Catherine E. Palmer

Hong Kong | New York
  • 18th Floor, One Exchange Square
  • 8 Connaught Place, Central
  • Hong Kong

Catherine E. Palmer, a partner in the Hong Kong office, is a member of the White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Practice and the Antitrust & Competition Practice. Ms. Palmer is Chair of the Litigation & Trial Department in Asia and the former Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Practice. Ms. Palmer relocated to Hong Kong from the New York office on March 1, 2014. 

Ms. Palmer focuses her practice on the representation of multinational companies involved in criminal or regulatory investigations throughout the world, with an emphasis on global corruption/bribery investigations, global antitrust cartel investigations, and investigations related to US trade and economic sanction issues. As part of her practice, Ms. Palmer has interacted with regulators throughout the world on behalf of clients, including regulators in the US, EU, UK, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Australia. Recently relocated to Hong Kong, Ms. Palmer works closely with the firm’s FCPA and White Collar team to leverage the firm’s global assets throughout Asia and other parts of the world.

Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Ms. Palmer served in the US Department of Justice from 1985-1994. During that time Ms. Palmer held various roles, including Special Assistant to the US Attorney General, and also Chief of the Criminal Division, as well as Assistant United States Attorney, in the US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York. Ms. Palmer investigated and prosecuted numerous international Asian organized crime syndicates. Her prosecutions included RICO, fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering, and narcotics offenses. Ms. Palmer worked closely with government and law enforcement officials in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand to direct and coordinate complex international investigations. As a result of her work, she became internationally recognized as “the premier federal prosecutor” in the US of Asian organized crime syndicates. Ms. Palmer returned to the Department of Justice for an 18-month period between 1996-1998 to work on certain sensitive projects. 

At the request of the Department of Justice and the US State Department, Ms. Palmer spearheaded a sensitive foreign judicial corruption investigation, which led to the dismissal of several high-level foreign judicial officials. Ms. Palmer has received numerous awards, including the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and several Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, as well as numerous US and international law enforcement awards. She has also been the subject of articles in US News & World Report, The New York Times, The New York Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal, and The ABA Journal, among other publications.            

Ms. Palmer's experience includes the representation of multinational companies in connection with:

  • FCPA and other corruption/bribery internal investigations in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East 
  • US Department of Justice investigations involving potential FCPA violations in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East
  • Corruption and antitrust investigations conducted by regulators in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe
  • US Department of Justice and US Office of Foreign Asset Control investigations involving potential US trade and economic sanctions violations
  • The Auto Parts global antitrust cartel investigation
  • The DRAM global antitrust cartel investigation
  • The Air Cargo global antitrust cartel investigation
  • The ODD global antitrust cartel investigation
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