Timothy W. Blakely

Timothy W. Blakely

Managing Partner, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, 852 25850870


Bowdoin College (A.B., 1996)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 2001)

Bar Admissions

New York
Hong Kong (Solicitor)


Hon. Mary A. McLaughlin, U.S. District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania (2001-2002)

Timothy Blakely is Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong office. He is also head of the firm’s Hong Kong Litigation Department and a partner in the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Criminal Defense practice group. Mr. Blakely’s practice focuses on government and internal investigations and complex commercial litigation and international arbitration matters.

Mr. Blakely represents companies and individuals in government investigations, regulatory proceedings, internal investigations, international arbitrations, securities class action lawsuits, and other complex dispute-related matters. Mr. Blakely also advises clients about regulatory compliance issues. Mr. Blakely has represented multinational and Chinese clients in various industries, including telecommunications, biotechnology, publishing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.

Mr. Blakely also is a member of the firm’s global anti-corruption and compliance team. He conducts internal investigations throughout Asia of potential violations of anti-corruption laws, leads pre-acquisition anti-corruption related due diligence and post-closing remediation, and regularly provides advice, counseling, and training to clients about FCPA and anti-corruption related issues.

Mr. Blakely has deep experience representing companies and individuals in high-stakes contentious matters involving U.S. and Hong Kong law. Before relocating to Hong Kong in 2011, he spent ten years practicing in New York and California, handling fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, securities litigation, investment disputes, commercial arbitration, and enforcement-related matters, from inception through trial. His practice continues to have a strong U.S. nexus, and he regularly advises clients facing disputes and enforcement actions originating in the U.S. and involving U.S. law.

As a Hong Kong solicitor, Mr. Blakely has been instructed by clients in key contentious proceedings and arbitration-related matters before Hong Kong courts (including the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Final Appeal), as well in proceedings with Hong Kong regulators and statutory tribunals. He has advised clients in investigations by, inter alia, the Securities & Futures Commission, and in proceedings before the Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board. He regularly acts for clients in Hong Kong-seated international arbitration proceedings.

Mr. Blakely was named to Global Investigation Review’s inaugural “40 Under 40” list of the world’s leading investigations lawyers under the age of 40, and is ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019 as a leading lawyer in China for Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption. Clients praise him for his pragmatic advice, “top-notch” investigation skills and “keen situational awareness”, remarking that he is “extremely thorough and very effective at communicating high-risk issues”. He has also been recognized among the leading investigations lawyers in the world in the 2019 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Investigations, and as a “Dispute Resolution Star” for Commercial and Transactions as well as White Collar Crime by Benchmark Litigation in its Asia-Pacific 2019 rankings.  He is a regular speaker and writer on topics including international anti-corruption matters, cross-border shareholder litigation, government enforcement and investigations, international arbitration, and risk mitigation.

Mr. Blakely graduated, magna cum laude, from Bowdoin College in 1996, with an A.B. in Government. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2001 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Senior Editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Following his graduation from Penn, Mr. Blakely served as a law clerk to the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Blakely was an associate with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York.

Mr. Blakely is admitted to the bars of California, New York, and Maine, and as a solicitor in Hong Kong.

Representative Matters

Litigation and Arbitration

  • Leading PRC-listed Chinese appliance manufacturer in HKIAC arbitration arising out of long term distribution contract with Israeli company.
  • Fortune 100 financial services company in Hong Kong and PRC court proceedings concerning challenges to an ICC arbitration award in US$500 million dispute.
  • Fortune 100 technology company in contentious regulatory proceedings involving administrative and court actions in Hong Kong.
  • U.S.-listed software company in connection with PRC court proceedings asserting private antitrust claims.
  • Hong Kong investor in HKIAC arbitration proceeding against Chinese partner arising out of manufacturing joint venture in China. Successfully obtained arbitration award for full amount at issue and successfully defended award against set-aside proceedings in Hong Kong court.
  • US-listed technology and consulting company in connection with a dispute with Hong Kong manufacturer arising out of a contract for the design, development, and implementation by our client of an ERP platform.
  • China-based private equity fund in HKIAC arbitration proceeding arising out of proposed investment in U.S. technology company. Successfully obtained arbitration award for full amount at issue and enforced that award in U.S. courts.
  • Chinese investors in international dispute over ownership of China real estate project, with ongoing legal proceedings in the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and China.
  • Leading U.S.-based food production company in Hong Kong court proceedings to recover proceeds of fraud.
  • U.S.-listed technology company in Hong Kong court proceedings to recover proceeds of fraud. Successfully obtained Mareva injunction and enforced judgment against Hong Kong assets.
  • U.S.-listed Chinese company in U.S. class action securities litigation and related federal and state derivative lawsuits.
  • Hong Kong and Chinese investors in insider trading litigation being prosecuted by the SEC in the Southern District of New York.
  • Ernst & Young in SP Syntax LLC v. Ernst & Young LLP, et al. (Cal. Super. Ct.)  Won a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Ernst & Young, defeating claims that the firm had made negligent representations in connection with financial statements issued by a U.S.-listed company with significant operations in Hong Kong and China.
  • JDSU and former executives in In re JDSU Securities Litigation. (N.D. Cal.) Obtained a complete jury defense verdict on behalf of JDSU and three former executives in a class action seeking $20 billion for alleged securities fraud and illegal insider trading.
  • Russian technology company and inventor in JAMS Arbitration. Obtained arbitration victory on behalf of a Russian technology company and inventor involving breach-of-contract and fraud claims arising from purchase of an Armenian technology company.
  • Underwriter in In re Occam Networks Securities Litigation. (C.D. Cal.) Represented lead underwriter in a class action lawsuit arising out of a financial restatement by a telecommunications company following a registered stock offering. The case settled on favorable terms— with no payment by our client.

