Geoffrey is a Partner in the Trial Department of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.
Geoffrey works on a broad range of commercial, corporate and banking litigation and transactions. He is a native English speaker, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Geoffrey is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where he teaches the nation’s only class on banking litigation. He has also taught U.S. law at China University of Political Science and Law (in Beijing). His publications have been cited by or to the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court), and the First Department, just to name appellate courts.
Geoffrey’s litigation representations include defending a major media company in a multibillion dollar contract dispute; defending an international bank in a billion-dollar litigation; and winning a 12.6 million USD judgment on behalf of one of his clients. In addition, he defeated a class action litigation against one of his clients, successfully convincing the judge to impose money sanctions against the law firm that sued it. This remarkable result was featured in a South China Morning Post article, “US court order brings hope for Chinese firms.”
Geoffrey’s transactional matters include winning regulatory approval for a new US branch of a major Chinese bank; successfully helping a Chinese company to deregister and go dark; and representing a major Chinese real estate company in establishing a US subsidiary and making US acquisitions.
Geoffrey is a Director of the Chinese Business Lawyers Association. He is a frequent commentator on legal issues for major Asian media, including CCTV (1 billion total viewers); Phoenix Television (hundreds of millions of viewers), People’s Daily (millions of readers); Global Times (millions of readers); and many others. In late 2014, the New York Court of Appeals cited to Geoffrey and adopted his public policy arguments in deciding a disputed point of New York law, in response to certified questions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2013 law journal article, he correctly predicted the 2014-2015 wave of bank de-risking. He is also credited with accurately predicting the 2010 wave of investigations and securities litigation against Chinese companies in a series of interviews in 2008 and 2009 on CCTV, Phoenix Television, and Global Times.
Education & Admissions
New York University (J.D., 2008)
Columbia University (M.A., Chinese & Japanese Literature, 2005)
University of Chicago (B.A., Romance Languages & Literature; Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, 1996), Honors
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish
- Great Dynasty International Financial Holdings Limited v. Haiting Li, 13-civ-1734 (N.D.Cal. 2014) (Chen, J.). Originated and handled the defense of an international company and its executives in five million dollar securities litigation lawsuit. In the first such case ever, we helped a Chinese company that had been sued in a securities litigation to obtain complete dismissal of the lawsuit and also to collect damages from the lawyers who sued the company. The court stated that “there is clear and convincing evidence that GDI’s counsel . . . was both reckless and frivolous [in bringing the lawsuit against our client], and [that this] amounted to conduct tantamount to bad faith.” The court held that the plaintiffs’ law firm and the individual attorneys were liable for paying all of our clients’ legal fees.
- Uni-Rty Corporation v. New York Guangdong Finance, Inc., Index No. 650361/12, Slip Op. (N.Y. Sup. Court, N.Y County, Dec. 5, 2012) (Sherwood, J.). Won on motion to dismiss, obtaining complete dismissal of multimillion-dollar claims against international bank.
- Huang v. Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc., 09-civ-8297 (S.D.N.Y. May 26, 2010) (Baer, J.). Won dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract and tort case against NASDAQ-listed technology company. Despite a lawsuit brought by a US citizen plaintiff, and a contract calling for payments in dollars through the company’s New York office, successfully obtained dismissal of lawsuit in favor of Chinese court system.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Geoffrey Sant’s writings have appeared in Slate Magazine, Anthropology News, and leading Asian media, such as Taipei Times, Taiwan News, Zhongguo Shibao (中国時報), and Zhongyang Ribao (中央日報). He wrote a bilingual magazine column that also served as the basis for a weekly radio show on Taiwan’s ICRT, and he has appeared as a regular commentator on the People’s Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Caixin Media, Asia TV, Blue Ocean Network, Tencent, and Taiwan’s MuchTV, in addition to CCTV and Phoenix Television.
