(December 4, 2019, Washington, DC) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce the expansion of its cross-border investigations, compliance and enforcement practice in Asia with the arrival of Wendy Wysong, who will spearhead the launch of a Hong Kong office. The new office, which has been approved by the Hong Kong Law Society, will be the firm's second in Asia, joining the Beijing office, which opened in 2010. Also joining Steptoe as a partner is Ali Burney, who will relocate from Singapore to join Wysong in the Hong Kong office. Steptoe partner Susan Munro, who has been Chief Representative of Steptoe's Beijing office since 2015, will transfer her practice to Hong Kong. Additional counsel and associates are expected to join Wysong, Burney soon. The team's arrival continues the global expansion of Steptoe's cross-border investigations, compliance and enforcement practice, which welcomed Zoe Osborne to the London office in October.
Wysong, a US lawyer who will also maintain an office in Washington, brings nearly a decade of experience working in Asia. Her practice focuses on investigations and enforcement of cross-border business activity, including conduct implicating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws, economic sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), export controls, and anti-boycott laws, as well as government fraud and public corruption.
Ranked as a top-tier practitioner by Chambers in its Asia Pacific and Global guides, Wysong has been noted by the editors for her "deep experience in matters related to economic sanctions, handling both enforcement and compliance. Clients say [she] is 'very pragmatic and wants to resolve problems.'" Wysong has also been recognized by Global Investigations Review (GIR), which named her to its inaugural list of the top women in investigations in 2015. Steptoe partners Brigid Benitez, Lucinda Low and Brittany Prelogar have also been recognized by GIR as top women in investigations.
Wysong previously served as an assistant US attorney in Washington, DC, and deputy assistant secretary for export enforcement in the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security.
In welcoming Wysong and her team to the firm, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: "Wendy is perhaps the most prominent Hong Kong practitioner in areas that complement key Steptoe strengths: white-collar defense, FCPA, export controls and economic sanctions. Wendy and her team will bring great additional talent to our already deep bench in these areas, enabling us to further support our clients’ Asia-based needs. We are thrilled to welcome her and her team to Steptoe."
Burney focuses his practice on advising companies in Asia Pacific on compliance with US economic sanctions, export controls, anti-money laundering laws, and the FCPA. He has extensive experience advising on and conducting internal investigations, risk assessments, and M&A due diligence and representing clients in front of US enforcement agencies. Burney previously served at the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
In 2017, Wysong and her team received dual recognition by World ECR (Export Controls Review) as the "Export Controls Law Firm of the Year, USA" and the "Export Controls/Sanctions Law Firm of the Year, Rest of the World."
Wysong remarked: "Steptoe has great strengths in the practices that closely align with my areas of focus so I am delighted by this opportunity to lead the firm's expansion in Asia, building on its decade in Beijing, with the opening of a Hong Kong office. Hong Kong is an important regional financial center for global legal clients with activities not only in China but in Asia more broadly. I look forward to partnering with my colleagues at Steptoe to service their needs."
Steptoe's Beijing office, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in early 2020, is strengthening its capabilities in cross-border investigations, compliance and enforcement. Steptoe partner Rich Battaglia, who has spent the past seven years in Steptoe's Chicago office, will be transferring to Beijing. Battaglia previously enjoyed a 35-plus year career at BP America, Inc., where he gained substantial international experience in ex-pat assignments in several international offices and held global responsibility for regulatory compliance. Steptoe partner Tim Bickham also moved from Washington, DC to Beijing to anchor the firm's Intellectual Property and Litigation practices in Greater China.
Through decades of experience, Steptoe has earned a national reputation as a go-to firm for boards, audit committees, special committees, companies, and other institutions in need of outside counsel to handle government investigations, sensitive internal investigations, and compliance reviews. The firm's team includes former officials from a wide range of US law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department, IRS, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the New York County District Attorney's Office.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.