K. Lesli Ligorner serves clients on a wide range of labor and employment matters involving hiring and termination, establishment and enforcement of company policies, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and local anticorruption compliance, and discrimination and harassment policies, training, and investigations. She also advises on global mobility and immigration, employment and anticorruption due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, leaves of absence, wage and hour laws, intellectual property protection, and unionization and collective bargaining.
Lesli's work spans a variety of industries, with a focus on the financial services, technology, and life sciences sectors. She provides training for employees on antiharassment and diversity policies in the workplace, codes of conduct, FCPA/anticorruption compliance, as well as best practices for human resources and compliance professionals. Additionally, Lesli counsels companies globally on compliance matters with respect to the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, and conducts and supervises investigations into anticorruption and employment-related misconduct.
In 2017 Lesli was ranked as one of the top 100 lawyers in China by China Business Law Journal and she is ranked by Legal500, Chambers Asia and Chambers Global for employment and/or investigations work. For three consecutive years, Lesli was listed as one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” in the labor and employment category by the Ethisphere Institute, which recognized her for her commitment to advancing corporate ethics and compliance. She was named “Lawyer of the Year” for Labour & Employment by China Law & Practice and AsiaMoney Women in Business Law. She actively speaks and publishes articles on employment and anticorruption-related topics, and is a founding member of the Asia Turnaround & Transformation Association.
Lesli speaks conversational French, Japanese, and Mandarin. She has been based in China since 2006.
Supervising multiple sensitive investigations for a US-based technology company based on whistleblowers’ allegations of public corruption and employee and distributor kickbacks
Supervising the liquidation of a technology client’s subsidiary in Beijing and coordinating redundancy plan and documentation
Leading an investigation into corruption at a US-listed medical device manufacturer’s subsidiary in China and advising on employment aspects with respect to off-books wage payments, individual income tax exposure, policy rollout and training, and management of dawn raid
Advising clients on strategic employment and compensation structures to meet regulatory requirements, achieve compensation goals and minimize permanent establishment risks
Leading a cross-border investigation into commercial bribery and related allegations for a listed Chinese technology company
Advising global investment banks on unionization and collective bargaining strategies in China
Supervising an investigation into manipulation of revenue recognition policy for US-listed medical device company’s subsidiary in Japan and ensuing disciplinary hearings for multiple employees
Conducting an investigation into sexual harassment and bribery allegations against a senior executive at a US-listed biotechnology company’s subsidiary in China
Advising a global Fortune 200 company with more than 14 operating companies in China in connection with conversion of labor dispatch workers to direct hires
Advising a global media conglomerate and Fortune 50 company on compliance policies for joint ventures with public and private Chinese entities
Advising a global consulting firm and a global technology client with respect to potential litigation risks in multiple Asian jurisdictions in hiring competitor’s employees with restrictive covenants
Leading an investigation into global US-based asset manager’s activities, which triggered the anti-bribery and internal controls provisions of the FCPA, as well as issues under the UKBA, PRC anticorruption laws, and Hong Kong regulatory requirements, and advising on remedial measures and coordinating dismissal of wrongdoer and closure of office
Advising on leave entitlements and pay requirements for each type of leave across five jurisdictions in Asia. Advice covered annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, public holidays and other types of leave specific to each jurisdiction.
American University, Washington College of Law, 1997, J.D., cum laude
McGill University, 1991, B.A., East Asian Studies, First Class Honours
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Labor & Employment, Law360 (2017)
Leading Lawyer, China: Labor and Employment, Foreign Firms, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2018)
Ranked, China: Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (International Firms); China: Employment: PRC Law (International Firms), Chambers Asia-Pacific (2018)