political Science and Law, I worked for
the State Planning Committee (currently the National
Development and Reform Commission of China) for
a period of two years and then worked at law firm
CCPIT, which was the only IP agency in China.
In the late 1990s, with the implementation of
China’s reform and opening-up policy, the domestic
market opened rapidly, which resulted in China’s
IP sector undergoing tremendous changes. China’s
state-owned agency ended its monopoly on the
domestic IP market, setting up the country’s first
batch of privately-owned IP agencies.
My partner and I saw the huge potential and
business opportunities in the development of
Chinese IP market, and seized the opportunity to set
up Chang Tsi & Partners in 2002.
What’s your biggest achievement?
Playing a crucial role in the growth of the firm is my
greatest achievement. In 2002, Chang Tsi & Partners
had five lawyers and was an unknown law firm. All the
work needed to be done manually and the number of
clients was very small.
Now, Chang Tsi & Partners is a well-known law
firm in the field of Chinese IP, with 350 employees
(200 lawyers and agents) and thousands of clients.
What’s the best part about your job?
In my more than 25 years of professional experience,
I have witnessed the development of many young
people who have graduated and then entered our firm.
It is my great pleasure to seem them practising as
partners and key lawyers in our firm, and I maintain
a good relationship with those who have left the
firm. The best part of my job is that I can influence
and train young IP practitioners and contribute to
training personnel for the Chinese IP industry.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
As a lawyer, victory in a lawsuit is the most desired
result, satisfying me and my clients.
However, we have encountered many cunning
infringement cases. We have to coordinate the
client’s objectives, the merits of the case and evidence
collected, and resources of our litigation team to
achieve our goal.
Have you faced any barriers or challenges in
As a busy female lawyer, balancing work and life is a
big challenge. I spend most of my time at work, which
consumes a lot of energy and physical strength.
I’ve taken up some hobbies to relieve the pressure
at work, such as swimming which keeps me mentally
and physically strong. I also love painting so I seize
any opportunity to paint—I hope painting will
become my second career after I retire as a lawyer.
What advice would you give to those looking
to enter the IP profession?
People who want to join the industry need to fully
prepare themselves physically and mentally. It’s not
an easy job. You face many deadlines every day and
you always need to keep learning as the IP industry
changes rapidly. It requires a lawyer to have a strong
How are you involved in promoting diversity?
We promote diversity in many ways. We never exclude
female practitioners—generally female lawyers are more
resilient, careful and patient in handling business. We
provide them with strong support and have policies to
allow women to work from home during pregnancy.
Our firm has also recruited some disabled employees
to the law firm to do some work within their abilities.
We have many minority employees, including
those from the Zhuang and Manchu ethnic minorities,
and Korean lawyers, and we respect all different
religious beliefs. I am Manchu myself. Having
employees from a range of countries is definitely
conducive to business. l
Spring Chang is a founding partner at Chang Tsi & Partners
and is based in the firm’s Beijing office. She has more than
two decades of experience as an attorney and focuses her
practice on patents, trademarks, copyright, and domain
names. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of 2019:
Chang Tsi & Partners
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