Cedric T. Chou

Email:  cchou@mbgwlaw.com

T: (310) 229-3500 F: (310) 229-3501

Mr. Chou has a distinguished career as an attorney, and he now chairs the Greater China Practice at Baranov & Wittenberg, LLP.  His practice includes a broad range of matters, with an emphasis on cross-border issues and Greater China, where he lived and practiced for many years, in addition to Los Angeles.  He assists clients in the financial sector, general business, real estate sector, creative culture, media and entertainment, energy, high-tech, immigration as well as matters concerning high net-worth individuals.  During the course of his career, Mr. Chou has assisted clients in transactions in the aggregate of more than US$2.5 billion.  At the same time he has published a seminal book and taught at two of the most prestigious schools in China.  During his career, Mr. Chou was a partner at a major international law firm and later a practice head at another major international law firm.

On the litigation side, Cedric Chou serves clients in litigation management, mediation and white collar investigation.  He has represented clients in account receivable factoring disputes, securities fraud disputes and class action defense.  He handled one of the first insider trading investigations by the SEC concerning a high-profile Chinese chairman of the board of a Nasdaq-listed, Beijing-based public company.

Mr. Chou’s experience working in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei, in addition to California, allows him to bring clients a greater understanding of Pacific Rim legal, business, government affairs and cultural issues. He had helped establish the Hong Kong office of a major Wall Street law firm, and successfully assisted in developing its Greater China strategy. In corporate and finance matters, Mr. Chou’s experience ranges from general corporate, venture capital investment, mergers and acquisitions to initial public offerings.  In early to mid-90s, Mr. Chou assisted four Taiwanese banks to become the first to meet the Federal Reserve System requirements under the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991, and further assisted Merrill Lynch in the first SEC registration of a Taiwanese company, Far Eastern Textile. 

In recent years, Mr. Chou has also spearheaded U.S. and Chinese companies in entertainment, real estate investment as well as creative culture transactions. In addition, Mr. Chou is a well-known Chinese writer, columnist and the author of a critically acclaimed book on the rule of law. When based in China, he taught at prestigious institutions such as the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and the School of Law at Fudan University. He was recently elected to chair the Advisory Council of the Center for Chinese Studies at the UCLA International Institute.

Mr. Chou is a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and is fluent in English. At the beginning of his career as an attorney, Cedric Chou started an orchestra, Asian Philharmonic, and led, organized and produced the performance at its thirty-year anniversary of the Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto at the piece’s Southern California debut. The concerto is undoubtedly one of the most famous modern Chinese classical music pieces.  Recently, Mr. Chou started a non-profit, non-governmental initiative, Music Heritage Global.   Mr. Chou’s grandfather and granduncle were active in diplomacy and politics during their lifetimes.  They served as congressmen, ambassadors to Canada and Mexico, and representative to the United Nations.  His granduncle, a holder of a Ph. D degree from Columbia University, also published authoritative English translations of Chinese classics.

Representative Transactions

  • Representation of US hotel, commercial and residential property developers and owners of more than 9 regional centers for EB-5 investor visa immigration.
  • Representation of a real estate fund in its investment into projects with a public PRC property development company.
  • Representation of Merrill Lynch on the private placement of the PRC land bank of New World, a Hong Kong development company.
  • Representation of film production companies and producers.
  • Representation of Hollywood marketing companies.
  • Representation of Emmy Award and theme park winning designers.
  • Representation of celebrities in media and music.
  • Representation of NuCom on Citi Venture Capital’s US$40 million equity financing and restructuring of a PRC cable TV company.
  • Representation of a prestigious Taiwanese weekly magazine on its selling of shares and restructuring.
  • Representation of high net-worth Taiwanese or Chinese clients and public companies regarding investigation by the SEC or securities litigations.
  • Representation of Shanghai Yongpu on its reverse merger transaction with a California corporation.
  • Representation of XEMC New Energy in its investment in wind projects of Alta Mesa Finance, LLC, located in Southern California.
  • Representation of Apex Wind Energy in connection with its portfolio of wind projects throughout the U.S. and its dealings with Chinese investors.
  • Representation of a Chinese energy developer in a dispute over construction of an alternative energy power plant in the US.
  • Representation of CIT and a number of other U.S. companies, on the establishment of representative offices, wholly-owned subsidiaries or joint ventures in China as well as related matters.
  • Representation of Fuqi, a Chinese company then publicly listed on the Nasdaq, on financial restatement, class action and derivative action issues.
  • Representation of a Taiwanese commercial bank, as creditor, on its US$80 million claims in factored accounts receivable against retailers Wal-Mart, Hitachi, Target and Circuit City, as well as against a bankruptcy debtor in California.
  • Representation of Eastern Communications, a public PRC corporation, in its strategic alliance with a U.S. company.
  • Representation of California high-tech corporations, such as Gtran, G-Plus and Maven Optronics, in venture capital financing.
  • Representation of a major U.S. chemical company on the establishment of a foreign trading company in Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone in Shanghai.
  • Representation of Winbond Electronics on the issue of US$200 million convertible bonds.
  • Representation of Merrill Lynch on the registration at the SEC of American Depositary Receipts (and an intended NYSE listing) by Far Eastern Textile, the first from Taiwan.
  • Representation of Merrill Lynch, Lehman Commercial Paper and J.P. Morgan on a US$500 million commercial paper program of The Korea Development Bank.
  • Representation of Korea Exchange Bank on its US$1 billion commercial paper program.
  • Representation of Merrill Lynch on the issue of mortgage backed floating rate notes of Dragon MBS Ltd. The mortgage originators are affiliates of Cheung Kong.
  • Representation of Bank of Taiwan on its establishment of a wholesale branch in Los Angeles.
  • Representation of Bank of Taiwan, Taipei Bank together with two other Taipei-based banks in obtaining approval by Federal Reserve System of the U.S. of the banking comprehensive supervision issues of Taiwan, the first to meet the requirements under the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Commonwealth Publishing Company, at its 30-year anniversary, recognized as a Leading Writer for Social Cause, 2012.
  • Southern California Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, Certificate, in appreciation of outstanding services, March 6, 2004.
  • California State Assembly, Certificate of Recognition, in honor of the leadership and inspiration provided towards promoting new technology in business and community partnerships, February 7, 2003.
  • California State Board of Equalization, Resolution, in honor for service and commitment to the Asian American community, February 7, 2003.
  • Southern California Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, Award of Appreciation, Founding Ceremony, February 23, 2002.

