Biography

Kelly Austin is the Partner-in-Charge of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's Hong Kong office and a member of the Firm's Executive Committee.  Ms. Austin's practice focuses on government investigations, regulatory compliance and international disputes.  She has extensive expertise in government and corporate internal investigations, including those involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and anti-money laundering, securities, and trade control laws.  Ms. Austin also regularly guides companies on creating and implementing effective compliance programs.

From 2001 to 2010, Ms. Austin served as the Compliance and Litigation Counsel for General Electric in Asia.  In that role, she coordinated litigation, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, government and internal investigations, and compliance matters for the GE businesses throughout the region.

Before moving to Hong Kong in 2001, Ms. Austin practiced in Washington, DC, representing individuals and entities in a wide variety of criminal and civil matters in federal and state courts around the United States.  Her practice focused on government investigations, including a host of Congressional and Independent Counsel investigations.  She also served as general counsel to non-profit organizations, providing guidance on a variety of legal, regulatory, and strategic matters, and regularly counseled individuals on government ethics and regulatory issues.

From 1993 to 1994, Ms. Austin served as a law clerk for The Honorable Boyce F. Martin, Jr., Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  In 2000, she served as Special Counsel to the Executive Office of the President, representing the White House in federal litigation.

Ms. Austin graduated with distinction with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and received her law degree from Georgetown University.  She is a member of the bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice in a variety of district and appellate courts in the United States.  She is also admitted to practice in Hong Kong.

Ms. Austin is ranked as a leading lawyer (top-tier) in the category "Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption: China" by the 2017 editions of Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global; is ranked in Tier 1 for "Regulatory: Anti-Corruption and Compliance: Hong Kong" by Asia Pacific Legal 500 2017;  is ranked as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2017; is ranked as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Business Crimes Defence 2017; was named one of the "World's Leading Women in Business Law" in the category "White Collar: Hong Kong" by Expert Guides 2017; was named by The Asian Lawyer as the Regulatory / Compliance Lawyer of the Year for 2016; was named one of the "World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers" by Euromoney's Expert Guide 2016; is noted for being "very well regarded by clients and peers across Asia" by Who's Who Legal and Global Investigations Review 2016; was named by Global Investigations Review to its inaugural Women in Investigations list 2015, which highlights 100 high-powered women in the profession from around the world; is ranked as a "Local Disputes Star" in the category "Regulatory Investigations" by Benchmark Asia-Pacific 2014; was named one of the "World's Leading Women in Business Law" in the category "Corporate Governance: Hong Kong" by Expert Guides 2014; was named the "Best Lawyer" for the third year running in the Corporate Governance category of the 2013 Asia Women in Business Law Awards; and was named to Asian Legal Business' 2010 Hot 100, which recognizes Asia "lawyers who have risen above the rest in the most challenging of years for legal markets across Asia."

Recent and Upcoming Professional Activities & Publications:

"Resolving Self-Disclosure Dilemmas," American Conference Institute's 6th Asia-Pacific Summit on Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management, Singapore, November 1, 2017.

"Global Anti-Corruption Risks and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Course, Hong Kong, September 1, 2017.

"Legal Liabilities and Corporate Governance," Effective Non-Executive Director Workshop, Financial Times, Hong Kong, June 19, 2017.

"Enforcement Issues Today," Fifth Annual Institute on Corporate & Securities Law in Hong Kong 2017, Hong Kong, May 19, 2017. 

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Course, Hong Kong, September 2, 2016. 

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," Compliance Management Programme, Indian School of Business, Chandigarh, India, July 13, 2016.

"Legal Liabilities and Corporate Governance," Financial Times' Workshop "So You Want To Be a Non-Executive Director?", Hong Kong, May 26, 2016.

"Anti-Corruption Issues When Doing Business in China," Practicing Law Institute’s The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and International Anti-Corruption Developments 2016, New York, May 3, 2016.

"A Practical Guide to Effective Corruption Risk Assessments Specific for India," American Conference Institute’s Fifth India Summit on Anti-Corruption, Delhi, February 22, 2016.

"Inside an Effective Internal Investigation: How to Scope an Action Plan," American Conference Institute's 4th Asia-Pacific Summit on Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management, Singapore, October 28, 2015.

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Law CPD Course, Hong Kong, September 18, 2015.

"Directors and Global Risk Management," Women's Directorship Programme, The University of Hong Kong, September 12, 2015.

"Obtaining Information about Employees and Third Parties in China without Violating Local Privacy and State Secret Limits," American Conference Institute's 9th Advanced Forum on FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, New York, April 27, 2015.

"In-house Perspective on Current Arbitration Practices – Diagnosis and Therapy," Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Centenary Conference, Hong Kong, March 20, 2015.

"Global Anti-Corruption Trends and Effective Risk Management," In-House Congress Middle East, Dubai, February 4, 2015.

Conference Co-Chair, "Strategies and Innovations for Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs in China," American Conference Institute's Inaugural Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs in China Seminar, Shanghai, January 28, 2015.

