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A New Chinese Court in an Old American Building – Pic of the Week

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A few months ago, I wrote a Global Legal Monitor article on a decision by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee to create the country’s first financial court in Shanghai, the Shanghai Financial Court. According to the decision, the new court is specialized in handling financial cases. It has the status of an intermediate court and takes civil and commercial financial cases and finance-related administrative cases that were previously under the jurisdiction of the intermediate courts in Shanghai.

During a recent visit to Shanghai, I walked by this impressive American-style building and found it was the new Shanghai Financial Court! It is on Fuzhou Road, only a couple of blocks from the Bund (Wai Tan), a waterfront neighborhood that used to be the trade and financial center in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Financial Court building is a former American club building. It is a multi-story, brown brick building with white columns.
Shanghai Financial Court. [Photo by Laney Zhang]
Front entrance of the Shanghai Financial Court with four white marble columns
Shanghai Financial Court, front door. [Photo by Laney Zhang]
According to the “heritage architecture” plaque mounted on the outside wall of the court, the building used to be an “American Club,” designed by “Ladislaus Hudec of Curry & Co.” and built in 1923-25. It is in “American Georgian style,” according to the plaque.

Plaque on the outside wall of Shanghai Financial Court containing English and Chinese characters. The English writing says "Heritage Architecture 209." "American Club. Designed by Ladislaus Hudee of Curry & Co. Built in 1923-1925. Reinforced concrete structure. American Georgian style." "Shanghai Municipal Government Issued on 15th Feb. 1994."
Plaque on the outside wall of Shanghai Financial Court, commemorating the American Club. [Photo by Laney Zhang]
Check this map of Shanghai dated 1935, collected by the Boston Public Library, and see if you could find the American Club! (It is on “Foochow Road,” opposite of the “Municipal Building” in this map.)

The Shanghai Financial Court reportedly opened its doors on August 20, 2018, and heard its first case on October 18, 2018.

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