Alternate Office
  • Beijing
  • China Central Place, 29th Floor, Tower 2
  • 79 Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District
  • Beijing, 100025
  • TEL: +86 10 5834 1009
  • FAX: +86 10 5969 6099
Areas of Practice
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, LL.M. in Chinese Law, 2008
  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2002
  • Miami University, B.A., 1993
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin

Richard K. Wagner

115 South LaSalle Street
Suite 3100
Chicago IL 60603
TEL: +1 312 577 1235
FAX: +1 312 577 1370

Richard Wagner is a partner with Steptoe's International Regulation & Compliance and Complex Commercial Disputes Groups.  Dividing his time between Beijing and Chicago, he represents clients in disputes and investigations that concern the Sino-US market.  He has extensive experience in complex cross-border litigation, international arbitration, government and internal investigations, PRC information compliance counseling, and litigation in the Chinese courts. 

A seasoned China practitioner, Mr. Wagner counsels US and multinational corporations and individuals on sensitive matters relating to foreign investment in China and the PRC regulatory environment.  He advises international clients on risk management for their China operations, particularly as such relates to:

  • The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • PRC Official and Commercial Bribery
  • Commercial litigation and Chinese court procedure
  • PRC seated arbitration
  • Complex fraud
  • Trade secret theft and infringement
  • Unfair competition
  • Data privacy, state secrecy and sovereign information
  • Anti-monopoly
  • Products liability

In addition, Mr. Wagner devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing Chinese companies and individuals before US courts and international and domestic tribunals.  Fluent with Chinese documents and legal issues, Mr. Wagner is able to interpret and explain the special issues that often arise in China-related litigation in the US – from PRC state secrecy and blocking statutes to the nature of the Chinese corporate form.  Experienced with Hague service and other procedural challenges, he collaborates with the firm’s extensive trial teams to vigorously defend and prosecute claims before US courts and international forums.  He also represents Chinese companies and individuals in criminal and administrative proceedings before US government agencies, teaming with the firm’s government facing practices in Washington.

Mr. Wagner reads and speaks Mandarin Chinese and was previously resident in the Chicago, Beijing, and Hong Kong offices of another international law firm with a substantial China practice.

Representative Matters

  • International counsel to a public relations company in a criminal investigation seated in China.
  • International counsel to a telecommunications company in an FCPA investigation seated in China.
  • International counsel to a US company in a criminal trade secret and anti-monopoly investigation in Shanghai.
  • International counsel to an American restaurant chain in a compliance investigation seated in China.
  • Defended a Chinese technology company in antitrust and trade disparagement litigation in US federal court in San Jose, California and in collateral Chinese patent litigation.  Reached favorable settlement after substantial motions practice.
  • Defended a Chinese automaker in a dispute over a proposed joint venture to distribute PRC manufactured automobiles in the US.  Successfully moved federal court in Detroit to compel arbitration of all claims before the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
  • Acted for a Chinese pharmaceutical company in a US $49 million breach of contract claim and counterclaims in arbitration before the HKIAC.
  • Acted for a US telecommunications company traded on the NASDAQ and its Chinese subsidiaries in post-merger multimillion-dollar disputes involving claims of fraud, trade secret infringement, and unfair competition.  Main action prosecuted in Los Angeles.  Collateral actions defended in Beijing and Chengdu.  Reached favorable settlement in coordinated proceedings.
  • Acted as international counsel to a Chinese automaker in a dispute concerning an exclusive agency agreement with a UAE distributor.
  • Advised a Chinese state-owned energy company in connection with a multimillion-dollar acquisition in Brazil.
  • Advised a Chinese state-owned enterprise in connection with arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), seated in London.
  • Acted as international counsel to a US telecommunications company and its China subsidiaries in trade secret and unfair competition litigation before the courts of Chengdu and Beijing.
  • Defended a Swedish company in an international carriage of goods case, quashing service of process which led to early settlement.
  • Participated in obtaining the dismissal of a US $40 million post-acquisition indemnity claim before the AAA in New York, NY.
  • Defended certain Formula One teams in class action litigation leading to the dismissal of all claims.
  • Obtained political asylum for a Hmong couple from Laos (pro bono representation).


Charles Dunn Award winner, Wisconsin State Bar Communications Committee, 2014

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Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society