Publications

  • Author, “CFIUS: A Unique Challenge for Chinese Energy Investors,” Overview of US Wind Energy Industry and Market, Chinese Wind Energy Association (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2011).
  • Author, “An Ideal State of Law: A Virtual Dialogue between Socrates and Mencius” Taipei: Commonwealth, 1998; Beijing: Commercial Press, 1999 (critically acclaimed and cited in law textbooks and used for law and other courses, also widely acknowledged in all three parts of Greater China).
  • Regular columnist or occasional contributor from 1999 to 2005 for China Youth Daily (Beijing) (weekly column in 2001), Global Views Monthly (Shanghai) (monthly column in 2002), Cai Jing Monthly (Beijing), China Times (Taipei) and Yazhou Zhoukan (Hong Kong).
  • Editor, “Financial Market English-Chinese and Chinese-English Dictionary” (Beijing: San Lian, 2003).

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Lessons We Learn from Sany/Ralls CFIUS Experience,” US Forum: Doing Wind Business in North America, China Wind 2012.
  • Moderator, US – China Wind Summit 2011: Building Strategic Cooperation.
  • Co-Presenter, US ‑ China Wind Summit 2010: Building Strategic Cooperation.
  • TV guest, KSCI, Los Angeles, frequently from 1999 to 2004.
  • Panelist, The 20th Modern Engineering & Technology Seminar, Taiwan, 2004.
  • Panelist, The 2004 Biennial Taiwan-USA Business Conference, 2004.
  • Panelist, Cal State Northridge, Center for China Finance and Business Research, 2003.
  • Speaker, Impact Roundtable, Century City, 2003.
  • Speaker and Chair, Southern California Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, 2003 M&A Conference.
  • Panelist, Industry City Manufacturers Council, 2002.
  • Panelist, Southern California Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, 2002.
  • Speaker, Shanghai Society of International Affairs, Shanghai, 2001.
  • Speaker, Rand Corporation, 1999.

Interviews

  • Global Entrepreneurs Magazine, 2012 and 2013.
  • KSCI TV, between 1999 and 2004.

Community Involvement

  • Board Advisor, Music Festival Perugia, Italy, 2012-2013.
  • Board Member, Los Angeles Philanthropic Committee for the Arts, 2010.
  • Milestone Contributor of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
  • Conductor, Chamber Orchestra of Tzu-Chi Buddhist Philanthropy Foundation, 2004.
  • Host on behalf of Asia Society, welcoming luncheon in honor of Consul General Zhong Jianhua of China, November 2002.

Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D.

Bar Admission(s)

  • California

Membership(s)

  • Chairman of the Advisory Council, UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, 2017 – present
  • Board Advisor, MusicFest Perugia, 2012 – present
  • Board Member, Los Angeles Philanthropic Committee for the Arts, 2010
  • Advisory Board Member, Cal State Northridge, Center for China Finance and Business Research, 2002-2008
  • Executive Board Director, Southern California Monte Jade Science & Technology Association, 2003-2004

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese

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