Co-leader of Pillsbury’s China practice, partner Geoffrey Sant maintains a practice focused on advising clients on complex litigation with an emphasis on commercial, corporate and financial litigation and transactions.

Known for his extensive experience in representing both Chinese and U.S. financial entities, Geoffrey represents some of the world’s largest banks, investment companies and businesses in both litigation and transactional matters. He has successfully obtained the dismissal of lawsuits against major Chinese banks and businesses, including obtaining the dismissal with prejudice of a litigation seeking over one billion dollars in damages. On the transactional side of his practice, Geoffrey won regulatory approval for a new U.S. branch of a major Chinese bank, and has worked on international acquisitions and regulatory projects.

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In 2020, Geoffrey and his team won a $90 million arbitration award, including a fee award of over $2 million for an international client. Also in 2020, Geoffrey and his team won a fraudulent transfer litigation after a four-day trial, with the court finding $42 million in transfers to be fraudulent, and also awarding $6.5 million in fees (and 14% interest) to Geoffrey’s client.

Geoffrey teaches “China in U.S. Litigation” at Columbia University School of Law, and has taught Banking Litigation and fundamental lawyering skills classes at Fordham University School of Law, and at China University of Political Science and Law (in Beijing).

Representative Experience

  • Won a complex series of litigations against a defendant company that failed to repay a loan and then tried to evade a judgment. In the end, court determined that the defendant company had made over $40 million of fraudulent transfers and also required defendants to also pay our attorney fees in litigating the case. This series of litigations began with a successful lawsuit against the defendant company for failing to repay a multimillion dollar loan to our client. We won the case and obtained a judgment for the entire desired amount plus attorney fees and 14 percent interest. In the following fraudulent transfer litigation, we won on all issues after a multiday trial, with the court finding that every single one of the defendant company’s $40+ million in transfers were both intentionally and constructively fraudulent. (Jet Midwest International Co., Ltd. v. Jet Midwest Group, LLC)
  • Originated and won an international arbitration regarding a joint venture, obtaining an $87 million award plus 4.25% interest for an international client. This award has been confirmed in the United States and Cayman Islands. The arbitration tribunal also awarded Geoffrey’s client a $2.2 million fee award, plus 4.25% interest.  (Top Jet Enterprises Ltd. v. Sino Jet Holding Ltd., et al.)
  • Won on motion to dismiss, obtaining complete dismissal of multimillion-dollar claims against international bank (Uni-Rty Corporation v. New York Guangdong Finance, Inc.)

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  • Won dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract and tort case against NASDAQ-listed technology company (Huang v. Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc.)

Professional Highlights

  • Geoffrey’s interviews and commentary on legal issues have appeared in such media as American Lawyer, BBC Radio, CBC Radio, CCTV, CNN, CNBC, Global Times, The New York Times, People’s Daily, Phoenix Television, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In 2016, The Atlantic selected one of Geoffrey’s writings as an “Exceptional Work of Journalism.” Geoffrey teaches at Fordham Law School and has taught at the China University of Political Science and Law (in Beijing).
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” by New York Super Lawyers, 2018-2020
  • Selected as “Young Sinologist” by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China; nominated by the Chinese Consulate-General in New York

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  • Repeat winner of Chinese Business Law Awards, including for Aviation and for Banking & Finance, and identified as having stand-out “performance and communication skills."
  • Director and Treasurer, Chinese Business Lawyers Association
  • President of the Board of Directors, New York Chinese Cultural Center
  • External Publications
    • Courts Increasingly Demand that Companies Break the Law, Akron Law Review, Vo. 52, No. 1 (2019)
    • 尚撷福:让好莱坞多点华人面孔 (Geoffrey Sant: Hollywood Should Have More Asian Faces), Global Times (环球时报), February 4, 2017
    • 青年汉学家研修计划”搭建中外桥梁 (“Qing Nian Han Xue Jia Yan Xiu Ji Hua” Da Jian Zhong Wai Qiao Liang), People's Daily Overseas Edition, September 9, 2016
    • Court-Ordered Law Breaking, Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 1 (2016)
    • The Failure of Anti-Money Laundering Regulation: Where is the Cost-Benefit Analysis? Notre Dame Law Review, December 1, 2015
    • The Choking Continues After 'Choke Point', American Banker, October 19, 2015
    • Op-Ed, Account Closed: How Bank ‘De-Risking’ Hurts Legitimate Customers, Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2015
    • New York State Legislature Seeks to Overturn 'Daimler', New York Law Journal, May 20, 2015
    • What’s Left of Koehler? The New York Court of Appeals’ Endorsement of the Separate Entity Rule Eviscerates its Koehler Decision from Just Five Years Ago, Securities Regulation & Law Report, May 11, 2015
    • Aerospatiale Factors on Discovery in Violation of Foreign Laws, New York Law Journal, December 8, 2014
    • So Banks Are Terrorists Now? The Misuse of the Civil Suit Provision of the Anti-Terrorism Act, Arizona State Law Journal, Vol.45, No. 2 (2013)
    • The Rejection of the Separate Entity Rule Validates the Separate Entity Rule, SMU Law Review, Vol. 65, No. 4 (2012)
  • Speaking Engagements
    • Adjunct Professor, “China in U.S. Litigation,” Columbia University School of Law, Spring 2020
    • Adjunct Professor, “Fundamental Lawyering Skills for LLMs,” Fordham University School of Law, Spring 2019, 2020, 2021
    • Speaker, International Enforcement between US and China, University of International Business and Economics, November 1, 2019
    • Speaker, International Enforcement between US and China, Bay Area Council, October 10, 2019
    • Panelist, “US-China Trade War,” China Investment Group / China Daily, September 20, 2018
    • Speaker, “Unexplained Wealth: Suing China’s Most Wanted Fugitives,” Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime, September 7, 2018
    • Organizer and moderator, “E-Discovery in China,” Chinese Business Lawyers Association, Webinar, March 12, 2018
    • Organizer and moderator, “Investigations and Discovery in China: E-Discovery Challenges,” Fordham Law School, January 24, 2018
    • Moderator, “The Evolution of ADR Services for Inbound and Outbound Investment,” JAMS & The Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center, October 16, 2017
    • Speaker, “The Chinese Supreme People’s Court Database – How to Use it and What Secrets Does it Reveal about China’s Legal System?” Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (at Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), August 18, 2017
    • Moderator, “Discovery and Investigations in China,” Fordham Law School, January 24, 2017
    • “智商,情商,法商,” Renmin University Lawyer College (Famous Lawyers Lecture Series, 23rd Lecture; speaker), October 21, 2016
    • Moderator, “Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Unplugged: A Frank Discussion on Banking, the Global Economy, and the ‘Delaware Way,’” Fordham University School of Law, May 2, 201
    • “Hot Topics Involving Bankruptcy and China,” organizer, St. John’s Law School, March 24, 2016
    • Moderator, “Emerging Companies: From Domestic Establishment to International Expansion,” Cardozo Law School, March 16, 2016
    • Moderator, “Many Faces of Mediation: An Alternative to Courtroom Drama,” JAMS, August 11, 2015
    • Panelist, “Cross-Cultural Negotiation,” Fordham Law School, July 30, 2015
    • Panelist, “Litigating Under the Anti-Terrorism Act,” NYU Law School, April 22, 2015
    • Presenter, “China Unfolding: Linking the Past to the Present,” Yale University, March 28, 2015
    • Moderator and organizer, “Chinese Companies and US Class Actions: Securities Litigation and Product Liability,” Cardozo Law School, March 24, 2015
    • Guest Lecturer, “Chinese Intellectual Property Law,” Fordham University School of Law, February 27, 2015
    • Moderator, “Trade Disputes Involving China and the United States,” Brooklyn Law School, January 21, 2015
    • Moderator and panelist, “Innovative Options for Entering the China Market: How Changes in Chinese Law Have Created New Approaches,” ABA Section of International Law, July 23, 2014
    • Moderator, “Legal Careers in Banking,” Fordham University School of Law, November 25, 2013
    • Moderator, “International Careers: A Panel Discussion for Future Firm Associates,” Columbia University Law School, November 21, 2013
    • Speaker, “Legal Issues and Careers: China and the US” (in Chinese) Tsinghua University, November 14, 2013
    • Presenter, “Legal Problems Facing Chinese Companies Investing In the United States” (in Chinese), Xiamen University, May 21, 2013
    • Panelist, “Chinese Companies’ Outbound Investment in the United States,” Fourth Fudan EMBA New York Forum, Bank of America Tower, May 6, 2013
    • Panelist, “U.S. Legal Issues Impacting Chinese Businesses” (in Chinese), Tsinghua University, April 23, 2013
    • Panelist, “Litigation Challenges Facing Chinese Companies in the United States” (with Hon. Denny Chin; Prof. Mark Cohen; Prof. Carl Minzner, and others) at “Deals and Suits: Challenges and Opportunities for Chinese Companies Doing Business in the United States,” Fordham Law School, Jan. 28, 2013
    • Moderator, “Going Private and Going Dark: Considerations for U.S. Publicly Traded Chinese Companies,” Nov. 14, moderated a seminar at NYU School of Law on U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies considering leaving the U.S. reporting system featuring speakers from Harbin Electric, Inc.; Morgan Joseph TriArtisan LLC; Houlihan Lokey; and UHY Advisors NY, Inc.
    • Guest Lecturer, “Chinese IP Legal Principles and Practice,” Fordham University School of Law, November 12, 2012
    • “International Practice – Career Panel II,” Oct. 3, 2012, moderated and organized a panel discussion of international careers, NYU School of Law
    • “International Practice – A Career Panel,” Oct. 1, 2012, moderated and organized a panel discussion of international careers, Fordham Law School
    • Geoffrey Sant has been cited at the United States Supreme Court; the New York Court of Appeals; and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, among other courts.

Education

  • J.D., New York University, 2008

    M.A., Chinese and Japanese Literature, Columbia University, 2005

    B.A., Romance Languages & Literature; Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, University of Chicago, 1996
    Honors

Admissions

  • New York

Courts

  • The Supreme Court of the United States

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York