Fraser Mendel

Fraser Mendel

Fraser Mendel


+1 (206) 395-6903 DIRECT
+1 (206) 374-2831 FAX


New York University School of Law (LL.M., Taxation, 1996)
University of Washington School of Law, (J.D., 1994)
Chinese Studies, University of Washington School of International Studies (M.A., 1994)
Asian Studies, Pomona College (B.A., 1988)

Admitted to practice

Washington, 1994
New York, 1996


Chinese (Mandarin)


Fraser Mendel has been representing clients for over 25 years in the United States, China, and other countries. He is a technology and business lawyer with a strong background in taxation, years of experience on the ground in China, and a deep passion for helping clients build their businesses. Many clients have been technology companies – or their founders – in software, publishing, film, internet, and other technology fields, as well as clients in the educational, retail, transportation, real estate and construction material industries in the United States, China, and Europe.

Practice Areas

The type of work that Fraser does for clients includes:

  • Cross-border technology licensing agreements
  • Setting up companies to be business and tax efficient
  • Creating strategies for protecting a company’s intellectual property – both domestic and internationally
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Advising on international distribution arrangements
  • Venture capital financings – both domestic and cross-border
  • Encryption and data protection requirements
  • Anti-bribery/anti-corruption compliance and
  • Serving as outside general counsel.

Fraser frequently teaches, writes and speaks at events about international technology transactions and doing business in China. While he has worked on projects in many countries, he has particular expertise in China having been based in Beijing for 12 years and another 5 years in Taiwan

Community Involvement

Current Leadership Activities

  • Vice Chair, Washington State China Relations Council (WSCRC) (2011-present)
  • Board of Trustees, World Affairs Council (2016-present)
  • Vice Chair – Technology Law Committee, International Bar Association (2021-present)
  • Professor of Law, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Advisor, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
  • General Counsel, Lonin League (2008-present)
  • Legal Advisor, Chinese Language Teachers Association of Washington (2006-present)

Past Leadership Activities

  • Publications Officer – Technology Law Committee, International Bar Association (2019-2021)
  • Chair, Intrusive Technologies Committee – Technology Law Committee, International Bar Association (2016-2018); Vice Chair (2015-16)
  • Member of Board of Directors, Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle (2012-2018)
  • Member of Executive Committee, International Practice Section – Washington State Bar Association (2012-17); Chair (2015-16)
  • Member of Executive Committee, Washington Council on International Trade (2013-2016)
  • Member of Board of Directors, OneWorld Now! (2015-2017)

Active in Following Organizations

  • Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (2013-present)
  • Member, International Bar Association (2010-present)
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association (1994-present)
  • Member, American Bar Association (1991-present)
  • Member, Association of Asian Studies (1991-present)


