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Claire Zhao



Claire assists clients with internal compliance issues, anti-bribery, code of conduct violations, white collar crime, and FCPA violations, as well as crisis management and proactive compliance efforts, due diligence, and training.

She leads the China employment practice and advises on all aspects of contentious and noncontentious employment matters with a particular focus on staffing issues arising from acquisitions and other reorganizations, strategic employment counseling, resolving labor disputes, employee hiring and termination, immigration, mass layoffs and labor unrest, establishment and enforcement of company policies, and labor union and collective contract issues.

In addition to her compliance and employment work, Claire has extensive experience in the privacy, data protection and cybersecurity fields, advising clients across a broad range of industries on complex data-related compliance projects throughout the entirety of data processing, international data transfers, data breach preparedness and incident responses, data protection trainings, employee privacy, data processing, and transfer agreements.

Employment Experience

  • Advised on a wide range of PRC employment matters, including drafting employment agreements, employee handbook and noncompetition agreements, reviewing labor dispatch agreements with hiring agents, advising companies on expatriate employment and employment-related immigration issues, and assisting with labor dispute resolution
  • Handled employee transfer and termination aspects of business restructuring projects in China and advised on the implementation of employee stock option plans for China and related foreign exchange issues
  • Provided counsel on employment compliance issues; structuring executive employment and separation agreements, confidentiality and noncompetition agreements; and assisting with disciplinary actions, dismissal of senior executives and negotiation of related severance packages
  • Advised on M&A-related employment matters, including due diligence, terms related to employment matters and strategies for workforce integration
  • Advised on a wide range of China-related expatriate employment and related immigration matters, trade union issues, employee outsourcing arrangements, employee benefits arrangements, employee communications, and employee transfer plans

Data Privacy & Data Protection Experience

  • Advised Chinese manufacturers and retailers on China Cyber Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law
  • Advised and assisted on establishing internal employment privacy and data compliance programs for several leading companies in the industries of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and others.
  • Advised a global large-scale pharmaceutical and medical device company on its data processing, personal information compliance and data export matters
  • Advised a multinational technology company on its data privacy issues from the perspectives of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Related Topics


Bar Admissions

New York




University of Minnesota
LL.M. (2013)

University of Sheffield
LL.M. (2004)

Beijing Jiaotong University
LL.B. (2003)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Compliance Challenges in China
    Industry Today, February 2018
  • Employing in China: Complying With Chinese Employment Law
    Center for Competitive Management, June 2012


  • Best Lawyers — Lawyer of the Year, Labor and Employment (Shanghai), 2019  
  • Legal 500  Next Generation Partners, 2014-19
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific — China Employment, 2020
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific — Associate to Watch, China Employment, 2013-19
  • China Law & Practice — Rising Star, Labour & Employment, 2014
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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