Litigation | China

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Morrison & Foerster delivers strong results for its Chinese and U.S. clients in specialized areas of law before courts and other tribunals. Our China litigation practice represents leading companies, particularly those with Chinese operations, in connection with high-stakes litigation, including in the areas of intellectual property, trade secret misappropriation, internal investigations, securities litigation and enforcement, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, white-collar defense, antitrust, products liability, commercial disputes and international arbitration. Our lawyers also coordinate with local Chinese counsel to assist clients in China-based disputes such as breach of contract, intellectual property infringement, antitrust investigations, and tort claims subject to court, arbitration or administrative proceedings in Hong Kong and mainland China.

We have a deep bench of trial lawyers who are widely known for their capability to handle the most complex and demanding business litigation matters. In addition to their litigation and trial expertise, Morrison & Foerster's litigators have substantial experience providing pre-litigation or litigation avoidance advice to clients with respect to their business ventures in Asia and internationally.

Intellectual Property

Morrison & Foerster has long been recognized as having one of the strongest intellectual property practices in the world. We are consistently ranked among the leading firms in the world for IP and Patent Litigation by Chambers Global and Chambers U.S. We were named to Managing Intellectual Property’s 2018 American Awards shortlist in the Appellate, ITC, and Life Sciences IP Litigation categories. In 2016, we were shortlisted for Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year by ALB Hong Kong Law Awards. 

Our IP litigation practice is a group of more than 200 lawyers whose practices focus on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation. The IP litigation practice is renowned for its deep bench of world-class trial lawyers, dexterous approach to solving issues of any complexity, and sophisticated legal, technical, and business expertise.

The firm's team of IP lawyers regularly litigates highly complex cases involving cross-border matters, cutting-edge technologies, and multiple-party disputes. Our collaborative culture and integration of our patent prosecution practice with our patent litigation practice ensures litigation teams are staffed with expert litigators as well as experts with relevant technical training. This winning combination of legal and technical talent has enabled the firm to develop litigation expertise in fields such as biotechnology, chemical technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nanotechnology, electronics, semiconductors, software, and communications.

The firm has won high-stakes cases involving disputes over key patents and other intellectual property for clients such as Altera Corp., EchoStar, Novartis, Novell, and Thomson Electronics. In Asia, the firm regularly represents clients such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, and Toshiba in international patent litigation matters.

For one of the most technically advanced Olympic games, Morrison & Foerster provided a full range of legal advice to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, including negotiating agreements regarding venue use, worldwide trademark and service mark protection, documentation of product and trademark licensing arrangements, and negotiations with international media companies for broadcast and other rights.

Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense (SLEW)

Morrison & Foerster's Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense Practice Group includes more than 150 attorneys worldwide, enabling us to handle seamlessly a wide range of highly complex and cross-border matters. The group includes over a dozen former federal and state criminal prosecutors, former SEC enforcement attorneys, and in-house accounting experts with decades of public accounting experience.

The firm is a recognized leader in all aspects of securities litigation, enforcement, and white-collar defense. We have successfully represented China-based companies, international companies with operations in China, and their officers and directors in private securities litigation, including class actions. We have also defended such clients in civil and criminal government investigations and litigation, including enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, and various state Attorneys General. Our China offices also provide integrated advice on U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, and PRC law to our international and Chinese clients.

The group has extensive experience in representing audit committees, advising independent directors and special committees of boards of directors, conducting internal investigations, and assisting with issues related to the SEC, litigation avoidance, stock exchange listing, and liability insurance for clients doing business in China. We often advise on and investigate alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). These matters have spanned the three primary provisions of the FCPA: anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls.

Our lawyers also guide clients in designing and implementing codes of ethics, insider trading programs and policies, whistleblower protections, disclosure policies, and audit committee policies required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and have developed and presented seminars for clients on important related topics, including conducting internal investigations, designing effective compliance programs, and coping with parallel proceedings.

The group has represented foreign and domestic companies in a wide range of industries, from financial services and consumer products to technology companies in the software, life sciences, and telecommunications fields. We work closely with recognized experts throughout the firm to understand and address our clients' business, financial, and legal problems. To the extent that there are parallel proceedings in China and abroad, we also have the experience and resources necessary for representing clients in multiple jurisdictions and coordinating with counsel in foreign jurisdictions on complicated substantive and procedural issues that can arise in such cases. In that regard, we have multiple attorneys across the firm with Chinese language skills, enabling us to efficiently review documents in-house and communicate with local employees and advisers abroad.

Among the China-based clients represented by the firm in securities-related matters are China International Capital Corporation (Hong Kong) Ltd., Ernst & Young Hong Kong, LJ International,, Inc., Qiao Xing Universal Telephone, Inc. and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co., Ltd.

International Disputes and Arbitration

The international disputes and arbitration practice handles all aspects of dispute resolution. Our litigators provide complete representation in local courts, particularly in Hong Kong, and in arbitration proceedings, particularly in China and Japan. Lawyers in our China and U.S. offices have participated in both China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and International Chamber of Commerce arbitrations venues in China and elsewhere involving Chinese companies as parties. The firm's litigation practice in Asia is equipped to handle all aspects of local Asian and U.S. litigation and international arbitration, including factual and legal analysis, pretrial proceedings and discovery and trial.

Product Liability

Morrison & Foerster has extensive experience representing companies in product liability matters relating to their China operations. Morrison & Foerster's full-service product liability team, with six partners, provides on-the-ground support to Chinese clients in all aspects of product liability matters, including the development of product warnings, the analysis of litigation exposure, the implementation of product recall campaigns, and the trial and arbitration of product liability matters. We also have assisted clients in conducting internal investigations in Asia relating to claims involving product safety.

Our China-based team coordinates closely with our U.S. offices in the representation of clients before the various federal and state government agencies that regulate different aspects of product liability matters, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration. Our lawyers regularly negotiate successful outcomes with these agencies.

The firm has handled and tried product liability cases involving claims of manufacturing defect, design defect, and failure to warn. The firm has also handled and tried cases involving alleged exposures to toxic substances. In addition, the firm has defended tort, statutory, and other consumer claims (including various class actions) arising out of consumer products, industrial accidents, transportation accidents, and environmental releases.

Our product liability practice encompasses a broad range of industries, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, aerospace, automobile, food and wine, cosmetics, and industrial equipment manufacturers.


Morrison & Foerster's antitrust practice includes a broad and deep team of seasoned, marquee trial and antitrust attorneys to whom many clients and organizations have turned when facing must-win situations in litigation or before antitrust agencies. The scale of the practice, with experienced antitrust lawyers in each major office around the world, allows the firm to handle seamlessly a wide range of matters involving multi-state and international issues.

Morrison & Foerster lawyers have represented parties in antitrust litigation initiated by private parties as well as governmental agencies, from the trial stage through all levels of appeal. As a global law firm, our attorneys regularly represent clients in matters before U.S. federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies, including the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and state Attorneys General. The firm is also experienced in representing clients before non-U.S. regulatory bodies, such as the European Commission and the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

Among the clients represented by the firm in matters involving multi-jurisdictional antitrust/competition law issues are Fujitsu, Hitachi, Matsushita Electric, Thomson, and Toshiba. Notable recent cases include the representation of Matsushita Electric in E.U. proceedings relating to alleged anti-competitive conduct by content providers and DVD disk and hardware manufacturers, and the representation of both NTT DoCoMo and Panasonic Mobile in the Eastern District of Texas, where we obtained a dismissal for our clients.

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