Press Release

Morrison & Foerster Further Strengthens Global Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice With Partner Addition in Hong Kong

Chen Zhu’s arrival highlights continued expansion of the firm’s global investigations and sanctions compliance and enforcement capabilities, following multiple recent additions in Europe and the United States

18 Aug 2020

HONG KONG (August 18, 2020) – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that Chen Zhu has joined the firm’s Hong Kong office as a partner in its global Investigations + White Collar Defense practice. He brings to the firm extensive experience in cross-border government enforcement and internal investigations involving U.S. economic sanctions, anti-corruption, securities fraud, and corporate compliance matters.

Mr. Zhu’s arrival underscores the continued growth of the firm’s Investigations + White Collar Defense practice. In particular, in the last several years Morrison & Foerster has significantly expanded its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. sanctions, and national security capabilities by recruiting more than a dozen former senior U.S. government officials. This includes former senior DOJ officials Charles Duross, James Koukios, John Carlin, and David Newman and three former officials from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including John Smith, its former director. In addition, since the beginning of 2019 alone, the firm has added Investigations + White Collar Defense partners Hayley Ichilcik in London, Dr. Roland Steinmeyer and Patrick Späth in Berlin, and four partners — Haima Marlier, Bonnie Lau, Eliot Adelson, and Jina Choi — in the United States.

“Chen’s deep experience handling internal and U.S. government investigations across China and APAC strongly aligns with the firm’s areas of strategic focus and will greatly benefit our clients in Asia and across the globe,” said Morrison & Foerster Hong Kong Managing Partner Timothy Blakely. “Chen has over a decade of experience advising clients on highly sensitive enforcement and compliance matters involving U.S. sanctions and anti-corruption laws. His arrival adds depth and strength to our existing team and will enhance our ability to advise clients in real time on the ground in Asia, while leveraging our deep bench of market leaders globally in the government enforcement space.”

Mr. Zhu has represented multinational corporations, Chinese and global financial institutions, and individuals in cross-border government enforcement and internal investigations relating to anti-corruption, U.S. economic sanctions and related trade issues, anti-money laundering, market manipulation, securities fraud, and other corporate compliance matters. He has extensive experience in compliance due diligence for M&A and IPO transactions. Mr. Zhu also has notable experience in U.S.-based civil litigation involving Asia-based defendants.

“We’re delighted to welcome another accomplished lawyer to our Asia offices,” said Morrison & Foerster Asia Managing Partner Eric Piesner. “Chen’s arrival will further expand our outstanding regional litigation offering and is added evidence of the continued momentum of our Asia platform and strategic investment in our litigation and compliance capabilities in Asia and globally.”

Over the past 13 years, Mr. Zhu has represented clients in a range of industries, including banking, healthcare, technology, entertainment, insurance, and hospitality, with a particular focus on China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. He has also regularly advised clients on risks associated with state secrecy, data privacy, and cross-border data export issues. Recent representative mandates include leading a major Asian state-owned enterprise’s multi-year OFAC investigation into alleged sanctions violations, advising major U.S.-listed financial institutions under DOJ and SEC investigation concerning hiring practices and other bribery and internal controls issues in China and Japan, and representing an Asia-based commodities trader in an investigation by the CFTC and DOJ into alleged spoofing and stop loss hunting practices.

“Morrison & Foerster is an undisputed global powerhouse in complex cross-border litigation and government enforcement. I have the highest regard for the firm’s achievements and continued growth, particularly in economic sanctions, trade disputes, and anti-corruption,” said Mr. Zhu. “I am excited to join this group of market-leading and dynamic lawyers, and I look forward to providing service of the highest quality to our global Investigations and White Collar Defense clients.”

Mr. Zhu is admitted to the New York bar and is a Hong Kong Registered Foreign Lawyer. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and his B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Mr. Zhu is a native speaker of both Mandarin and English.

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