William K. Pao

Partner

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William K. Pao is a seasoned litigator whose diverse practice centers on three main areas: financial services litigation, securities litigation, and complex commercial litigation involving Chinese companies. Will’s clients include financial institutions, U.S.-listed Chinese companies, and U.S. public companies across a wide spectrum of industries including technology, automotive, agriculture, education, fashion, and apparel.  As a recent secondee to one of the nation’s largest banks, Will managed a large portfolio of high-exposure, high-stakes consumer banking litigation. In addition, Will possesses domain expertise in securities litigation and regularly writes and speaks on securities issues. Will also has substantial experience advising and representing Chinese companies and U.S. companies that operate in China. He speaks Mandarin and has spent considerable time in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Will believes that to provide sound legal advice, it is imperative to understand a client’s business inside and out.  Understanding their business models, industries, customers, and strategic goals, allows him to counsel and guide his clients through highly complex and sensitive matters.

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Languages

  • Mandarin Chinese

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers as published in Los Angeles magazine (2014-2016)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), J.D.: Order of the Coif; Executive Editor, Berkeley Business Law Journal; Member, Moot Court Board
  • Fudan University, Fulbright Scholar
  • University of Southern California, B.A., Political Science, Economics, East Asian Languages and Cultures (triple major): summa cum laude; Departmental Honors (Political Science); Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities

Clerkships

  • Honorable Fortunato Benavides, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Hon. David F. Levi, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California 

Fulbright Scholar

  • China 

Member

  • Executive Committee, International Law Section, State Bar of California
  • Board of Governors, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
  • Associate Leadership Board, Public Counsel

Speaker

  • “Current Issues in US-China Cross Border Litigation,” Tsinghua University School of Law (March 2012)
  • “Developing a China Practice 101,” Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (January 2012)
  • “How to Do Business with China: What You Need to Know About Dispute Resolution, Deals, Anti-Bribery, and Other Legal Issues,” Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce (October 2012)
  • “How to Serve Clients in China with Your U.S. Litigation Practice,” Webinar for the American Bar Association (May 2012)
  • “Careers in International Law,” State Bar of California (March 2012)
  • “Developing an International Practice: Asia 101,” Webinar for State Bar of California (November 2011)
  • “Securities Litigation Goes Global: Unique Issues Posed by Securities Litigation and Enforcement in a Globalized Economy,” State Bar of California (June 2011)

Publications

  • “Assembling the Pieces of the Scienter Puzzle: A New Approach to a Holistic Review of Scienter Pleading under Tellabs and the PSLRA,” Michigan State Journal of Business & Securities Law (April 9, 2014)
  • “Comcast Puts Securities Plaintiffs To An Earlier Test,” Law360 (January 27, 2014)
  • “'Holistic Review in Federal Securities Litigation,” Corporate Counsel (October 17, 2013)
  • “Am I on Speaker? Privacy in the Age of Smartphones,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 16, 2011)
  • “Courts Restrict Defendants’ Ability to Take Offensive,” The Recorder (July 25, 2011)
  • “The Facebook Effect on Litigation and Civil Discovery,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (June 28, 2011)
  • “Navigating the Thicket of California Law on Class Action Waivers,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 7, 2011)
  • “Interlocutory Appellate Review of Class-Certification Rulings under Rule 23(f): Do Articulated Standards Matter?” DRI’s Certworthy Newsletter (Winter 2009)
  • Managed a large portfolio of high-exposure, high-stakes consumer-mortgage litigation for a large financial institution.
  • Represented a U.S.-listed Chinese company in putative securities class actions, twice defeating motions for class certification.
  • Represented a leading apparel company’s board of directors in a shareholder derivative action.
  • Represented a prominent technology company’s board of directors in M&A litigation.
  • Advised the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on the legality of a proposal to use eminent domain in acquiring mortgage loans.