Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 80 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
The SEC recently initiated stop order proceedings against China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics Inc. and China Century Dragon Media Inc. on suspicion of accounting fraud. As reported by The New York Times, both companies failed to disclose that their independent auditors resigned after asking questions about the accuracy of the companies’ financial statements.
A number of Chinese companies have come under fire for accounting fraud stemming from corporate governance issues according to Forbes: “[i]n the past six months alone, more than 25 [NYSE and Nasdaq]-listed Chinese companies have disclosed accounting discrepancies or seen their auditors resign.” In light of these discrepancies and departures, the need for increased transparency, strong risk management and broad financial oversight is greater than ever. In particular, Chinese companies have been criticized for their relatively low number of independent directors (33% of the directors of Chinese-listed companies compared to 75% of the directors of U.S.-listed companies) and the lack of relevant industry experience these independent directors offer.
In one recent case involving Chinese financial software company Longtop Financial Technologies Limited, auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu handed Longtop a resignation letter, included as an exhibit to a Form 6-K filed by Longtop, that asserted financial statement fraud, bank corruption and threats against the auditors. The New York Times explained the breakup as an investigation by Deloitte, after six years of clean audit opinions, into Longtop’s cash balances. Longtop blocked Deloitte from following up with bank headquarters regarding cash balances (that bank branches had already confirmed) by telling the bank that Deloitte was not the company’s auditor and threatening to hold Deloitte staff captive unless Deloitte allowed Longtop to retain Deloitte’s audit files. As described in the resignation letter, Longtop’s chairman Jia Xiao Gong, explained to a Deloitte partner why Deloitte could not find the cash: “there were [sic] fake revenue in the past so there were [sic] fake cash recorded on the books.” That is a disturbing clarification.
OUR TAKE: Sound accounting practices and the independence and experience of directors are of paramount importance to sound corporate governance. Foreign companies, which bring with them different regulatory, governance and financial backgrounds and standards, may pose unique risks for U.S. investors. Investors should pay close attention to corporate governance and accounting issues generally, but especially with respect to less familiar foreign companies. Reports identifying trends with respect to corporate governance deficiencies and/or accounting fraud especially raise investment red flags.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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