Frances P. Kao focuses her practice on international dispute resolution, corporate counseling, and compliance, with a special focus on Asia-Pacific. As a former litigation partner at Skadden Arps, Ms. Kao started the firm’s U.S. dispute resolution and regulatory compliance practice in Asia-Pacific. She was based in the firm’s Hong Kong office and gained extensive experience in international arbitration including in the Peoples Republic of China, United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Singapore. Ms. Kao advised international and U.S.-based businesses on establishing business operations and continuing operations in Asia, particularly China and Korea. Her clients included Fortune 50 companies in the technology, pharmaceutical, sports, energy, food and retail industries.
Ms. Kao has significant experience in arbitration and mediation. She draws on over twenty years of practice representing public and private companies, as well as their officers, directors and executives in commercial litigation, arbitration, and investigations. Ms. Kao also acts as a neutral in private mediations and arbitrations focusing on complex commercial disputes, franchising issues, real estate disputes and oil and gas issues. She is a certified commercial arbitrator for FINRA and the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
Ms. Kao has been recognized in the Legal 500 Directory and in the Chambers Global Guide. An active volunteer in the legal aid community, Ms. Kao has represented death row inmates on a pro bono basis during state and federal post-conviction proceedings. Ms. Kao also operates a business that develops, designs, and builds universal design, accessible, and community-enhancing housing incorporating state-of-the-art technology and design.
Ms. Kao received her Bachelor of Special Studies in History from Cornell College and her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker.