William K. Pao is a seasoned commercial litigator whose diverse practice focuses on three main areas: securities litigation, financial services and Fintech litigation, and complex commercial litigation involving Chinese companies. Will’s clients include companies across a wide spectrum of industries, including banking, technology, automotive, agriculture, education, and fashion.
As a secondee to one of the nation’s largest banks, Will managed a large portfolio of high-exposure, high-stakes consumer banking litigation. In recent years, Will has worked extensively with emerging Fintech companies, including advising cryptocurrency and block chain companies on securities and regulatory as well as litigation issues. In addition, Will has substantial experience advising and representing Chinese companies and U.S. companies that operate in China. Will speaks Mandarin, and has spent considerable time in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Will believes that to provide sound legal advice, it is imperative to understand a client’s business, inside and out. Understanding their business models, industries, customers, and strategic goals allows him to counsel and guide his clients through highly complex and sensitive matters.
Will has been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential Minority Attorneys” in Los Angeles and was recently named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List for his work in securities, financial services, and commercial litigation.
Prior to joining O’Melveny, Will served as a law clerk to the Hon. Fortunato Benavides of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Hon. David F. Levi, formerly of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.
He graduated Order of the Coif from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a triple major in Political Science, Economics, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. As a Fulbright Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai, Will conducted extensive research on Chinese economic reforms.
Will serves on the Board of Governors for the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. Will also was the Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the International Law Section of the State Bar of California. Will actively dedicates his time to pro bono matters, especially federal civil rights cases.
- Represented a US-listed Chinese company in three successive class actions, twice defeating motions for class certification. In the most recent case, the US Supreme Court in a unanimous decision significantly limited the scope of American Pipe tolling—an issue that will significantly impact class actions generally.
- Representing a Chinese multinational technology company and its CEO in a securities class action asserting Securities Exchange Act claims in connection with their token.
- Representing a Chinese online game developer in a putative securities class action involving a going-private transaction.
- Advise healthcare real estate investment trust in M&A litigation challenging multi-billion dollar acquisition.
- Represented one of the world’s leading satellite companies and individual board members and defeated motion for preliminary injunction in M&A litigation challenging company’s multibillion-dollar merger.
- Represented one of the nation’s largest banks in numerous high-stakes consumer banking putative class actions.
- Managed a large portfolio of high-exposure, high-stakes consumer-mortgage litigation for a large financial institution.
- Represented a prominent technology company’s board of directors in M&A litigation.
- Mandarin Chinese
- University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), J.D.: Order of the Coif; Executive Editor, Berkeley Business Law Journal; Member, Moot Court Board
- Fudan University, Fulbright Scholar
- University of Southern California, B.A., Political Science, Economics, East Asian Languages and Cultures (triple major): summa cum laude; Departmental Honors (Political Science); Phi Beta Kappa
- Honorable Fortunato Benavides, US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Honorable David F. Levi, US District Court, Eastern District of California
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