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John Tan counsels clients on internal and government investigations, privacy and cybersecurity matters, and corporate compliance.

John brings a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspective to his work, drawing on his experience as a trial and appellate lawyer and as in-house investigative counsel. He has advised clients across multiple industries and has particular experience in the life sciences and healthcare, automotive, and energy sectors. Clients describe John as "detailed" and "meticulous," and having "a very in-depth view of the Chinese legal system." His work includes counseling companies on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption regulations, responding to government inquiries, developing compliance programs, and conducting compliance due diligence for corporate transactions. John also advises companies on privacy compliance and the creation of cross-border data strategies and assists companies in conducting data security and cybersecurity reviews.

John previously served as China Regional Compliance Director for Pfizer from 2010 to 2012.

John began his career as a public defender in Washington, D.C. where he handled numerous bench and jury trials and argued before the D.C. Court of Appeals five times. John has lived in Shanghai since 2005 and is fluent in Mandarin.


  • Multiple multinational companies in conducting investigations of whistleblower allegations in China and Asia relating to issues, including:
    • allegations of corruption and other misconduct by clients' sales, marketing, procurement, and other functions
    • tenders for vaccines and capital equipment
    • revenue recognition
    • distributors, travel agencies, and other service providers
  • Major life sciences manufacturer in conducting pro-active reviews of their patient assistance programs.
  • Global pharmaceutical company in advising on privacy, data protection, and data security matters.
  • U.S.-Chinese Joint Venture in conducting an internal review of transactions with state-owned media in China.
  • Leading multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer in conducting an investigation into its GMP, quality, and supplier audit systems relating to the procurement of API.
  • Multinational healthcare manufacturer in conducting multiple internal investigations into potential misconduct by members of its Japan pharmaceutical business.
  • Multinational healthcare manufacturer in conducting internal investigation into potential misconduct by members of its medical device sales team in Japan in relation to educational grants, donations, and research programs.


Chambers Global
Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption: International Firms — China (2015-2023)
Chambers Greater China Region
Life Sciences: International Firms — China (2022-2024)
Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption: International Firms — China (2022-2024)
The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2021-2023)



  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1998
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993, Robert A. Muh Award for Undergraduate Research


  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia


  • Superior Court of the District of Columbia, The Honorable A. Franklin Burgess


  • Chinese (Mandarin)