Areas of Practice
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1975, Editor-in-Chief, Harvard International Law Journal
  • Oxford University, B. Phil., 1972, Rhodes Scholar, Thouron Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Fellow
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 1969, Phi Beta Kappa
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Licensed Foreign Attorney in China, 1999-2005

Patrick M. Norton

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8034
FAX: +1 202 429 3902


Patrick M. Norton is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office and Co-Chair of the firm’s International Arbitration Group.

Mr. Norton has extensive experience in international commercial arbitration, litigation, trade disputes, and regulatory matters.  He has been lead counsel in more than 100 international arbitrations, lawsuits, and trade disputes involving Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and has served as an arbitrator in international disputes under AAA, ICC, and UNCITRAL rules.

Mr. Norton also has extensive experience in international anti-corruption matters.  He has supervised several multinational FCPA investigations for US and UK clients and more than 20 FCPA investigations concerning China or other Asian countries.  He regularly counsels clients on anti-corruption compliance programs and on anti-corruption due diligence in M&A transactions.  Mr. Norton has chaired or addressed numerous anti-corruption conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Norton practiced law for more than 20 years with other leading law firms, including more than six years in China.  Mr. Norton also served in the US State Department as Assistant Legal Adviser for East Asia and later for the Near East and South Asia.  He represented the United States in numerous international negotiations and litigation.  For these services, Mr. Norton received the highest presidential honors awarded to senior US government employees.

Representative Matters


  • Represented US manufacturer in $60 million dispute with Indian manufacturer under ICDR Rules.
  • Represented US importer in three arbitrations brought against Chinese suppliers under CIETAC Rules in Beijing and Shanghai.   
  • Represented a NYSE-listed Chinese company in interrelated S.D.N.Y. litigation and London (LCIA) and Singapore (SIAC) arbitrations.
  • Advised foreign receivers of a $250 million real estate development project in China regarding litigation in China, the UK, and the Caribbean, and in related arbitration proceedings (ICC) in Paris. 
  • Represented German manufacturer in ICC arbitration in Zurich against the Government of Iraq for equipment purchased prior to the First Gulf War.  Represented same client in US litigation to compel payments by Italian bank pursuant to letters of credit securing payment of arbitral award. 
  • US State Department, Deputy Director of Iran Claims:  Represented the United States in 130 arbitrations with Iran involving US$30 billion in claims.  Briefed and successfully argued three of the largest cases, including two cases heard by the full Iran-US Claims Tribunal.
  • US State Department:  Led US Government team representing the United States in Nicaragua vs. United States, International Court of Justice (1985-86).  Responsible for all written briefs and oral arguments in preliminary measures and jurisdiction phases of case. 


  • Advised the Board of Directors of a NYSE-listed company in an investigation of the company’s sales in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America for compliance with the FCPA.  Coordinated the company’s investigation with parallel US Government investigations.
  • Advised the Board of Directors of a FTSE-listed UK company in the investigation of a US subsidiary’s sales in more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa for FCPA compliance.  Negotiated settlement of all US charges against the company and coordinated responses to inquiries from customers and governments in other countries.
  • Conducted more than 20 internal corporate investigations of FCPA compliance issues in China, India, Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries.
  • Advised numerous clients on setting up and implementing anti-corruption compliance programs worldwide.
  • Advised numerous clients on anti-corruption due diligence in M&A transactions in various countries.


  • Chairman of three-arbitrator tribunal under ICC Rules for claims arising out of a European MNC’s investment in a Korean JV. Hearings in Seoul and Hong Kong.
  • Sole arbitrator in three ICC arbitrations in Beijing and Shanghai between foreign investors and Chinese companies. 
  • Party-appointed arbitrator in UNCITRAL arbitration involving international investments in Kazakhstan oil fields.
  • Party-appointed arbitrator in ICC arbitration in Stockholm between US and Chinese joint venture partners in production facility in southern China.
  • Chairman of AAA arbitration in Atlanta brought by US manufacturer of armored cars against Latin American government.


  • Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration (2008-2010)
  • Listed in Who's Who Legal for Commercial Arbitration in 2007-2008

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Selected Publications

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Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations, 2007 – present
  • Member, National Committee on US-China Relations, 2006–present
  • Member, Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce: Board of Governors (2000–2001); Vice-Chair, Legal Committee (2000–2001)
  • American Bar Association: Section of International Law and Practice, Council Member (1996–1999), Publication Chair (1996–1999), Budget Officer (1998–1999); Council Member 2007-2008
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association (1989–present)