  • “Global Supply Chains in Times of Uncertainty,” CSCMP Puget Sound Roundtable, Seattle, WA, October 29, 2018.
  • “2018 Economic Outlook: China,” Asia Business Forum, Bellevue, WA, February 6, 2018.
  • “China’s IP Environment,” USPTO Road Show, Seattle, WA, November 16, 2017.
  • “Do the Panama Papers Affect You? Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Advising Clients on International Transactions,” International Practice Section, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, WA, July 25, 2016.
  • “Working with Chinese Investors: Common Problems and Red Flag Issues,” Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners, Seattle, WA, April 28, 2016
  • “When an International Deal Goes Wrong — International Arbitration Issues that Should Be on Your Radar Screen,” WSBA International Practice Section CLE, Seattle, WA, April 27, 2016
  • “Open and Closed Licensing,” Tech Law Committee, International Bar Association 2015 Annual General Meeting, Tokyo, Japan, October 1, 2015.
  • “Knowing Your Counterpart: Government Processes and Procedures,” Doing Business in China Conference, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, August 17-21, 2015.
  • “New Spring for Foreign Investments in Washington State,” International Practice Section, WSBA, Seattle, WA, April 30, 2015.
  • “2015 Economic Outlook for Asia,” Asia Business Forum, Seattle, WA, January 27, 2015.
  • “China 2014 Trends to Watch,” Asia Business Forum, Seattle, WA, September 23, 2014.
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Chinese Companies,” Boao Forum for Asia, Seattle Conference, Investor Symposium, Seattle, WA, September 4, 2014.
  • “Doing Business with China,” CAMPS Manufacturing Conference, Bellevue, WA, June 18, 2014.
  • “Structuring Deals in China,” LawPACT Annual General Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 17, 2014.
  • “Cultural Protocols in Asia – Beyond Business 101,” Asia Business Forum, November 19, 2013.
  • “Getting Ready to Go International,” Seattle Entrepreneurship Club, October 17, 2013.
  • “Cross Border Licensing Strategies,” Licensing Executives Society of the US, Seattle, WA, October 16, 2013.
  • “Key Issues in Cross-Border M&A,” Davis Wright Tremaine CLE, Shanghai, China, October 11, 2013.
  • “Structuring Offshore Holding Vehicles for Cross Border Transactions,” Davis Wright Tremaine CLE, Shanghai, China, October 10, 2013.
  • “Asian Investment in North America,” International Bar Association 2013 Annual General Meeting, Boston, MA, October 6, 2013.
  • “Economic and Financial Reforms for China: What’s New and Different This Time?” Washington State China Relations Council, Seattle, WA, September 10, 2013.
  • “It’s Never Too Early to be Thinking Internationally – Protecting Your IPR,” Legal Matters for Technology Company, Seattle Technical Forum, Bellevue, WA, April 17, 2013.
  • “Connecting Our World; Trade,” Columbia Tower Club Business Alliance Committee, Seattle, WA, April 10, 2013.
  • “What to Expect in Asia – Economic Outlook for 2013,” Asia Business Forum, Seattle, WA, January 23, 2013.
  • “Anti-Corruption Compliance in China” and “Cross Border Structuring,” The China Market, San Francisco, CA, December 13, 2012.
  • “Legal Issues in Investing in China,” China: Winning Across Borders, December 4, 2012.
  • “What to Expect When Investing in Asia,” World Trade Center, Seattle, September 26, 2012.
  • “China’s Mid-year Course Corrections,” Asia Business Forum, Seattle, WA, July 25, 2012.
  • “Structuring an Investment in China,” Doing Business in Asia, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, WA, June 21, 2012.
  • “Structuring a Deal When China is Involved: 60 Considerations When Doing a Deal in China,” Davis Wright Tremaine CLE, Seattle, WA, June 12, 2013.
  • “IP Protection in China,” and “Anti-Corruption Compliance in China,” The Conference Board Research Working Group Safeguarding Intellectual Property and Addressing Corruption in the Global Supply Chain, May 23, 2012.
  • “Current Issues in US-China Trade,” The US-China Business Council and Washington State China Relations Council, Seattle, WA, May 22, 2012.
  • Moderator for “Fragile China? – Appraising Economic Developments and Operating Conditions for Cross Border Investments,” The Conference Board City Seminar, Seattle, WA, April 18, 2012.
  • “Structuring Cross Border Investments involving China,” Wells Fargo Seminar, Seattle, WA, April 12, 2012.
  • Moderator for “Reaching One Billion Customers: Things You Need to Know About Branding and Distribution in China,” Washington State China Relations Council, April 3, 2012.
  • “What to Expect in Asia in 2012,” Asia Business Forum, Seattle, WA, January 31, 2012.
  • “Business Issues Facing U.S. Companies in China,” Microsoft In-house Seminar, Redmond, WA, June 1, 2011.
  • “Doing Business in China,” Inside Counsel 11th Annual Super Conference! Inside Counsel Magazine, Chicago, IL, May 23, 2011.
  • “Business Issues Facing U.S. Companies in China,” International Tax Conference, WSBA & WSCPA, Seattle, WA, May 4, 2011.
  • “Doing Business in China: Protecting and Enforcing IP Rights,” National Business Institute National Webinar, May 2, 2011.
  • “Innovation in China,” Business Development Opportunities Forum, BDO / JP Morgan Seminar, Seattle, WA, March 8, 2011.
  • “Forms of Investment” and “FDI Documentation and Agreements,” Legalities of Doing Business in China, National Business Institute, Seattle, WA, October 25, 2010.
  • “RMB Funds: What does this Emerging Source of Capital Mean for Chinese Companies?” The International PIPEs Conference 2010, DealFlow Media, Shanghai, China, May 25, 2010.
  • “International Privacy,” Who Says There is No Privacy Anymore?, SWW, Portland, OR, May 5, 2010.
  • “Rebound in China: Exploring Recent Regulatory Changes that Encourage Foreign-Invested RMB Funds,” The PIPEs Conference 2009, DealFlow Media, Las Vegas, NV, Dec 4, 2009.
  • “Clean Tech Investing in China,” The China Deal: 2010, WestLegalEd, San Francisco, CA, Oct 6, 2009.
  • “International Law of e-Discovery, Asia,” WSBA Advanced Discovery CLE, Seattle, WA, May 7, 2009.
  • “Hot, Flat and Crowded? Green and Clean Initiatives and Opportunities in China,” SWW Seminar, Portland, OR, Dec 17, 2008.
  • “Key Legal Risks in Outsourcing to China,” Morrison & Foerster Seminar, Hartford, CT, May 2008.
  • “Cleantech Meets China: The Venture Investment Space of the Century,” China Entrepreneurs / Clean Tech Network, March 2008.
  • “Selling Clean Tech Products and Services into China,” Clean Tech Network Webinar, Jan. 2008.
  • “Cross-border Investment Cooperation: Building Successful Management Teams, Syndicates and Investment Strategies,” Clean Tech Forum XVI, Beijing, Dec. 2007.
  • “China RoHS,” Morrison & Foerster Seminar, Palo Alto, Feb. 2007.
  • “Current Issues and Trends in Offshore Outsourcing,” Morrison & Foerster Seminar, Virginia, Nov. 2006.
  • “Outsourcing to China,” Outsourcing Revolution 2005, Practicing Law Institute, New York, Oct. 2005.
  • “Outsourcing to China,” Sourcing Leadership 2005, Sourcing Interest Group, Rancho Mirage, California, Oct. 2005.
  • “Outsourcing to China,” Outsourcing Revolution 2004: Protecting Critical Business Functions, Practicing Law Institute, Oct. 2004 (Atlanta) and Nov. 8, 2004 (NYC.)
  • “Protecting Intellectual Property in China,” Mitsubishi Research Institute, Feb. 2003.
  • “Telecoms, Media and the Olympics,” In-house Congress, Nov. 2002.
  • “Franchising in China,” I&I Venture Capital Forum, June 2002.
  • “Private Equity Investments in China,” In-house Congress, May 2002.
  • “Venture Capital in China 2000-2001,” Canada-China Business Council, Dec. 2000.
  • “Regulatory Environment for Internet Activities in China,” E-China: How Your Company can Use the Internet in China, Economist Conferences, May 2000.
  • “Legal Environment for Foreign Investment in China,” Ontario Bar Association Seminar, sponsored by Canadian Embassy, April 2000.
  • “Going Public on the CDNX,” How to List on the CDNX Conference, March 2000.
  • “Corporate Governance Issues Affecting FIEs in the PRC,” Conference on Corporate Governance of SOEs in China, OECD and PRC State Council, Jan. 2000.
  • “Intersection of the Internet and PRC Law,” CCBC AGM, Nov. 1999.
  • “International Capital Markets,” Advanced Forum for China’s Financial Opening and Enterprises Measures, People’s Bank of China and People’s Daily, June 1999.
  • Featured speaker at numerous AmCham, CCBC, Canadian Embassy and university seminars on China business issues, including venture capital investing, internet issues, IPR rights protections, foreign investment legal risks, and investment structuring.