Internal and Government Investigations

  • U.S.-listed technology company in internal investigation of potential fraud and corruption issues in its Chinese operations involving use of third-party consultants and interactions with government officials.
  • U.S.-listed software company in internal investigation of alleged fraud and corruption involving Chinese distributor.
  • Hong Kong-based investment company and individual director in connection with regulatory inquiries related to high-profile international fraud investigation.
  • Fortune 500 company in internal investigation of potential FCPA-related issues related to transaction with Chinese SOE.
  • Major multinational corporation in internal investigation of potential corruption issues related to transactions in Japan, North Africa, and Europe.
  • Current and former senior executives of various international investment banks in internal and government investigations into hiring practices in Asia.
  • Hong Kong-based investment fund in Hong Kong SFC investigation into alleged violations of the Securities and Futures Ordinance.
  • U.S.-listed Chinese company in SEC and DOJ investigations involving allegations of fraud and other potential violations of U.S. securities laws.
  • Fortune 500 corporation in internal investigation of whistleblower allegations of corruption in China and Hong Kong.
  • Fortune 100 retailer in internal investigations in China of potential violations of labor and tax regulations and policies.
  • Fortune 500 corporation in internal investigation of potential violations of the FCPA and related anti-corruption laws in China and Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong-listed Chinese company in internal investigation of potential violations of listing rules and policies concerning insider dealing.
  • U.S.-listed technology company in internal investigation of potential violations in Taiwan of import-export laws and U.S. accounting guidelines.
  • U.S.-listed global biotechnology company in SEC investigation involving allegations of improper self-dealing and other potential violations of U.S. securities laws.

FCPA and Anti-corruption Due Diligence and Risk Assessments

  • Major multinational corporation in conducting pre-acquisition FCPA and anti-corruption due diligence for investment in Chinese retailer.
  • Leading investment fund in conducting pre-acquisition FCPA and anti-corruption due diligence for acquisition of business with significant operations in China, Thailand, Japan, and Mexico; designed and implemented post-closing risk assessment and remediation program.
  • Leading investment fund in conducting pre-transaction FCPA and anti-corruption due diligence and risk assessment related to investment in Chinese online financial services platform.
  • Fortune 500 corporation in conducting remediation, integration, and training program for newly acquired China-based publishing business.
  • Major multinational corporation in connection with pre-and post-signing due diligence and remediation related to transfer to joint venture of business line with operations in Europe, China, Japan, and SE Asia.
  • Singapore-listed company in conducting pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence for acquisition of business in an emerging Latin American country; implemented post-closing training and remediation program in Asia and Latin America.

Mr. Blakely was recently named to Global Investigation Review’s inaugural “40 Under 40” list of the world’s leading investigations lawyers under the age of 40. He was also recommended for China Dispute Resolution: Foreign Firms by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 and for Dispute Resolution: Litigation in Hong Kong by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017-2018; Leading lawyer in China for Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017-2019 and Chambers Global 2017-2019.

In Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017, clients remarked that Mr. Blakely “knows Western practices but also appreciates and understands the peculiarity of Chinese laws and practice.”

The Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018 noted that “Tim Blakely of Morrison & Foerster LLP is singled out for his dedicated commitment to clients and strong track record advising on government and internal investigations in China.” The Guide quoted one of Mr. Blakely’s clients saying: "He is incredibly intelligent and always well prepared. He is an excellent interviewer and his depth of knowledge of the subject matter is outstanding."

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