"Minimizing Mergers & Acquisitions Risks: Step by Step Guide on How to Perform Effective Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence and Ensure a Successful Post-Closing Integration," American Conference Institute's 3rd Asia-Pacific Summit on Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management, Singapore, December 2, 2014.

"Directors and Global Risk Management", Women's Directorship Programme, The University of Hong Kong, November 15, 2014.

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Law CPD Course, Hong Kong, September 26, 2014.

"Does China have a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?: Overview of the Key Statues and Regulations Being Enforced," Anti-Corruption Compliance in China Conference, Seattle, August 14, 2014.

"Minimizing Travel Agency Pitfalls in China in the Wake of GSK: How to Maintain Oversight Control over Invoices and Outsourcing Event Management Services," American Conference Institute's 5th Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in High Risk Markets, Washington, D.C., July 15, 2014.

"Interview with the CFO of a Multi-National Company in China," American Conference Institute's 7th China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, June 18, 2014.

"AML, FACTA & Sanctions Enforcement," Corporate Accountability Conference, Hong Kong, May 14, 2014.

"Directors and Global Risk Management", Women's Directorship Programme, The University of Hong Kong, March 22, 2014.

"Corruption in Asia - When the Investigation Becomes a Crisis," Control Risks Webinar, March 20, 2014.

Moderator, "The Road to General Counsel," Asia Women in Business Law Forum, Hong Kong, March 13, 2014.

"Asian M&A Risk Management and Hong Kong M&A and Capital Markets," Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association, Hong Kong, February 18, 2014.

"Compliance Risks for Global Energy Investors," American Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee, Singapore, December 5, 2013.

"The Evolving Faces of Corruption in Asia: How Bribery Schemes are Getting More Sophisticated and How to Detect Them," American Conference Institute's 2nd Singapore Summit on Anti-Corruption, Compliance and Risk Management, Singapore, December 3, 2013.

"New Developments in Anti-Bribery and Corruption Program Management," American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Money Laundering Enforcement Conference, Washington, D.C., November 18, 2013.

Moderator, "Women's Discussion: Leaning Forward, Reaching Back," Georgetown Law, October 18, 2013.

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Law CPD Course, Hong Kong, September 13, 2013.

"Managing Fraud and Corruption Risks in M&A and Joint Ventures: How to Incorporate Transactional Risks into Your Due Diligence Process," Sixth China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, June 18, 2013.

"Compliance Risks for Global Energy Investors," Third International Energy Forum NOC-IOC Forum, Delhi, June 11, 2013.

"Directors and Global Risk Management," Women's Directorship Programme, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, June 7, 2013.

Judge Arbitrator, Tenth Annual CIETAC Cup International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Beijing, November 21, 2012.

"Mitigating the Unique FCPA Risks of Working with SOEs and Joint Venture Partners in Indonesia, Malaysia and China," American Conference Institute's 16th Boot Camp, San Francisco, October 2, 2012.

"Corruption in multinational companies – the laws, preventions and remedies," International Malaysia Law Conference, Kuala Lumpur, September 26, 2012.

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management," LexOmnibus Law CPD Course, Hong Kong, September 5, 2012.

"Anti-corruption legislation in US, UK, Hong Kong and China – and how it effects Private Equity firms," Hong Kong Venture Capital Association: Anti-corruption Masterclass, Hong Kong, July 13, 2012.

"Compliance, Risk, Anti-Fraud Management," Asia eDiscovery Exchange, Hong Kong, June 7, 2012.

"When Bribery Leads to Employment Termination: Minimizing Litigation and Business Risks When Addressing an Employee's Corrupt Conduct," 5th China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, June 5, 2012.

"Country Developments: China," The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and International Anti-Corruption Developments Seminar 2012, New York, May 4, 2012.

"Diligence Horror Stories," Asia M&A Forum 2012, Hong Kong, February 23, 2012.

Judge Arbitrator, Ninth CIETAC Cup International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Beijing, November 22, 2011.

"FCPA Series: Conducting and Responding to Investigations," American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, November 18, 2011.

Lecturer, TRACE TASA Program, "Anti-Bribery Enforcement and Compliance Challenges in India," November 17, 2011.

"Supply Chain: Reward, Reputation and Risk Workshop," American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, October 27, 2011.

Lecturer, "Public Corruption: International Legal Framework and Enforcement Trends," The University of Hong Kong, October 19, 2011.

"Anti-Corruption and Risk Management: Latest Global Developments," In-House Congress, Hong Kong, October 6, 2011.

"FCPA Series: Conducting Effective Due Diligence," American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, September 23, 2011.

"Dispute Resolution: Avoiding Costly Pitfalls," In-House Congress, Seoul, August 30, 2011.

"Anti-Corruption Risks: What You Need to Know About the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and Effective Compliance Programs," American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Seoul, August 29, 2011.

"Responding to New Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program," 4th China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, June 8, 2011.

"FCPA Series: An Overview of Enforcement Trends and Practical Tips on Compliance Programs", American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, June 1, 2011.

An Oxford-Style Debate: Speaker against "This house believes that, since arbitrators control process, ultimately they bear responsibility for problems with time and cost," Global Arbitration Review Live Singapore, May 31, 2011.