  • “China to Boost Cross-Border E-Commerce,” DWT China Advisory, November 21, 2013.
  • “The Upcoming Shanghai Free Trade Zone: An Update on the National Pilot Project,” DWT China Advisory, September 19, 2013.
  • “Labor Dispatch Under the Amended Labor Contract Law of China,” DWT China Advisory, September 4, 2013.
  • “Governmental Authority in Accessing Private Information of Internet Users in China,” DWT China Advisory, August 22, 2013.
  • “Chinese Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiff in the First Antitrust Civil Action on Vertical Anti-Competitive Agreements,” DWT China Advisory, August 15, 2013.
  • “New Law on Customer Data Protection in China Impacting Telecom and Internet Companies,” DWT China Advisory, August 12, 2013.
  • “Shanghai Free Trade Zone: A Test Ground for the New Economic Reform Policies in China,” DWT China Advisory, August 5, 2013.
  • “Chinese Probe Into GSK—Media Reports and Legal Analysis,” DWT China Advisory, July 29, 2013.
  • “New Western Catalog Details Preferential Foreign Investment Industries in Central and Western China,” DWT China Advisory, July 10, 2013.
  • “Chinese Supreme Court Guidelines Make It Easier for Employers to Enforce Non-Compete Covenants,” DWT China Advisory, May 3, 2013.
  • “Amendments to the Labor Contract Law on Labor Dispatch Services Take Effect July 1, 2013,” DWT China Advisory, January 1, 2013.
  • “China’s New Online Information Protection Law,” DWT China Advisory, January 9, 2013.
  • “China Indigenous Innovation,” Seattle Business, Feb 2011.
  • “International Privacy Changes Impact Business,” Puget Sound Business Journal, Dec 10, 2010.
  • “Enter the Dragon: Are We Ready for the Coming Wave of Chinese Investment,” Seattle Business, Aug 2010.
  • “China Enacts Amendments to its Renewable Energy Law,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter, Jul 2010.
  • “Climate Change and Carbon Emissions – China Announces a Ten Year Plan for Reduction of ‘Carbon Intensity’”, Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter, Jan 2010.
  • “Harnessing the Green Dragon,” Seattle Business Monthly, Nov 2009.
  • “Regulating Spam in the Middle Kingdom: China’s New Anti-Spam Regulations,” BNA, May 2006.
  • “Offshore Outsourcing and Offshoring to China” in Outsourcing Revolution 2005, Practicing Law Institute, Oct 2005.
  • “Offshoring to China” in Outsourcing Revolution 2004, Practicing Law Institute, Oct 2004.
  • “Legal Issues Related to Franchising in China,” Franchising in China, Nov 2003.
  • “Protecting Olympic Intellectual Property,” China Law & Practice, May 2003.
  • “Venture Capital Investing in China,” China Hi-Tech Directory published by AsiaDirect, 2002.
  • “Holding Companies: An Alternative Investment Strategy,” China OnLine, Mar 2000.
  • “Seven Deadly Hiring Sins Made By High-Tech Companies in China,” CCBC Forum, Nov 1999.
  • “Land Consolidation in Taiwan,” Rural Development Institute Memorandum, 1993.
  • “Judicial Power & Illusion: The ROC’s Council of Grand Justices and Constitutional Interpretation,” 2 Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal 157 (1993).


