Pillsbury lawyer takes in-house role at China Security & Surveillance Technology

A lawyer in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Washington DC office has taken up the general counsel role at firm client China Security & Surveillance Technology (CSST).

Jing Zhang, a native mandarin speaker, is currently a senior associate at Pillsbury. Her practice focuses on corporate and securities issues. Prior to obtaining a juris doctor degree and starting her private practice in the US in 2003, she served as an in-house lawyer at a Jiangsu-based Chinese company for nearly three years.

She will relocate to Hong Kong for her new in-house post, taking over from Hong Kong-qualified lawyer Samuel Lo on 3 January.

The appointment came after the firm played a significant role in the delisting of CSST from the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year.

“We’ve been working closely with CSST since 2006 after it became a public company in the US, advising on a number of its transactions. When the senior management offered me the opportunity, I accepted it with great enthusiasm,” said Zhang. “I look forward to the new challenges as a general counsel and also look forward to moving back to China, where corporate and financing transactions are more active than in the US.”

In her new role, Zhang will lead an important reorganisation of the company’s in-house legal team, which currently comprises several lawyers. Zhang noted that she will recruit a number of Hong Kong and PRC dual qualified lawyers from the local market and that her new team will be largely manned by newly appointed lawyers.

“After the going-private transaction, the company is looking to revamp and strengthen its in-house legal department to support its future growth and strategic goals, with a continued focus on improving internal control and corporate governance,” said Zhang.

Similar to a number of US-listed Chinese companies, CSST is facing certain legal challenges in the US. Another matter Zhang needs to deal with at her new role is a securities class action lawsuit filed against the company and its board of directors for violations of sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with its recent going-private transaction.

Based in Shenzhen, CSST is primarily engaged in the manufacturing, distribution, installation and servicing of surveillance and safety systems and software in China. However, most of the firm’s executives and senior management team reside in Hong Kong.

Head of Pillsbury’s China practice Tom Shoesmith said: “We wish Jing the best and look forward to taking instructions from her in her new role.”