68 Central Yin Cheng Road
One Lujiazui, 22nd Floor
Pudong, Shanghai 200120, China
+86 (21) 61946706
Xingjian “Jeff” Zhao
Based in Shanghai, Jeff heads the firm’s China practice. Raised and educated in America but never forgetting his Chinese roots, Jeff firmly grasps both cultures’ unspoken nuances, including their vastly different ways of thinking and approaches to problem-solving. Well-versed in both legal systems, Jeff’s dynamic personal background, multilingual proficiency, and ability to understand and address the needs of clients from both sides of the Pacific have led him to foster multiple niche practice areas.
A disputes specialist and skilled U.S. litigator, Jeff helps clients navigate through serious claims of liability. Appearing before all levels of U.S. federal and state courts and international arbitral tribunals, Jeff tackles highly complex but recurrent issues of jurisdiction and venue in cross-border disputes. He has succeeded in addressing threshold challenges based on forum non conveniens, lack of personal or subject matter jurisdiction, failure to exercise compulsory joinder, the presumption against extraterritorial application of U.S. laws, and claims of immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
On the compliance side, Jeff assists clients with issues relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In addition to handling civil claims under various U.S. securities laws and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Jeff also helps clients favorably resolve situations involving the imposition of actual or threatened sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Before practicing law, Jeff worked on then-U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in Washington DC, and at Senator Clinton’s office in New York City, where he was a liaison on immigration and foreign affairs. Before joining Diaz Reus, Jeff was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to take part in a highly competitive clerkship program, where, at the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, he worked with DOJ attorneys on a wide range of environmental law enforcement matters.
An avid author, Jeff has written over two dozen articles relating to his areas of practice.
Jeff is fully bilingual in English and Mandarin (both Native).
- Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. (Executive) in Taxation, with Distinction (2018)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, J.D. (2010); Senior Staff, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation
- Binghamton University, M.A. in Philosophy (2007) and B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Law, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (2006)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States Tax Court
- United States Court of Federal Claims
Areas of Practice
- Civil Litigation (Trial and Appellate)
- Arbitration & Other Forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution
- International Tax Compliance (including U.S. Inbound & Outbound)
- Transfer Pricing & Tax Treaties
- Intellectual Property Disputes
- Business & Financial Transactions
- Won highly favorable settlement of an international cosmetics distributorship dispute before the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) for respondent.
- Advised a leading global supplier of home appliances and consumer electronics in creating, maintaining, and dissolving various international distributorships and joint ventures, and on matters relating to corporate restructuring and subsidiary formation.
- Helped win a landmark case concerning the doctrine of forum non conveniensbefore the Florida Supreme Court. Cortez v. Palace Resorts,et al., 123 So. 3d 1085 (Fla. 2013), reh’g denied (Oct. 1, 2013) (PDF).
- Drafted multiple advisory opinions relating to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
- Advised and conducted due diligence for publicly traded renewable energy and agricultural sciences company in an asset acquisition arrangement.
- Helped successfully uphold dismissal of all civil RICO claims against a foreign national before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Select Recent Publications
- The Kingpin Act vs. California’s Compassionate Use Act: The Dubious Battle Between State and Federal Drug Laws, 15 D.C. L. Rev. 47(2012).
- Making Capitalism More Creative: The Tempestuous Marriage of Sentiment and Self-Interest, 22 Pac. McGeorge Bus. & Dev. L.J. 333(2010).
- Case Note: Osorio v. Dole Food Co., 665 F. Supp. 2d 1307 (S.D. Fla. 2009),5 FIU L. Rev. 193 (2009).
- Places Export Restrictions on China’s ZTE: Lessons to Learn, Lexology, Apr. 13, 2016.
- Featured Commentary: How is the FATCA Affecting Financial Institutions and Taxpayers?, Inter-American Dialogue – Latin America Advisor, Jan. 14, 2015.
- How Will China’s Economy Affect U.S. Business?, Miami Herald, Business Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.