  • “Manufacturing, Outsourcing and Offshoring to China,” in Outsourcing and Offshoring 2008: Protecting Critical Business Functions, Practicing Law Institute, Nov 2008.
  • “Amended Regulations Could Open Telecoms Sector,” China Law & Practice, Oct 2008.
  • “China’s New Judicial Interpretation on the Company Law – A Step toward Systemized Corporate Exit Mechanisms,” China Law & Practice, Aug 2008.
  • “China’s Partnership Enterprise Law Revised,” China Law & Practice, Apr 2007.


  • China Law Bulletin and China Clean Tech Bulletin, 2000-2008.
  • Legal Editor, Life and Death of an Internet Company in China, Asia Law & Practice Publishing Ltd., 2000.


  • “Distribution and Alternatives” chapter in Doing Business in Washington State, published by Int’l Section of the WSBA, Jul 2010.
  • “People’s Republic of China” chapter in Employee Privacy: Guide to U.S. and International Law, published by A S Pratt & Sons and Thompson Publishing, Sep 2007.
  • “Licensing in the PRC” chapter in Life and Death of an Internet Company in China, published by Asia Law & Practice Publishing Ltd., 2000.
  • “Information Technology in China,” Canada-China Business Council 2000 White Paper, Nov 2000.
  • “State Supported Export Credits” chapter in Trade Finance in the PRC, published by Asia Law & Practice Publishing Ltd., Apr 1999.
  • “Regulatory Environment of Satellite Projects in Asia” chapter in Developing and Financing Telecommunication Satellite Projects in Asia, published by Asia Law & Practice Publishing Ltd., 1997.


  • “Business Sours on China,” Wall Street Journal, Mar 17, 2010.
  • “China industry: Wanted: clean-tech firms,” EIU Viewswire, Sep 2, 2008.
  • “Fighting shy of the franchise route in China,” Retail Asia Online,, Sep 2004.
  • “Intellectual Property Protection Following WTO Accession,” Dialogue, CCTV Channel 9, Aug 12, 2003.
  • “The Importance of Intellectual Property,” Dialogue, CCTV Channel 9, Mar 15, 2000.