Meet the members

Yong Xiao, Partner, Dechert LLP

August 2017

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!

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