Patrick S. Sinclair
  1. Partner

Mr. Sinclair is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, resident in Hong Kong. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense matters and government and internal investigations.

Mr. Sinclair has almost two decades of experience representing U.S.-based and international corporations, audit committees, banks, individuals, and the government in corporate criminal investigations. He regularly leads internal investigations for multinational corporations in Asia, and has represented a number of individuals in Asia who were the subject of inquiries from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the SEC, CFTC and other U.S. regulators.

From 2007 to 2014, Mr. Sinclair was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted individuals and organizations in connection with the 2008 economic collapse, and handled cases involving the FCPA, OFAC, the mail, wire and securities fraud statutes, the Travel Act, money laundering statutes, the Lacey Act, and the Bank Secrecy Act. He was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section in 2013. In addition to supervising prosecutors conducting investigations, hearings, trials and appeals, he served as lead prosecutor in a case convicting a CEO of commercial bribery, FCPA violations and tax evasion.

In recognition of his achievements at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Sinclair received the U.S. Attorney’s Excellence in Criminal Litigation Award, as well as commendations from the SEC, FBI and U.S. Treasury.

Work Highlights

  • Represent former China CFO of global life sciences company in connection with inquiries from the U.S. SEC and Department of Justice
  • Conduct internal investigations responding to whistleblower allegations and/or compliance escalations in various jurisdictions in Southeast Asia for a Fortune 100 pharma/life sciences company
  • Advise and provide due diligence assistance to two major private equity companies in connection with various investments in Asia

Before joining Davis Polk, Mr. Sinclair:

  • Developed and implemented an investigative protocol for compliance escalations within the Asian operations of a multinational life sciences company, leading over 20 internal investigations in China and Thailand
  • Represented the former CAO/COO for the Chinese and Korean operations of a global retailer in connection with inquiries from the Department of Justice Fraud Section and the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Represented a multinational life sciences company in connection with inquiries from the World Bank in connection with the company’s operations in Malaysia
  • Led an investigation for the audit committee of a Chinese-based/U.S.-traded retailer into a short-seller’s allegations of financial fraud and fictitious sales
  • Advised an acquisition deal team in connection with potential exposure related to the target company’s disclosure of various export control compliance failings and violations
  • Represented a Japanese bank faced with the challenge of unwinding several long-term oil contracts with Iranian suppliers in order to comply with new OFAC regulations/Iranian sanctions
  • Represented a large U.S. financial institution in a review of its Bank Secrecy Act compliance following the discovery of several questionable and unreported cash/traveler’s check transactions involving Mexican currency exchange businesses
  • Represented a U.S. institutional investment adviser in connection with its practice of selling proprietary investment instruments (e.g., mutual funds and hedge fund limited partnership interests) that were controlled by a corporate parent. The engagement involved several presentations to the New York State Attorney General and the SEC in connection with the investment adviser’s successful bid not to be sued in an enforcement proceeding
  • Represented a Canadian bank in connection with an adversarial enforcement proceeding with the SEC in which the bank challenged the SEC's interpretation of several "pay to play" prohibitions within the MSRB rules

As a federal prosecutor, Patrick supervised, investigated and prosecuted a number of high-stakes business fraud investigations, as well as other criminal matters. Representative matters from his time with the U.S. Attorney’s Office include:

  • Investigating and prosecuting the head of a telecommunications company for money laundering, commercial bribery, violations of the FCPA and tax fraud in connection with the company’s business in eastern European markets
  • Investigating and prosecuting a corporate bribery scheme in which officers and managers of a software company bribed technology executives at a large international financial institution to sell software contracts. The investigation involved bribes in China potentially implicating the FCPA
  • Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to investigate a large national bank’s correspondent relationships with several Eastern European banks following the filing of many untimely SARs. The investigation involved monitoring the bank’s compliance practices related to the U.S. anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Patriot Act statutes and related regulations, including SARS filing requirements and Know Your Client requirements
  • Working with Russian Federation law enforcement agents to identify money laundering activities and track the proceeds of Russian criminals and forfeit U.S. property, including buildings and bank accounts that were obtained with the proceeds of a bid-rigging scheme and improper bond issuances in Moscow
  • Prosecuting 18 defendants involved in a securities and investment advisers fraud by selling fraudulent newsletters and stock/option advice to investors in the United States and internationally
  • Investigating entities and trying persons related to the collapse of two large hedge funds, including negotiating and litigating complex issues related to parallel SEC enforcement action, state and federal civil actions, arbitrations, and determination of successor liability
  • Investigating and prosecuting the portfolio manager of the New Century Hedge Fund, who was engaged in a Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors of approximately $10 million


  • Legal 500 Asia-Pacific – Anti-Corruption, 2017

  • Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific – White Collar Crime, Dispute Resolution: Hong Kong & China, Litigation Star

Of Note

  • Speaker, “DOJ Enforcement Priorities: New FCPA Developments, and What They Mean for Local and Multinational Companies in China”, Shanghai (June 2019)
  • Speaker, “U.S. Sanctions Regulation and Enforcement: What Banks and Corporates in Asia Should Know”, Hong Kong (October 2018)
  • Speaker, “Navigating the Conflicting Chinese and United States Anti-Bribery and Chinese Anti-Monopoly Regulatory Scheme,” Hong Kong (April 2018)
  • Speaker, “Compliance and Enforcement Red Flags in the TMT Sector,” Hong Kong (March 2018)
  • Speaker, “A Practical Guide to Minimizing Risks of Gift, Entertainment, Event Sponsorship and Donations: How to Support Your Business Development, Sales and Marketing Power Within Anti-Bribery Restrictions,” Shanghai (June 2017)
  • Moderator, “Increased Governmental Expectations for Companies’ Compliance Programmes,” Seoul (November 2016)
  • Speaker, “The Evolving World of CSR and ESG – Implications for Global Businesses and Investors,” Hong Kong (September 2016)
  • Speaker, “Cross-Border Government Investigations – How to be Prepared and Considerations that Companies Should be Aware of When Interacting with U.S. and Japanese Regulators,” Tokyo (June 2016)
  • Speaker, “Corruption: An Industry Prospective: How Has the Life Sciences Industry Experience Shaped Compliance Efforts in South East Asia,” Singapore (May 2016)
  • Moderator, “Litigating Marriage Equality: A Conversation with Leading Lawyers from the United States and Hong Kong,” Hong Kong (April 2016)
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments in US and EU Sanctions Regimes,” Beijing (April 2016)
  • Speaker, “As U.S. Sanctions Programs Expand and Evolve Japanese Companies Face New Challenges,” Tokyo (October 2015)
  • Speaker, “DOJ Enforcement Actions: Risks and Recent Trends that Japanese Companies Should be Aware of While Conducting Business in the United States,” Tokyo (April 2015)
  • Speaker, “Good morning Mr. Regulator – Being prepared for the unexpected visitor,” Hong Kong (March 2015)
  • Speaker, “Trends in Insider Trading,” Cayman Islands (April 2013)

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2017-present
  • Partner, Ropes & Gray, 2014-2017
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, 2007-2014
  • Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, 2004-2007
  • Associate, McDermott Will & Emery, 2001-2004
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Joseph P. Nadeau, Supreme Court of New Hampshire, 2000-2001

Bar Admissions

  • Hong Kong
  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York


  • B.A., George Washington University, 1997
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • J.D., Boston University School of Law, 2000
    • cum laude