Professional Biography
James Zimmerman

James M. Zimmerman Partner

  • Beijing

    D +86.10.5971.9388

    F +86.10.5971.9301


    Suite 3501, China World Office Tower 1, No. 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Chaoyang District




An internationally distinguished legal authority, Jim Zimmerman provides guidance for clients operating in China’s legal environment.

Jim Zimmerman advises foreign companies on corporate, transactional, regulatory, litigation, and white-collar criminal defense matters in China.

A seasoned lawyer with more than three decades of experience, Jim has lived and worked in China since 1998. He has specific experience assisting individuals detained and prosecuted under China's broad and ambiguous national security and state secrecy laws and regulations, involving several high-profile and politically sensitive cases. Jim also has represented foreign media—including print, broadcast, and social media—with the challenges they face with security issues, press freedoms, and general operational issues in China.

Jim works with companies in a broad range of industries including media, hospitality, automotive, aviation, medical devices, pharmaceutical, petroleum, and financial services. He helps clients maneuver the complexities of China's commercial market and domestic regulatory regimes; secure approvals from the government; and enlists the support of government authorities for modifications and enhancements to prevailing legal processes, standards, and measures.

An in-demand presenter and commentator on issues related to U.S.-China relations and the Chinese business market, Jim has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the South China Morning Post, and the China Daily. He is also the author of The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China. He is the former four-term chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. 

Professional Recognition

  • Ranked by AsiaLaw Leading Lawyers Survey as a leading business lawyer in Asia in the categories of Chinese Law, Dispute Resolution and General Corporate Law, 2006-2009
  • Named as a leading individual in the category of Corporate and M&A for foreign law firms in China by Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2004-2010
  • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyer for Arbitration, 2006-2008





Areas of Focus

Bar and Court Admissions

  • California
  • Registered Foreign Lawyer with the Chinese Ministry of Justice
  • U.S. Court of International Trade


  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1987
  • University of California, Irvine, M.B.A., 1984
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A., 1982


Bios In Other Languages

Simplified Chinese Bio | 中文简体