"Arbitration in Asia from the Perspective of Corporate Counsel," Second Annual ICC Asia Pacific Conference, Hong Kong, April 2, 2011.

"Plenary Session: With Power Comes Great Responsibility," Asialaw Asia-Pacific In-House Counsel Summit 2011, Hong Kong, March 16, 2011.

"Asia Anti-Corruption Risks: Corporate Counsel Essentials for 2011," Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association, Hong Kong, February 28, 2011.

"Reducing Time, Costs and Risks: The Business Value of Using Mediation for the Settlement of Commercial Disputes" and "Practical Tips: How To Prepare For Mediation," ICC Workshop on Practical Aspects In Mediating Commercial Disputes, Hong Kong, November 12, 2010.

"Trust but Verify: Encouraging and Monitoring Corporate Marketing and Supply Chains," 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference, Bangkok, November 11, 2010.

"Compliance Challenges in China," TRACE Forum, Washington, D.C., October 20, 2010.

"Anti-Corruption Challenges for In-House Counsel in Asia," Thompson Reuters Forum, Hong Kong, October 18, 2010.

Conference Co-Chair and Speaker on "Conducting Compliance Risk Assessments," FCPA Compliance In Emerging Markets Conference, Washington, D.C., June 8–9, 2010.

"Integrity and Compliance with the Law – Seminar for SMEs Conducting Cross-Border Business," American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, May 13, 2010.

"In-house Roundtable: Great Expectations," Asia M&A Forum 2010, Hong Kong, March 4, 2010.

Congress Co-Chair and Speaker on "Managing Risks on JV's and M&A," 3d Annual Anti-Corruption Asia Congress, Hong Kong, January 26-28, 2010.

"Importance of Lobbying and Advocacy For Anti-Corruption," United Nations Global Compact Network, India National Conclave, Mumbai, January 15, 2010.

"Gifts, Travel, Entertainment & Lodging For Public Officials," Anti-Bribery & FCPA Compliance Benchmarking Summit, Hong Kong, July 7, 2009.

"Anti-Corruption Challenges Facing In-House Counsel: Recent Developments and Practical Advice for Common Scenarios and Compliance Programs," American Chamber of Commerce & Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association, Hong Kong, June 22, 2009.

"Conducting a Compliance Risk Assessment in the PRC: How to Detect Patterns of Bribery and Non-Compliant Behavior" and "Conducting Effective Third Party Due Diligence in China," 2nd China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, June 15-16, 2009.

"Creating a Corporate Ethics and Compliance Culture, Starting at the Top," India Summit on Anti-Corruption Compliance and Enforcement, Mumbai, June 3, 2009.

"The Global War On Bribery," Corporate Counsel, June 1, 2009.

"Compliance Monitors: What You Need To Know," Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance China, Beijing, May 21, 2009.

"Toxic Transactions: Bribery, Extortion and the High Price of Bad Business," TRACE anti-bribery video, March 2009.

"Mediator Certification: What Are Some Practitioners Afraid Of?" (co-author), Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, Vol. 26, No. 10, International Institute For Conflict Prevention & Resolution (November 2008).

"Implementing Effective Fraud Risk Internal Controls," Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 20th Anniversary Conference, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2008.

"The Corporate World and International Dispute Resolution: A Corporate Roundtable," 25th ICDR/ICC/ICSID Joint Colloquium on International Arbitration, New York, November 14, 2008.

"Joint Venture Compliance and Anti-Bribery Issues," South Asia Anti-Corruption Summit, Singapore, September 10, 2008.

"Joint Ventures With State-Owned Entities: How to Manage Risk," China Summit on Anti-Corruption, Shanghai, July 15, 2008.

"Challenges in International Security: Evacuations, Kidnappings and Commercial Espionage," Women in International Regulatory Law Symposium, Washington, D.C., June 18, 2008.

"Does Compliance Help Companies Create Value?" The Economist 15th Asia-Pacific CFO Roundtable, Shanghai, March 12, 2008.

"Dealing With Joint Ventures on Compliance and Anti-Bribery Issues," Asia Anti-Corruption Summit, Hong Kong, January 23, 2008.

"Managing the Costs of Arbitration," Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group Conference, Hong Kong, December 5, 2007.

"The In-House Counsels' Perspective on International Commercial Arbitration," Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong, December 1, 2007.

"The Importance of the Rule of Law to International Business," International Bar Association Conference, Singapore, October 17, 2007.

"Drafting and Enforcing Codes of Conduct," Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association Conference, Hong Kong, September 20, 2007.

"The Realities of Dispute Resolution in China: An Inside Look at the Chinese Courts and Chinese Arbitration," Inter-Pacific Bar Association Conference, Beijing, April 22, 2007.

"China: The New Frontier in Arbitration," American Bar Association Sections of Litigation and International Law, ABA Telecast, October 10, 2006.

Education

  • Georgetown University - 1993 - Juris Doctor
  • University of Virginia - 1988 - Bachelor of Arts

Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Law Society of Hong Kong - Solicitor
  • Virginia Bar