- Speaker, “The Chinese Supreme People’s Court Database – How to Use it and What Secrets Does it Reveal about China’s Legal System?” Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (at Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), August 18, 2017
- Moderator, “Discovery and Investigations in China,” Fordham Law School, January 24, 2017
- “智商，情商，法商,” Renmin University Lawyer College (Famous Lawyers Lecture Series, 23rd Lecture; speaker), October 21, 2016
- Moderator, “Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Unplugged: A Frank Discussion on Banking, the Global Economy, and the ‘Delaware Way,’” Fordham University School of Law, May 2, 2016
- “Hot Topics Involving Bankruptcy and China,” organizer, St. John’s Law School, March 24, 2016
- Moderator, “Emerging Companies: From Domestic Establishment to International Expansion,” Cardozo Law School, March 16, 2016
- Moderator, “Many Faces of Mediation: An Alternative to Courtroom Drama,” JAMS, August 11, 2015
- Panelist, “Cross-Cultural Negotiation,” Fordham Law School, July 30, 2015
- Panelist, “Litigating Under the Anti-Terrorism Act,” NYU Law School, April 22, 2015
- Presenter, “China Unfolding: Linking the Past to the Present,” Yale University, March 28, 2015
- Moderator and organizer, “Chinese Companies and US Class Actions: Securities Litigation and Product Liability,” Cardozo Law School, March 24, 2015
- Guest Lecturer, “Chinese Intellectual Property Law,” Fordham University School of Law, February 27, 2015
- Moderator, “Trade Disputes Involving China and the United States,” Brooklyn Law School, January 21, 2015
- Moderator and panelist, “Innovative Options for Entering the China Market: How Changes in Chinese Law Have Created New Approaches,” ABA Section of International Law, July 23, 2014
- Moderator, “Legal Careers in Banking” Fordham University School of Law, November 25, 2013
- Moderator, “International Careers: A Panel Discussion for Future Firm Associates” Columbia University Law School, November 21, 2013
- Speaker, “Legal Issues and Careers: China and the US” (in Chinese) Tsinghua University, November 14, 2013
- Presenter, “Legal Problems Facing Chinese Companies Investing In the United States” (in Chinese), Xiamen University, May 21, 2013
- Panelist, “Chinese Companies’ Outbound Investment in the United States,” Fourth Fudan EMBA New York Forum, Bank of America Tower, May 6, 2013
- Panelist, “U.S. Legal Issues Impacting Chinese Businesses” (in Chinese), Tsinghua University, April 23, 2013
- Panelist, “Litigation Challenges Facing Chinese Companies in the United States” (with Hon. Denny Chin; Prof. Mark Cohen; Prof. Carl Minzner, and Lanier Saperstein) at “Deals and Suits: Challenges and Opportunities for Chinese Companies Doing Business in the United States,” Fordham Law School, Jan. 28, 2013
- Moderator, “Going Private and Going Dark: Considerations for U.S. Publicly Traded Chinese Companies,” Nov. 14, moderated a seminar at NYU School of Law on U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies considering leaving the U.S. reporting system featuring speakers from Dorsey & Whitney; Harbin Electric, Inc.; Morgan Joseph TriArtisan LLC; Houlihan Lokey; and UHY Advisors NY, Inc.
- Guest Lecturer, “Chinese IP Legal Principles and Practice,” Fordham University School of Law, November 12, 2012
- “International Practice – Career Panel II,” Oct. 3, 2012, moderated and organized a panel discussion of international careers, NYU School of Law
- “International Practice – A Career Panel,” Oct. 1, 2012, moderated and organized a panel discussion of international careers, Fordham Law School
- “Litigation Risks for Foreign Banks in New York,” May 22, 2012, a panel discussion with in-house counsel and compliance officers, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, New York, New York
- Geoffrey Sant has presented his original research at academic conferences at Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rochester University, and U.C. Berkeley, among others.
Industries & Practices
- Class Action Litigation
- Corporate Governance & Compliance
- Financial Services Regulatory
- Foreign Bank Representation
- International Arbitration & Litigation
- Latin America
- Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement