Melody Wang

Leaders in Law endorses Melody Wang as our exclusively recommended Business Crime Law expert in China. If you wish to get in touch with Melody please use the contact information provided above.

Melody is a white-collar and complex disputes partner with Fangda Partners in Beijing.

An experienced trial lawyer and negotiator, Melody is often called upon to assist with cross-border criminal litigation and investigations in China. Melody provides advice and counsel to US and European multinationals on a wide variety of PRC regulatory and criminal investigations, including those related to environmental crime and anti-corruption.

Melody was trial counsel for ConocoPhillips in litigation stemming from the Penglai oil seepage incidents of 2011, obtaining verdicts dismissing all claims. Melody was also recently involved in a high-profile smuggling investigation for a major European multinational, reaching a decision of non-prosecution from the authorities in China. Additional examples of Melody’s work include acting for a well-known public relations company in a criminal probe conducted by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and a special prosecution unit.

Melody is an industry leader in the area of PRC data compliance and has been involved in some of the highest-profile lawsuits and investigations where PRC state secrecy has been invoked. In addition to her advocacy work, she has been appointed as an expert witness in numerous foreign proceedings (eg, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore) on various Chinese law issues.

Melody received her LLB in law from Beihang University in Beijing and earned LLM degrees from Queen Mary, University of London; and Northwestern School of Law in Chicago. She also has a certificate in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management.

Melody is a listed arbitrator with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and an active member of the HKIAC’s Women in Arbitration. Melody speaks English and Mandarin.

Firm Description:

One Firm Approach

We have approximately 700 lawyers in our five offices in major Chinese cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen. We operate as a single, integrated partnership, not as an alliance of lawyers in different locations.

Our lawyers collaborate seamlessly across practice groups and locations to provide our clients with exceptional service, sophisticated advice and practical solutions founded on our legal expertise, sound knowledge of market practice, deep understanding of the industry landscape and proven ability to assist our clients achieve their business objectives.

Firm of Choice for the Most Difficult Legal Issues

We are the firm of choice for businesses requiring solutions to their most difficult and complex legal issues. Leading companies and financial institutions in China and around the world turn to us for legal representation or counseling on their most significant legal and business challenges, whether transactions or disputes.

Cross-Border Capabilities with a China Edge

We are known for our cross-border capabilities with a China edge.Our team consists of lawyers qualified in Australia, England and Wales, Singapore, U.S., Hong Kong and the PRC.

The diversity of our professionals and our strong local law capabilities enable us to bridge legal, regulatory, language and cultural differences that clients inevitably face in transactions and disputes involving multiple jurisdictions.

At the Forefront of Chinese Commercial Practice

We have been at the forefront of the development of commercial law practice in China for over two decades.

We have a proven track record advising clients on groundbreaking transactions or defending them in unprecedented disputes. Some selected notable matters on which we have advised include:

  • First initial public offering by a Chinese company involving an international underwriter
  • The first domestic listing by a company incorporated outside the PRC (so-called red chip company)
  • Formation of the first open-end mutual fund in China
  • First foreign acquisition of a controlling stake in a Chinese public company
  • First FRAND litigation in China
  • Representing the claimant in obtaining the first injunction in an IP litigation under Chinese procedural law
  • First public interest environmental litigation brought by an NGO against a multinational company in China


Antônio Sérgio Altieri de Moraes Pitombo

Leaders in Law endorses Antônio Sérgio A de Moraes Pitombo as our exclusively recommended Business Crime Law expert in Brasil. If you wish to get in touch with Antônio please use the contact information provided above.

Antônio Sérgio A de Moraes Pitombo has been involved in the practice of criminal and contentious advocacy law for more than two decades, and is known for his work in several cases of repercussion.

Pitombo graduated from the University of São Paulo with a master’s degree, and a doctorate, in criminal law. He obtained his post-doctoral degree from the Ius Gentium Conimbrigae at the University of Coimbra’s Faculty of Law. He is a member of the Institute of Brazilian Lawyers; the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences; the Manoel Pedro Pimentel Institute, linked to the department of criminal law, criminology and forensic medicine at the University of São Paulo’s Faculty of Law; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and the International Association of Penal Law.

Firm Description:

Encouraging participation in continuing legal education seminars, professional association activities and civic affairs, São Paulo-headquartered Moraes Pitombo Advogados prides itself on its ability to combine the dual qualities of a contemporary legal practice – ie, the personally tailored client service characteristic of small law firms, and the cutting-edge technology and organisation of large law firms.

“We defend the interests of our clients in cases both in Brazil and abroad through our partnership with several foreign offices,” says firm founder Antônio Sérgio A de Moraes Pitombo. “In the past 15 years, we have worked on the biggest and most groundbreaking cases in the country, with successful results that demonstrate the distinctive quality of our legal service.”

Moraes Pitombo Advogados’ main areas of activity include crimes against the economic and financial order; crimes against the tax order; crimes against the environment; crimes against patrimony, industrial property and labour organisations; crimes against the faith and public administration; crimes against the person; crimes against the family and sexual dignity; crimes against public safety; crimes perpetrated by the internet; international cooperation; and legal opinions.

The firm’s offices are structured to exclusively serve two areas of law, namely criminal and civil, with distinct teams available to interact and organise a full defence against the state. A team of more than 100 people is divided across three offices, located in the cities of São Paulo, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro.

“Over time, our headquarters in the city of São Paulo found two fundamental needs for its development,” says Pitombo. “First, we saw the need to verticalise our work in the judiciary, serving clients in the higher courts (the Superior Court of Justice and the Supreme Federal Court) – hence the birth of the Brasília office, allowing a greater growth and highlight in judgments in both of these courts.

“Second, we wanted to give the same level of personalised service to our many clients in Rio de Janeiro, which required us to reproduce the standard of service quality with a team of equal importance and size in that city.”


Francesco Isolabella

Francesco Isolabella is a Criminal Lawyer, Partner in the law firm Studio Legale Isolabella, founded in the 1960’s by his father Lodovico.

He specialises in corporate criminal law and focuses specifically on defence in and out of court and consultancy for Italian and foreign companies and physical persons, in connection with financial, banking, bankruptcy, tax, and environmental offences, as well as in publishing and medical liability.

He has acted as defence counsel for directors and officers of foreign banks and rating agencies in several nationally-relevant cases of market manipulation and bankruptcy, as well as for other financial and corporate crimes.

Francesco has also gained significant experience in the field of criminal liability for legal entities (pursuant to Law 231/01): he defended primary international Groups under trial in connection with Law 231/01 (in cases focusing, for example, on financial, corporate and international corruption offences). He is a consultant in drafting “231 Models”, in internal investigation activities, and in the implementation of Compliance Programmes, also under emergency conditions.

In assisting foreign clients, he has been busy in the international implementation of criminal corporate liability regulations in their various forms (for example, USFCPA, UK Bribery Act, Italian Law 231/01, Ley Organica in Spain, etc.), drafting 231 Organisational Models applicable to foreign companies and aimed at the prevention of the risk of crime in connection with cross-border operations.

Francesco Isolabella has often lectured as keynote speaker in conferences and seminars. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the specialisation course “Criminal Liability for Collective Entities pursuant to Law 231/01” organised by the University of Milan. He is also teaches the specialisation course “Financial Markets Law” at the University of Milan, and the Law & Business Master at the Il Sole 24 Ore Business School.

Francesco Isolabella is registered with the International Bar Association and with the American Bar Association.

Jose Portos Ubierna

Licensed Attorney-at-law graduated from the Universidad Panamericana, with a Masters in Criminal Sciences (Magister en Ciencias Criminológicas, Penales y Penitenciarias) and a Doctor Degree in Studies in Criminal Law (Estudios de Derecho Penal) from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain, Mr. Portos (currently coursing a Doctorate Thesis).

He also obtained from the Centro de Estudios Superiores de Especialidades Jurídicas of Madrid, Spain, (CESEJ), the degrees of Special Master for the Protection of Intellectual and Industrial Property (Master Especial sobre Protección Penal de la Propiedad Intelectual e Industrial) and Special Master in Criminal Law and Underage Individuals (Master Especial sobre Derecho Penal y Menores de Edad)

Mr. Portos also attended at the Instituto de Formación Profesional of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the federal District, to the Program on Oral Trials: theory and practice (Diplomado en Juicios Orales: teoría y práctica).

Mr. Portos is chair professor of the Criminal Procedural Law within the Law Degree Studies at the Universidad Panamericana, And is barrister of the Barra Mexicana, Colegio de Abogados, A.C. and the Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa, A.C.


Portos Abogados os a law firm specialized in Criminal Law (consultancy and litigation). We offer to institutions, individuals and corporations the most convenient and current legal strategies for the defense or solution of their legal problems acting at all times with ethic, professionalism and efficacy.

The partners and associates of this firm understand the importance of education and consequently, our members are continually studying and being updated in several national and international forums.

This firm is specialized in criminal matters in the entire Mexican Republic and is supported by professional investigators and official experts specialized in a variety of sciences. The firm has tight alliance with the best specialized law firms for matters relating to tax, administrative, civil, business, labor, banking, etc., in order to ensure the best possible results.

To offer you a better service, we count with offices in Guadalajara and México City.

Our services include:



Karim Khalil QC

Karim Khalil practises mainly in London and the South East. He has defended or prosecuted most of the high profile and high value matters to arise on circuit in recent years. He has an associate Tenancy in Leeds and Newcastle to more easily accommodate the requests for his expertise across the country. He also advises and represents those involved in cases involving issues of foreign jurisdiction and/or cross-border matters.

Karim was called to the Bar in 1984, became one of the youngest Assistant Recorders/Recorders, and took Silk in 2003 prior to prosecuting Ian Huntley & Maxine Carr (the Soham murders). His advice and advocacy is sought across diverse fields, including murder, serious fraud (including Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise and MTIC), health & safety, drug trafficking and sexual offences. He has a particular interest in medico-legal, science-based and baby-shaking cases.

More recently he has become closely involved in matters with a more international dimension, including defending against requests for the extradition of ‘convicted gang murderers’.

His close association with the University of Cambridge enables him to draw on significant expertise. This has helped to make him a leading Silk in the cross examination of scientific experts in many fields (including pathology, neuropathology, genetics, palynology {plant based analysis} and mineralogy). University academics also assist him with cases requiring detailed consideration of cases with an international dimension.

Karim Khalil successfully resisted criminal proceedings on behalf of one of the government scientists in the Porton Down investigation.

He has been involved in many trials involving Police informants and is known for the careful and sensitive handling of such cases. Karim Khalil has made prisoner representations to the Discretionary Lifer Panel and he appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, often superseding original trial Counsel. He represented Richard Jan on his appeals against conviction and sentence for a campaign of petrol bombings (said to be one of the most dangerous men in the UK) and he represented the successful appellant in the House of Lords in R v Wang (Judge’s direction to convict, unlawful).

He writes the chapter on confiscation law in “Fraud: Law Practice & Procedure” published by LexisNexis and is instructed in cases involving significant confiscation proceedings.

He has appeared in the VAT Tribunal on behalf of those appealing against refusals by HM Customs to repay VAT following assertions of VAT/MTIC fraud.

Karim Khalil was the keynote speaker at the inaugural conference for SIOs on the electronic presentation of evidence in court. Karim Khalil is a member of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences to whom he presented the keynote speech on “The Science of the Soham Murders”.

In recognition of his work and burgeoning profile in the area, Karim was awarded Financial Regulation Lawyer of the year in 2015 by corporate livewire magazine.

Areas of practice:

·    Professional Discipline

·    Criminal Law

·    Proceeds of Crime

·    Public Law

·    Extradition

·    Direct Access

·    Regulatory Prosecutions

·    Consumer Law

·    Military Law

·    Appeals

·    Fraud and Financial Regulation

·    Bribery & Money Laundering

Criminal Law Practice:

At the heart of Drystone Chambers’ practice is a dedicated team of specialist advocates who defend and prosecute in trials of serious, complex and high profile criminal cases.

From the provision of initial Advice during investigations, through to advocacy at Court, we ensure our clients are given the best representation at every stage. Members of the team practice in all Courts; from the Magistrates’ Court to the Supreme Court and provide truly national coverage. As well as our base in London we have a strong links with court centres in the North West, South West, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and across the South East of England.We have acted in many landmark cases of recent years, including:

·    The 21/7 terrorist trial

·    The “Soham murders”

·    SFO and FCA prosecutions

·    Damilola Taylor murder

·    The Ahmed ‘honour killing’ murder

·    The first ever non-jury Crown Court trial

·    The Oxford sexual grooming trial

·    Largest ever mortgage fraud

·    Millennium Dome robbery

·    Largest ever cocaine importation

·    First large-scale servitude case

Drystone Chambers have a deserved reputation for their legal knowledge, advocacy and client care and have over 20 of our barristers listed in Chambers UK, this is reflected in what the directories say about us. We have taken arguments at trial and on appeal that have changed the course of the criminal law on issues including:

·    Recklessness and arson

·    serious sexual offences

·    bad character

·    joint enterprise and murder/manslaughter

·    gross negligence manslaughter

·    confiscation

·    public interest immunity

·    reverse burdens of proof

·    inferences from silence

·    autrefois convict

·    abuse of process

·    kidnapping

·    the admissibility of expert evidence, including lip-reading and facial mapping

We regularly lecture on current topics in the criminal law. Recent lectures have included joint enterprise, recklessness and handling vulnerable witnesses. Many teach Advocacy and are accredited Advocacy trainers.


Sir Richard Cheltenham

Dr The Hon Sir Richard Cheltenham, KA, QC, PhD, JP, is a prominent Caribbean lawyer. He has made many appearances before the judicial committee of the Privy Council (UK).

Born in 1941, Sir Richard received his early education in Barbados and thereafter attended the universities of the West Indies, McGill and Manchester. In addition, he is a member of the Middle Temple and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in July of 1970.

Sir Richard has practised with large success at both the criminal and civil Bars. He appeared in over 100 murder cases, as defence counsel and in recent years, prosecuted a dozen murder cases for the government of St Kitts/Nevis. He has also been retained by both the American and Canadian governments in prosecuting high-profile extradition cases in the Eastern Caribbean.

An acknowledged specialist in Commissions of Inquiry, he has served since 1991 on several commissions in the region, both as counsel or as sole commissioner.

Sir Richard has spent 35 years in the public life of Barbados and served in the House of Assembly for 23 years. He has held ministerial positions in agriculture, tourism and the environment.

A family man with five children, Sir Richard has wide interests including cricket, music, Barbadian history and international affairs. He received his country’s highest honour – Knight of St Andrew – in 2005 for distinguished service to law, public life and community service. For the last 13 years he has been a member of the Barbados Privy Council.