Patrick M. Norton, Esq.

T: 212-751-2700
F: 212-751-4099


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Patrick M. Norton, Esq. is an independent arbitrator and mediator with extensive international ADR experience both as a neutral and as counsel. Mr. Norton has served as a partner in leading international law firms in Washington, DC, London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Atlanta.

Mr. Norton practiced as a registered foreign lawyer in China for more than six years (1999-2005) and served as Managing Partner of a major law firm’s Beijing office from 2002-2005. He also practiced as a registered foreign lawyer in the U.K. for two years (2012-2014), where he was co-chair of his firm’s international arbitration practice.

Additionally, Mr. Norton previously served with the U.S. Department of State, where he received the highest public service awards granted to federal employees from two Presidents. He also has extensive experience with international anti-corruption laws and has conducted more than 25 investigations worldwide.

Mr. Norton has published extensively in the fields of arbitration, anti-corruption, public international law, international commercial law, and Chinese law. He is proficient in Mandarin and in written Chinese and has more limited proficiency in French and German.

Read Mr. Norton's biography in Simplified Chinese.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Involved in international arbitration and mediation throughout his 40+ year career
  • Acted as an arbitrator in more than a dozen cases in the US, Europe, and Asia under the ICC, ICDR, HKIAC, and UNCITRAL rules
  • Chaired three-arbitrator tribunals and acted as sole arbitrator on a number of occasions
  • Listed on the panels of the ICC, the HKIAC, the LCIA, the SIAC, the ICDR, and the KLRCA
  • Extensive experience with international commercial transactions, including long-term supply agreements and payment methods; cross-border investments, including foreign direct investment, M&A, and JVs; conflict of laws; international trade disputes; and anti-corruption matters
  • While at the State Department, he was Deputy Director of Iran Claims in charge of 130 government-to-government arbitrations involving more than $30 billion in claims
  • Served as the lead counsel for the United States in a major case before the International Court of Justice (Nicaragua v. US)
  • In private practice, Mr. Norton handled a broad range of arbitrations as counsel, including cases sited in the United States, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia, conducted under ICC, ICDR, HKIAC, SIAC, UNCITRAL, and LCIA rules

Representative Matters

  • As an Arbitrator
    • Sole arbitrator in commercial dispute between US company and East Asian company; ICDR Rules, Wilmington, DE, 2015-2016
    • Party-appointed arbitrator in commercial dispute before ICC panel in Singapore; award issued 2015
    • Party-appointed arbitrator in commercial dispute before HKIAC panel in Hong Kong; award issued 2015
    • Chairman of three-arbitrator ICC tribunal for claims arising out of a European MNC’s investment in a Korean JV; hearings in Seoul and Hong Kong; award issued 2013
    • Sole arbitrator in three ICC arbitrations in Beijing and Shanghai between foreign investors and Chinese companies; hearings and awards in two cases; third case settled
    • Party-appointed arbitrator in UNCITRAL arbitration in Washington, DC involving international investments in Kazakhstan oil fields; award issued 2001
    • Party-appointed arbitrator in ICC arbitration in Stockholm between US and Chinese joint venture partners concerning production facility in southern China; award issued 1999
    • Chairman of AAA arbitration in Atlanta brought by US manufacturer of armored cars against Latin American government; award issued 1990
  • Arbitrations as Counsel
    • Represented US manufacturer in $80 million dispute with Indian manufacturer under ICDR Rules; hearings held in New York; favorable award received 2013
    • Represented US importer in three arbitrations brought against Chinese suppliers under CIETAC Rules in Beijing and Shanghai; favorable awards in all three cases (2004)
    • Represented a NYSE-listed Chinese company in interrelated S.D.N.Y. litigation and London (LCIA) and Singapore (SIAC) arbitrations; disputes settled on favorable terms
    • Advised foreign receivers of a $250 million real estate development project in China regarding litigation in China, the UK, and the Caribbean, and in related arbitration proceedings (ICC) in Paris
    • Represented German manufacturer in ICC arbitration in Zürich against the Government of Iraq for equipment purchased prior to the First Gulf War. Represented same client in US litigation to compel payments by Italian bank pursuant to letters of credit securing payment of arbitral award. Client was awarded its claims in full and collected the awards pursuant to letters of credit in the US.
    • US State Department: Led US Government team representing the United States in Nicaragua vs. United States, International Court of Justice (1985-1986); responsible for all written briefs and oral arguments in preliminary measures and jurisdiction phases of case
    • US State Department, Deputy Director of Iran Claims (1983-1984):  Represented the United States in 130 arbitrations with Iran involving US$30 billion in claims; successfully argued three of the largest cases, including two heard by the full Iran-US Claims Tribunal
  • Multi-Jurisdictional and Cross-Border Commercial Matters
    • Cross-Border Investment
      • Represented US private equity fund in sale of two Chinese companies to Chinese manufacturer
      • Represented several UK manufacturers in multiple corporate acquisitions across the United States
      • Represented leading US telecom company in negotiating a joint venture on cybersecurity in Japan with leading Japanese telecom companies
      • Represented numerous US companies in investments in China either as joint ventures or wholly foreign-owned enterprises
      • Represented leading Japanese beverage producer in a series of US acquisitions
    • Corporate Governance
      • Advised the Board of Directors of a NYSE-listed company in an investigation of the company’s sales in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America for compliance with the FCPA.  Coordinated the company’s investigation with parallel US Government investigations
      • Advised the Board of Directors of a FTSE-listed UK company in the investigation of a US subsidiary’s sales in more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for FCPA compliance.  Negotiated settlement of all US charges against the company and coordinated responses to inquiries from customers and governments in other countries, including India and China.
      • Conducted more than 20 internal corporate investigations of FCPA compliance issues in China, India, Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries, principally for US companies in the pharmaceutical, medical equipment, consumer products, and high tech industries
      • Counseled US and European banks re FCPA issues arising out of investments in China, the use of European emission credits from Chinese energy production industry, and the hiring of children of Chinese government officials
    • International Trade Disputes
      • Represented Japanese steel manufacturers in Chinese antidumping investigation of stainless steel imports into China
      • Represented leading Japanese chemical manufacturer in Chinese antidumping investigation of PVC supplies imported into China
      • Represented Russian steel manufacturers in Chinese antidumping investigation of steel imports into China
      • Represented US paper manufacturer in Chinese antidumping investigation of the importation of certain kinds of paper into China
      • Represented Chinese manufacturers in four US antidumping investigations of their import of products into the US
    • Public International Law Matters
      • Mediated final resolution of long-standing boundary dispute between Egypt and Israel at Taba
      • Mediated US and Israeli claims against Egypt for border guard’s attacks on tourists
      • Responsible for all US legal responses to Soviet shoot-down of KAL007, including claims against the USSR and international aviation rights
      • Responsible for legal aspects of US policy re transition from Marcos to Aquino administrations in the Philippines; President’s personal representative to former Philippine President Marcos in Hawaii
      • Prepared US Government policy on resolution of legal issues arising out of the Korean Armistice Agreement
      • Lead role in resolving Chinese Government’s sovereign immunity claims in US litigation
      • Principal lawyer in US negotiating team for renegotiation of the US-Philippines Bases Agreement
      • Leading role in the legal planning and preparation for normalization of diplomatic relations with China
      • Lead State Department attorney in criminal investigation of corrupt Korean CIA payments to Congress, leading to convictions of three Congressmen
      • Counsel to US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence re drafting of litigation to reorganize the US intelligence community

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Honors
    • Presidential Distinguished Service Award, 1989: one of 32 US Government employees awarded highest public service award by President George H.W. Bush
    • Presidential Meritorious Service Award, 1988: one of 64 US Government employees awarded second highest public service award by President Ronald Reagan
  • Memberships and Affiliations
    • Member, Council on Foreign Relations, 2007-present
    • Member, National Committee on US-China Relations, 2006-present
    • Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce: Board of Governors (2000-2001); Vice-Chair, Legal Committee (2000-2001)
    • American Bar Association: Section of International Law and Practice, Council Member (1996-1999, 2007-2008), Publication Chair (1996-1999), Budget Officer (1998-1999)
    • Inter-Pacific Bar Association (1989-present)
    • District of Columbia bar (1975-present)
    • Georgia bar (1989-1995; currently inactive)
    • Registered foreign lawyer in UK (2012-2014)
    • Registered foreign lawyer in China (1999-2005)
  • Publications
    • “The Use of Precedents in Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards,” 25 Am. Rev. Int’l Arb. 167 (2014)
    • “Anti Corruption Risks: Complying with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” in K. Cutshaw, M. Burke and C. Wagner (eds.), Doing Business in China (4th ed. 2014; 3d ed. 2009)
    • “When Prevention Fails: Internal Investigations and Disclosure Issues,” in The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2009 (Practising Law Institute, April 2009)
    • Co-author, “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Nuts and Bolts of Conducting an Internal Investigation,” in The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2008: Coping with Heightened Enforcement Risks 293 (Practising Law Institute, 2008)
    • “China” in Anti-Corruption 2007 (London 2007)
    • “Informal Dispute Settlement Approaches,” in M. Moser (ed.), Managing Business Disputes in China Today 19 (Kluwer, 2007)
    • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Dilemma,” The China Business Review 16 (Nov-Dec 2006)
    • Co-author and co-editor, China Trade Law & Practice (looseleaf, Cameron May, London 2000-2005)
    • Co-author, “Mergers and Acquisitions in China: Finding a Route Through the Maze,” in Mergers and Acquisitions 2003-2004 (Global Counsel Handbooks 2004)
    • “Chinese Trade and Investment Disputes: Offshore Options,” in I J. Cohen, N. Kaplan, P. Malanczuk, D. Fung, and S.C. Wang (eds.), Arbitration in China: A Practical Guide 95 (2004)
    • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Business in China,” 18 China Law & Practice 15 (2004)
    • “International Payment Methods” in Low et al. (eds.), The International Lawyer’s Deskbook 83 (2nd ed. 2002)
    • Coauthor, “China’s New Anti-Dumping Rules: Battleground for New Protectionism?” 16 China Law & Practice 79 (2002)
    • Co-editor, The International Lawyer’s Deskbook (ABA, 1st ed. 1995, 2nd ed. 2002)
    • Co-author, “Defending Dumping Claims: Exporters to China Beware,” 14 China Law & Practice 1 (2000)
    • “Ending the Korean Armistice Agreement: The Legal Issues,” (Nautilus Institute 1997)
    • “Back to the Future: Expropriation and the Energy Charter Treaty,” in T. Wälde (ed.), The Energy Charter Treaty (1996)
    • “A Law of the Future or a Law of the Past? Modern Tribunals and the International Law of Expropriation,” 85 Am. J. Int’l L. 474 (1991)
    • “The Nicaragua Case: Political Questions Before the International Court of Justice,” 27 Va. J. Int’l L. 459 (1987)
    • “Between the Ideology and the Reality: the Shadow of the Law of Neutrality,” 17 Harv. Int’l L. J. 249 (1976)
  • Seminars & Events
    • “How to Run an Internal Anti-Corruption Investigation in China,” ACI's International Conference on the
      Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Washington, DC, November 19, 2014
    • “Managing Bribery and Corruption Risks in China,” Webinar, Washington, DC, July 15, 2014
    • “Building the Defense: Contrasting Multi-Jurisdictional Defense Strategies Against Bribery and Corruption
      Allegations,” Forum on Anti-Corruption, London, June 26, 2013
    • “Risk and Opportunity in New Markets,” Dow Jones Risk & Compliance Event, London, June 6, 2013
    • “Anti-Corruption Enforcement and Legislation,” Inter-Pacific Bar Association 23rd Annual Meeting, Seoul, Korea, April 26, 2013
    • “The United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Seoul, Korea, January 18, 2013
    • Co-Chair of the first five annual Anti-Corruption Conferences, held in Shanghai 2004-2008, organized by the American Conference Institute

Background and Education

  • Brief Employment Summary
    • Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, DC., Partner, 2006-2014; London, UK, Partner, 2012-2014
    • O’Melveny & Myers, Washington, DC, Partner; 2005-2006; established O’Melveny & Myers’ Beijing office, Managing Partner, 2002-2005; Shanghai, Partner,1999-2002
    • Alston & Bird, Atlanta & Washington, DC, Partner, 1989-1999
    • United States Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, Assistant Legal Adviser for Near East and South Asian Affairs, 1988-1989; Assistant Legal Adviser for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 1984-1988; Deputy Director for Iran Claims, 1982-1984; Attorney-Adviser for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 1975-1977
    • Covington & Burling, Associate, 1978-1982
    • United States Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence, Counsel, 1977-1978
  • Education
    • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1975 (Editor-in-Chief, Harvard International Law Journal)
    • B. Phil., Oxford University, 1972 (Rhodes Scholar, Thouron Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Fellow)
    • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1969 (Phi Beta Kappa, National Merit Scholar)


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