Lawyer for Hire: Knows China Well

During a recent breakfast meeting between Howard Chao, the partner in charge of O'Melveny & Myers' Asia practice, and a Silicon Valley venture-capital tycoon shopping for a lawyer with expertise there, the conversation was less a sales pitch by Chao than a freewheeling exchange about corporate-finance trends and upcoming investment opportunities. The portfolio manager left the meeting enlightened about the Chinese business landscape, and Chao got a new client as well as a referral to a company in the VC's portfolio that might also need his counsel. Most people would call that rainmaking. Chao calls it "knowledge arbitrage." Chao's practice has...

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