NEW YORK – Continuing the build-out of its global dispute capabilities, Pillsbury has recruited five additional lawyers and law clerks to support recently arrived Litigation partner Geoffrey Sant. Joining Geoffrey Sant from Dorsey & Whitney are associates Carol Lee and Michelle Ng and law clerk Fangwei Wang, as well as former Dorsey & Whitney partner Eric Epstein. The team had worked together for more than five years at Dorsey & Whitney prior to coming to Pillsbury. Rounding out the team is Yang Wang, who joins Pillsbury from China Life, where he had been Head of Litigation at the Fortune 100 company.
“This is an exceptionally talented group of legal practitioners who can offer Chinese clients unsurpassed lingual and cultural fluency and who know each other extremely well,” said Deborah Baum, leader of Pillsbury’s Litigation practice section. “We are thrilled about the addition of this group, as it will afford our clients around the globe even more of the top-notch litigation support needed to resolve cross-border disputes in U.S. courts.”
Epstein is an experienced litigator who has first-chaired bench and jury trials in federal and state court. Epstein is the lead author of the American Bar Association’s treatise “The Bank Examination Privilege,” which focuses on the federal and state laws that help protect confidential regulatory communications from disclosure during U.S. litigation. Epstein has spoken on the topic of the bank examination privilege to the American Bar Association, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and many other organizations. Epstein’s litigation experience includes the representation of financial institutions in debt-collection matters and in defending against civil claims. He also has represented financial institutions in regulatory proceedings before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other governmental agencies.
Lee, who speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, has handled a wide array of commercial disputes in federal and state courts in the U.S. She routinely works with Chinese clients, including some of China’s largest banks and corporate entities. She also worked on a successful case of first impression in the Cayman Islands.
Ng, who also speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, has assisted some of China’s largest and most active companies in cross-border disputes, including working abroad for two years in a high-profile international litigation. Her clients have included U.S. and Chinese corporations with operations in both China and the U.S. Additionally, she also has completed a secondment in the legal and compliance department at a top-four Chinese bank with branches in the U.S.
Fangwei Wang, a native speaker of Mandarin, is legally qualified in China and has handled litigations involving aviation investments, embezzlements, and terrorism-related allegations against an international bank.
Yang Wang, a native speaker of Mandarin, had served as a law firm partner in China prior to becoming Head of Litigation at China Life, where he oversaw all disputes issues globally for the Chinese insurance giant.
Together, Sant and his team have won seven- and eight-figure judgments in favor of Chinese clients while also successfully defending lawsuits seeking as much as one billion dollars in damages. They also have successfully defended Chinese companies in employment disputes brought by U.S. employees.
With their move, Pillsbury stakes its claim to having the largest Chinese-fluent litigation team in New York.
“I am thrilled to have my entire team join me here at Pillsbury, where we are already benefitting from the firm’s exceptional stable of disputes lawyers and significant foothold in Asian markets,” Sant said. “As demand for litigation in Asia continues to grow, Pillsbury’s platform has everything I need to serve the evolving and increasing needs of our clients.”
The addition of Sant and his team is another significant step in the ongoing expansion of Pillsbury’s global disputes capabilities. In May, the firm announced the opening of a Taipei office helmed by Intellectual Property Litigation partners Christopher Kao and David Tsai. Last year, partner Deborah Ruff joined the firm in London, bringing substantial international arbitration experience in the energy, infrastructure and construction, telecommunications, financial and corporate sectors. Likewise, in May, Pillsbury welcomed noted international arbitration practitioner Bob Sills to its New York office. His four decades of experience covers the banking, energy, private equity and telecommunications industries in international arbitration matters around the globe.