LEI LI is the Managing Partner of Sidley's Shanghai and Beijing offices, and he splits his time and practice between these two offices. Lei Li advises clients on a broad range of regulatory, compliance and government enforcement matters in China, with a particular focus on the life sciences industry, and is one of the most accoladed legal practitioners in China in his areas of practice.
Lei Li has extensive experience in all types of anti-corruption compliance and investigation matters in China. Representing both multinational companies and local Chinese companies, he has handled a large number of government anti-corruption inquiries and investigations, including those conducted by the U.S. regulators (i.e., the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), as well as those conducted by Chinese administrative enforcement authorities and criminal prosecution authorities. He also has worked extensively on internal anti-corruption risk assessments, audits and investigations for clients in China, and anti-corruption due diligence reviews in M&A transactions.
Lei Li is an experienced antitrust lawyer, and has practiced antitrust law in China since the passage of China’s Anti-monopoly Law in 2008. Lei Li has focused his antitrust practice on regulatory compliance, internal investigations and government investigations. Particularly, he has handled high-stake antitrust inquiries and investigations launched by the central and provincial antitrust authorities in China, primarily in the pharmaceutical and medical device sector, where he was noted as a “pragmatic” lawyer with “good connections and experience in the healthcare industry.”
In the life sciences field, Lei Li is the co-head of Sidley Austin’s nationally leading China Life Sciences Practice, which has set the record of winning the “Band 1” ranking of Chambers Asia Pacific in the “China Life Science” category fourteen years in a row ever since its inception (2008 to 2022). For over a decade, Lei Li has advised multinational and local Chinese pharmaceutical and medical device companies on matters across the full spectrum of the industry, and has handled some of the largest and most representative matters in the industry in China in the last decade.
For each of these practice areas, Lei Li has received preeminent rankings by leading bar publications, as follows.
- For his anti-corruption compliance and investigation work, Lei Li has been recognized by Chambers Asia Pacific as a leading lawyer in the “Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption” category in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 and the cited client testimonial states that he is a “solid” and “good longstanding practitioner.” He has been similarly recognized by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the “Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption” category in 2020 and 2021.
- For his antitrust compliance work, awards he received include, among others, leading lawyer recognitions by Chambers Asia Pacific, IFLR1000, and China Business Law Journal in their respective antitrust categories since 2014.
- For his multi-disciplinary life sciences work, Lei Li has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a leading lawyer in China in the “Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law” category every year since 2016, and by Chambers Asia Pacific as a leading lawyer in the “China Life Sciences” category every year since 2015. Chambers Asia Pacific described him as “always thinks ahead of the curve on new, emerging legal issues in the industry and provides practical solutions to them.”
- Due to his prominent work in these areas, Lei Li has been recognized by several influential bar publications as a leading lawyer in China’s legal community, including winning the award of “China Client Choice Lawyer” by Asian Legal Business for 3 years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020).
Lei Li practiced at Sidley’s New York office for three years in the regulatory law group before his relocation to China. Prior to joining the firm, Lei Li worked at the central government of China (Ministry of Commerce, MOFCOM) for eight years as a senior attorney handling foreign trade and investment disputes and intellectual property protection matters, during which period of time he received ministry-level awards of excellence for multiple times.
Lei Li graduated from Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Law School with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree in 1998 with high distinction. He received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Harvard Law School in 2007, where he was a F.Y. Chang Scholar.