Law a university for the real world


24 November 2016

QUT Law alumnus Matthew Murphy is the 2016 Winner of the Australia China Alumni Award for Corporate Achievement at the eighth Australia China Alumni Association (ACAA) Awards.

The ACAA is Australia’s largest alumni network in China, providing several programs, services and events to facilitate commercial and cultural connections between Australian and Chinese alumni. It is supported by the Australian Embassy China, the Australian Government, the Australian Consulate General and more than 20 Australian universities.

Matthew is the Managing Partner and CEO of MMLC Group Lawyers and Consultants, based in Beijing, and advises various Global Fortune 500 companies on intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and international trade in China and the Asia-Pacific.

With more than 20 years of experience in the international legal and business industry, Matthew is also an arbitrator with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Beijing Arbitration Commission and CIETAC.

The Australia China Alumni Award for Corporate Achievement recognises Matthew’s significant accomplishments in the Chinese corporate law industry. The prestigious award focusses on success in job performance, as well as contributions to the industry and a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Matthew graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws in 1993. After specialising in intellectual property, and mergers and acquisitions for several years, he founded the MMLC Group.

“At university I learnt great time management skills, given I was holding down three part-time jobs in order to put myself through university. I also learnt how to look for practical solutions to problems, rather than follow the theoretical approaches blindly,” said Matthew.

“These skills put me on the path to being a good judge’s associate upon graduation, and a good lawyer in the first firms that I worked with,” he said.

Matthew has been developing MMLC as a major international law firm in Beijing since 2002. The firm consists of an Australian Law Office, a Chinese IP agency and a Chinese consulting company. MMLC continues to assist its founding clients on interesting IP, corporate and trade matters in China. This includes a mixture of work from both Australian and Chinese jurisdictions and for clients in many industries such as life sciences, fashion and retail, electronics and telecommunications, agribusiness, auto, heavy industrial, entertainment and fast moving consumer goods.

When asked about the highlight of his career, Matthew said that a standout project was his involvement in developing Apple’s Chinese presence during the Steve Jobs era.

“I was entrenched in almost every Apple matter involving China legal issues from 2001 to 2008 or so,” he said. “These matters ranged from complex patent and trademark IP issues to the rollout of the Apple shops in China.”

In addition to his commitment to professional excellence, Matthew has made extensive contributions to the pro bono legal industry, including work for the World Bank Group and the World Justice Project for China. He was the author of the China Legal Aid report for the United Nations Development Program in 2015 and is currently working on a report for the newly founded Amal Clooney Foundation for Justice Project.

The MMLC team has also shown a passion for CSR through the support of charities such as World Vision, the Smith Family and UNICEF.

In the future, Matthew hopes to develop his work in the pro bono and arbitration areas further.

“As my work as an arbitrator in Hong Kong and Beijing is becoming more well-known and popular, I can see that this part of my career will begin to take up more time. Similarly, my work for the World Justice Project, World Bank, the UNDP and Clooney Foundation also seems to be on the rise, and I am keen to develop this area further as it can make a real difference to many dealing with rule of law issues in various Asian jurisdictions,” Matthew explained.

“Of course, my work for my excellent clients will continue, probably with a slightly narrower focus that in the past given time commitments, however, my client work will always be an extremely important part of my practices, in both China and Australia.”

Matthew is a proud member of the Law Alumni QUT Chapter, and the Faculty is looking forward to hearing about his expected future success.

If you are a QUT Law or Justice Alumni, connect with Law Alumni QUT on LinkedIn, the best way to stay connected with fellow graduates.

QUT Faculty of Law

Matthew Murphy accepts his award at the ACAA Australia China Awards.