Geoffrey is a Partner in the Trial Department of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He represents some of the world’s largest banks, investment companies, and businesses in both litigation and transactional matters. For the past half-decade, he has also taught the nation’s only class on banking litigation (at Fordham Law School).
Geoffrey’s litigation successes include not only defeating a securities litigation against a Chinese company but also convincing the judge to impose sanctions against the law firm that filed the lawsuit. This remarkable result was featured in the South China Morning Post article “US court order brings hope for Chinese firms.” Geoffrey has won seven-figure and eight-figure judgments for Chinese clients in litigations against US defendants. He also successfully obtained the dismissal of lawsuits against major Chinese banks and businesses, including obtaining the dismissal with prejudice of a litigation seeking over one billion in damages. He has also represented multiple Chinese companies in successful employment disputes with US employees, and has worked on high-profile disputes for a major South American bank, a Brazilian investment company, and a billion-dollar litigation for a leading US technology company, among others.
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 teaches at Fordham Law School and has taught at the China University of Political Science and Law (in Beijing). Geoffrey’s legal writings have been cited at the US Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the New York Court of Appeals, as well as numerous other trial and appellate courts. In 2014, New York’s highest court cited to Geoffrey and adopted his public policy arguments in deciding a disputed point of New York banking law, in response to certified questions from the Second Circuit. Geoffrey’s interviews and commentary on legal issues have appeared in such media as American Lawyer, BBC Radio, CBC Radio, CCTV, CNN, CNBC, Global Times, The New York Times, People’s Daily, Phoenix Television, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In 2016, The Atlantic selected one of Geoffrey’s writings as an “Exceptional Work of Journalism.”
Geoffrey is a director of the Chinese Business Lawyers Association, and is the President of the Board of Directors of the New York Chinese Cultural Center, a 44-year old nonprofit. He is a native speaker of English, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. China’s Ministry of Culture named Geoffrey a “Young Sinologist” in 2016.
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
- The Supreme Court of the United States
- 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.
- Panelist, “US-China Trade War,” China Investment Group / China Daily, September 20, 2018
- Speaker, “Unexplained Wealth: Suing China’s Most Wanted Fugitives,” Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime, September 7, 2018
- Organizer and moderator, “E-Discovery in China,” Chinese Business Lawyers Association, Webinar, March 12, 2018
- Organizer and moderator, “Investigations and Discovery in China: E-Discovery Challenges,” Fordham Law School, January 24, 2018
- Moderator, “The Evolution of ADR Services for Inbound and Outbound Investment,” JAMS & The Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center, October 16, 2017
- 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
- Banking & Financial Institutions
- Class Action Litigation
- Corporate Governance & Compliance
- Financial Services Regulatory
- Foreign Banks and Financial Institutions
- International Arbitration & Litigation
- Latin America
- Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement