David K. Cheng

David Cheng is the chair and managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s China and Asia-Pacific practice. He is qualified in both the United States and Hong Kong. He focuses on cross-border transactions, litigations and investigations, advising on issues ranging from acquisitions, capital financing (initial public offering), intellectual property protection and disputes to fraud, FCPA and SEC investigations. He has a client portfolio from all over the world: United States, Middle East, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, mainland China and Hong Kong.

What do you focus on?

With a practice in international transactions and disputes and as a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney that had litigated over 90 cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts, my focus is very broad. Examples include: (1) advising on tax and corporate structures and conducting due diligence related to cross-border acquisitions and capital financing projects, assisting clients to minimize their risks and global tax impact (as part of that process, I have also advised clients on IP, employment, immigration and other local government requirements issues); and (2) representing clients in disputes and investigations potentially leading to litigations (this can range from tax or IP disputes to fraudulent acts by employees to government investigations (such as FCPA, U.S. Department of Justice, SEC and FMC)). I have also been the independent counsel of the Audit Committee in SEC investigations for various international companies based in Asia.

What do you see on the horizon?

The world is a lot smaller than it was 20 or 30 years ago, and companies are taking advantage of this by expanding rapidly in new markets. With this growth, companies will need guidance overcoming various legal hurdles in both the domestic and the international markets. Acquisitions, disputes and investigations will continue to be issues that companies will need to deal with as expansions into new markets continue.

After the turbulent Trump years ,what will it take for the U.S. and China to reset their relationship?

San Francisco Business Times | February 26, 2021

This article covers a recent “Bridge from China“ event, sponsored by NP, that included discussion of how the pandemic has affected cross-border business, geopolitical tensions of recent years, and what the administration change could mean for U.S. businesses wanting to do business in China. David Cheng, chair and managing partner of NP’s China & Asia Pacific practice, served as a panelist and David Kaufman, director of Global Strategies, co-moderated the panel discussion.

Coronavirus putting crimp on firms doing business in China

Rochester Business Journal | February 21, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk authored this column about how employers with business operations in China are responding to the coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions. The article is based on an alert by Hong Kong Corporate partner David Cheng, Los Angeles Labor and Employment partner Benjamin Kim, San Francisco Labor and Employment senior counsel Jeffrey Tanenbaum and associate Rachel Conn, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman

What trade trouble? China loosens foreign ownership of financial sector one year early

Forbes | July 20, 2019

This Forbes article describing China’s efforts to open its market to foreign investors.


David K. Cheng

Chair and Managing Partner of China & Asia Pacific Practice

Hong Kong

Phone: +852 9307 3900


Phone: +86 156 2607 6649

San Francisco

Phone: +1 650 387 3948


Phone: +65 8299 3682

Fax: 866-451-0472

Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

Georgetown University Law Center, Taxation, with distinction


District of Columbia

U.S. Tax Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Hong Kong


David was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 in the field of Tax Law. David has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2021.

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