Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Group, led by Partner Qiaojing Ella Zheng, is staunchly committed to helping the Asian American community navigate the U.S. legal system and protecting the rights of those disadvantaged groups and individuals. We recognize that cultural barriers and linguistic disparities create significant challenges to employees and whistleblowers of color who seek recourse against powerful corporations and organizations. As the first national public interest law firm with a dedicated practice group for the Asian American community, we strive to bridge the gaps that systemically prevent marginalized populations from holding their employers and other perpetrators accountable for wrongdoing.
Attorneys in the Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice group leverage their language skills and cultural understanding, comprehensive knowledge about cross-border businesses, and deep connections in the domestic and global Asian communities to provide exceptional legal representation and services to individuals and institutions across the U.S. Ms. Zheng, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and studied law in both China and the U.S., has extensive experience handling her clients’ cross-border legal activities.
Our practice encompasses a wide range of legal matters, including:
- Representing employees and executives in public litigation and settlement negotiations involving a wide range of employment disputes, including severance negotiations, wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour violations, sexual harassment, and gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination;
- Representing whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act and working on cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the SEC Whistleblower program, the IRS Whistleblower program, and other statutes involving fraud against the federal and state governments;
- Advocating for victims of sexual assault and violence; and
- Advising entrepreneurs, companies, and financial institutions in Silicon Valley and China on regulatory and compliance matters under U.S. laws.
Ms. Zheng and her team of attorneys have obtained multi-million-dollar awards and settlements across a wide range of employment disputes. The group’s demonstrated success spans a cross-section of clients, professions, and industries. Our clients have included:
- Co-founder and executive Dr. Yuhui David Chen against Silicon Valley semiconductor company InnoGrit Corporation, its parent company Shanghai InnoGrit Technologies Co., Ltd., and InnoGrit CEO Dr. Zining Wu in Dr. Chen’s claims of breach of contract, promissory fraud, retaliation, and wrongful termination. We obtained an $8.3 million arbitration award (includes $650,000 in punitive damages against Dr. Wu personally and $500,000 in emotional distress damages) for the client after a 12-day Zoom arbitration.
- Lead plaintiff Ms. Dandan Pan and over 3,000 female employees in a gender discrimination class action case against Qualcomm which was settled for $19.5M.
- An Asian female employee against a multinational financial services company in her claims of discrimination and obtained multi-year front pay and emotional distress damages via settlement.
- An auditor against a financial service company in his claims of retaliation and wrongful termination. We obtained a substantial monetary settlement and a positive reference letter from the company for the client’s future job search after mediation.
- A female executive in her breach of contract and fraud claims against a leading global aviation company and achieved 7-figure settlement through mediation.
- A class of Chinese immigrant warehouse workers in a wage and hour class action case against Ma Labs.
- Tiger Brokers/Up Fintech (NASDAQ: TIGR) in its securities Broker-Dealer License Application.
Over the years, the Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice group has developed extensive connections with professional organizations, bar associations, and community affiliates, many of which have deep roots within Asian communities. Our partners include the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Law Caucus: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, the China Business Studies Initiative at the University of San Francisco, YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley, Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association, and more.
If you have potential legal claims or if you are seeking financial regulatory and compliance advice, the Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice group would like to have the opportunity to help you. Please contact Sanford Heisler Sharp through its confidential online form or Qiaojing Ella Zheng at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-795-2020.