Head of Employment - China
Johnny Choi heads the firm's China Employment practice. He has vast experience in complex and strategic employment advice for multinational clients, such as international human resources projects, large scale layoffs and restructurings, cross-border secondments, employee data privacy, HR investigations, litigious employment disputes, and contentious removal of company executives. Johnny also leads the firm's Greater Bay Area employment initiative.
Johnny is recognised consistently for his employment law expertise by leading legal directory Chambers and Partners since 2013. He is a "Leading Individual" and his China team is ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500. Qualified in NSW, Australia and Hong Kong SAR, he has spent over 17 years in mainland China advising multinationals on their employment law issues. Given his international background, Johnny also regularly advises Chinese clients on the people issues they encounter in their overseas investments and operations, including restrictive covenants, incentives and equity plans.Chambers Asia Pacific (2022) highlight that "Johnny Choi is highly intelligent and provides highly responsive, practical advice".
Johnny supports international and regional clients across a range of industries, including technology, life sciences, financial and retail. Recently, Johnny has advised life science companies on investigations into serious misconduct or corruption by employees. He successfully defended a number of technology companies against IP theft by their staff. He also advises financial institutions and retail companies on the design and implementation of employee compensation and incentive schemes.
- Advising global technology companies and consulting firms on data privacy issues associated with monitoring of company premises, IT systems and devices, and transfer of employee data to third parties and overseas servers. Provide guidance on rolling out of IT and BYOD policies.
- Leading investigations into alleged violations of conflict of interests policies and corrupt transactions with government entities valued at millions of USD each, in the China subsidiaries of leading multinational companies. Advising on related employment law implications.
- Advising international technology companies on strategies to defend against raw material and/or IP theft and outside competitive activities conducted by rogue employees.
- Advising investment banks, technology and media companies on strategies to manage the exit of employees in China (including senior executives) in various circumstances, including incompetence, misconduct and business shut down. Also advising on employment issues arising from the re-organisation of businesses, including transfer of employees.
- Leading a team in managing crisis situations involving labor unrest of hundreds or thousands of employees at manufacturing operations of multinational clients, including providing onsite support. The advice includes communication strategies with employees and contingency plans.
- Advising clients on a variety of employment matters in China, including: employee consultation and the roll out and implementation of employee handbooks, codes of business conduct, compliance manuals and other company policies and procedures; the enforcement of non-compete and non-solicitation obligations; cross border secondments; labor union issues; social security issues; and employee arbitration claims.
- Chinese (Cantonese)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- University of New South Wales, B.Comm/LLB, 2005
- College of Law, NSW, 2006
Johnny has been recognised by Chambers Asia Pacific for his PRC employment expertise consistently since 2013.