Latham & Watkins has relocated New York litigation partner Catherine Palmer to Hong Kong.
Palmer is a part of the firm’s white collar defense and government investigations team, as well as its antitrust and competition practice.
The relocation comes at a time when regulatory scrutiny of multinationals operating in China has intensified. Several global investment banks are currently being probed over whether their hiring of the offspring of high-ranking Chinese officials might have violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Palmer began her career at now-defunct Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon in 1980 before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn in 1985. In her nine years as a federal prosecutor, Palmer built a strong reputation bringing cases against Asian drug traffickers and was once the subject of an assassination attempt. According to a 1992 New York Times profile, smugglers called her the “Dragon Lady.”
She returned to Mudge Rose as a partner in 1995, but the firm shut down the same year. In 1996, she went back into government service for 18 months before joining Latham’s New York office in 1998.
Latham’s Hong Kong office has about 45 lawyers, including 14 partners. Globally, the firm has over 2,000 lawyers in 14 countries.