Lecturer in Corporate Finance, Corporate and Commercial Law

Deputy Director of Internationalisation

DCL, LLMs, LLB & BSc
View my full research profile

  • Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2029
  • Email: Ruiqiao.Zhang@ed.ac.uk
  • Office and Feedback Hours for current students:
    Thursday 4-5pm.

Biography

Ruiqiao Zhang has comprehensive education backgrounds, extensive academic training in law, and rich experience of research in various legal systems in Asia, Europe and North America. She holds two bachelor’s degrees of Law and Science (Biotechnology), three master’s degrees of Civil and Commercial Law, International Commercial and Trade Law, and Comparative Law in China, the Netherlands, and Canada respectively, and one doctoral degree of law at McGill University.

Research Interests

Ruiqiao Zhang has experience in conducting research in international law, and has also engaged in comparative studies of the common law, the civil law, the law of the European Union, and Chinese law. Her research and teaching interests revolve around civil and commercial law, focusing in particular on trust law, company law, corporate finance, property law, contract law, and international trade law.

Teaching

Principles of Corporate Finance Law (Course Organiser)

Company Law, LLM (Course Organiser)

Company Law, Honours (Course Organiser)

Business Entities, Ordinary

Practice of Corporate Finance and the Law

Biography

Ruiqiao Zhang has comprehensive education backgrounds, extensive academic training in law, and rich experience of research in various legal systems in Asia, Europe and North America. She holds two bachelor’s degrees of Law and Science (Biotechnology), three master’s degrees of Civil and Commercial Law, International Commercial and Trade Law, and Comparative Law in China, the Netherlands, and Canada respectively, and one doctoral degree of law at McGill University.

Courses Taught

Company Law (LLM)

Practice of Corporate Finance and the Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Principles of Corporate Finance Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Business Entities (Ordinary)

Company Law (Honours)

Articles

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'A guide to the Chinese legal regime of commercial trusts ', (2017), Trusts & Trustees, Vol 23, pp 866-879
Abstract: Common law and civilian jurisdictions use trusts to enhance their existing financial infrastructure in part because trusts have been a useful and flexible tool for asset management and investment. China sees the practical advantages of the trust in modern investment market and has adopted trusts for commercial purposes. This article seeks to provide a guide to the Chinese legal regime of commercial trusts in commercial and financial practice. It attempts to answer the following questions: what is the notion of trusts in China and what are the main types of commercial trusts? Who can be the trustees and regulatory authorities of each type of trust? What are the legal resources governing various types of commercial trusts? What are the challenges of the Chinese legal system? Given China’s rise as a major destination for international investment, a guide to the structure of commercial trusts in China is of great interests for research.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'The new role trusts play in modern financial markets: The evolution of trusts from guardian to entrepreneur and the reasons for the evolution', (2017), Trusts & Trustees, Vol 23, pp 453-467
Abstract: Trusts, originally used to protect family landholdings over generations, have developed into a vehicle that not only acts as a guardian of family property, but also operates as an entrepreneur for commercial uses. The significant role thetrust plays in financial markets has also spurred 15 the introduction of trusts into civilian jurisdictions. This new role of trusts invites scholars to rethink general notions of the law like property, company, or tax in the context of trust law.Through an examination of the evolution of 20 trusts, notably in China, this article seeks to redress misunderstanding of the new role of trusts and remove some of the mystery around the trust by placing it within the broader historical context within which trusts evolved. It also critically analyses the reasons for such evolution and attempts to answer the question of what makes a trust attractive for commercial uses. The article argues that the popularity of trusts in modern commercial and financial markets lies in the inherent flexibility of the trust device, the independence of trust property, the segregation of control and benefits of trust property, an ability of the trust to circumvent legal obstacles, and advantages of thetrust over other business entities, such as companies.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'Overseas Beneficiaries' Remedies for Breach of Trust in China ', (2015), Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, Vol 30, pp 364-66
Abstract: Seeks to identify a systematic framework for remedies for a breach of trust based on comparative studies of common law trusts and points out the gaps that ought to be filled in Chinese law. There are numerous examples of trusts in international finance. Examples include securities clearing systems, trustees of security interests, bondholder trustees and custodianship of investments. Part of the reason trusts are so popular in common law jurisdictions is due to the extensive equitable remedies available to beneficiaries. Where, however, the trustee is based in a jurisdiction with a less developed trusts law, an overseas beneficiary may have fewer options in terms of remediation.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'A comparative study of the introduction of trusts into civil law and its ownership of trust property ', (2015), Trusts & Trustees, Vol 21, pp 902-22
Abstract: A main characteristic of the common law trust is the concept of dual ownership. This concept establishes a distinction between a trustee’s legal ownership of the assets of the trust and a beneficiary’s equitable title to those same assets. In civilian systems, however, because ownership is considered absolute and indivisible, no similar division of legal and equitable title is possible. This difference in the conception of ownership between the civilian and common law systems raises great challenges in fitting the concept of trusts into civilian systems. Questions arise as to whether it is possible to introduce the trust into civilian jurisdictions; if yes, how to accommodate the notion of dual ownership. This article indicates the introduction of the trust into civilian jurisdictions, both mixed jurisdictions and pure civil law systems. It analyses the different ways adopted by these jurisdictions to transplant dual ownership of trust property under common law into their civilian property systems where ownership is absolute. The article indicates that although the trust is considered a product of equity, it is possible and necessary to introduce the trust into civilian jurisdictions, in particular with the development of international finance and investment.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'A better understanding of dual ownership of trust property and its introduction in China ', (2015), Trusts & Trustees, Vol 21, pp 501-19
Abstract: A main characteristic of the common law trust is the concept of dual ownership. This concept establishes a distinction between a trustee’s legal ownership of the assets of the trust and a beneficiary’s equitable title to those same assets. In civilian systems, however, because ownership is considered absolute and indivisible, no similar division of legal and equitable title is possible. This difference in the conception of ownership between the civilian and common law systems raises great challenges in fitting the concept of trusts into civilian systems such as China’s. This article attempts to provide readers with a better understanding of the system of dual ownership of trust property. It discusses the best way that the trust can be incorporated in China. It argues that the concept of dual ownership is not an obstacle to the introduction of the trust in civilian jurisdictions. Using an analysis that focuses on comparing function, rather than form, the article argues that the key to understanding the interpretations of dual ownership in China is through an explanation that can be called the ‘binary system of real rights and personal claims’. Using this approach, the common law’s legal ownership corresponds to a civilian trustee’s unitary ownership in real rights, and the common law’s equitable ownership corresponds to a special kind of personal claim.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'Trust Law of China and its Uncertainties: Examination of the Rights and Obligations of Trust and Ownership of Trust Property', (2015), National Taiwan University Law Review, Vol 10, pp 45-77
Abstract: Because of the trust’s advantages in investment, banking, financing andproperty management, China took the bold step of introducing the trust in 2001. However, as a product of equitable jurisdiction, the trust seemed to be alien to Chinese law, and seemed particularly inconsistent with the Chinese property system. Therefore, China went down a tortuous road upon its introduction of trusts before eventually promulgating the Trust Law of China in 2001. However, the Trust Law of China deliberately leaves open the fundamental question of the introduction of dual ownership of trust property, which results in a number of limitations in the Chinese legislation. For instance, the ambiguous ownership of trust property and the outstanding nature of the beneficiary’s rights all bedevil efforts to analyse Chinese trust law. In this paper, the author first investigates the history of trust in China and Legal Reforms of Chinese Trust Business. Based on this analysis, the following section presents a detailed examination of the Trust Law of China and the limitations of the Chinese trust system.

Ruiqiao Zhang, 'Study of the Fraud Exception Rule in Letters of Credit in China and Proposed Amendments to the Chinese Credit System ', (2014), International Journal of Private Law, Vol 7, pp 328-49
Abstract: A letters of credit is an important payment instrument. Nevertheless, various forms of fraud with respect to the credit have emerged and seriously affected transaction security. To solve this problem, the fraud exception rule has been proposed, which allows the stop of a payment in instances of fraud even when presenting documents that are in accordance with the terms of the credit. This paper analyses the fraud exception rule for letters of credit by focusing on proposed amendments to the Chinese credit system. First, it traces the chronological development of the Chinese regulations for the fraud exception rule and then examines the current limitations of these regulations with respect to certain crucial issues. Based on these examinations, this paper proposes amendments to the Chinese credit system as a means to address its limitations and reasonably prevent fraud in letters of credit.

Ruiqiao Zhang, '论保险利益的主体 ', (2008), Taxation and Economy, pp 16-18

Ruiqiao Zhang, '论隐私权与新闻自由的冲突与协调 ', (2007), Heilongjiang Social Sciences, Vol 104, pp 176

Ruiqiao Zhang, Ma Xinfu, '论隐私权和知情权的冲突 ', (2005), 社会科学战线, pp 212-216

Ruiqiao Zhang, '论精神损害赔偿制度——赔偿问题的缺陷及其完善 ', (2005), 吉林公安高等专科学校学报, pp 54-57