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Noted corporate and real estate attorney, Viking Tao serves on the firm's five-member Board of Directors and chairs the firm's China Practice Group, representing Chinese and international clients in their investments in the United States.

Viking has nearly 20 years of experience advising clients in commercial real estate development and investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, partnership and joint venture negotiations, and commercial disputes.  Viking handles matters in a wide array of sectors, including real estate, e-commerce, biotech, life sciences, manufacturing, hospitality, oil and gas, renewable energy, and consumer products.

Bringing fluency in both Mandarin and Cantonese to the legal arena, Viking counsels Chinese companies that are establishing their presence in the United States, forging alliances with U.S. businesses, or embarking on strategic expansions, such as asset and stock acquisitions and setting up manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Viking finds it highly gratifying to help Chinese companies gain a foothold in the United States because no matter how successful these organizations are in China, the U.S. is a brand new and very different environment that requires strategic planning and an informed approach.  She enjoys drawing on her background and extensive knowledge base to guide clients in their new ventures and to help them identify potential pitfalls and issues they should consider.  She also advises U.S. companies in connection with their investments in China and business negotiations with Chinese companies.

With a client list that includes leading American and Chinese developers and funds as well as small and medium-sized developers, investors and lenders, Viking counsels clients in connection with the acquisition, financing, development, leasing, management and disposition of commercial real estate.  Projects involve subdivisions, apartment complexes, shopping centers, hotels, assisted living facilities, office buildings, warehouses, and mixed-use facilities, ranging in size from several million to multibillion dollars.

Passionate about giving back to the community, Viking has held leadership positions in Dallas-Fort Worth Asian American non-profit organizations.  Prior to joining the firm, Viking served several years as in-house counsel at the Bank of China's New York Branch during the bank's $9.7 billion IPO.  This valuable experience enhances her ability to serve clients as she brings the insight she gained in this capacity to her practice. 

Away from the Office

Viking enjoys traveling and exploring different parts of the world. One summer in college, Viking bicycled 1,300 miles of the Silk Road in northwest China.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2007)
  • State Bar of New York (2004)

Education

  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, J.D., 2003
  • Beijing University School of Law, LL.B., 2000

Corporate & Mergers and Acquisitions:

  • Represented an international energy company in a multi-party acquisition of natural gas assets in Turkey with an aggregate value of approximately $150,000,000 (involving eight foreign jurisdictions).
  • Represented a life sciences start-up company in its series A financing. 
  • Represented an international energy company in its acquisition of multiple companies with oil and gas assets in Morocco, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
  • Represented a food company in its acquisition of a poultry-processing company for $28,000,000.
  • Represented a national retailer in a series of secured and unsecured loans in the aggregate amount of $144,000,000.
  • Represented an investment group in its investment in an online used car sale company. 
  • Represented an international real estate developer in its acquisition of an assisted living brand company.
  • Represented an international party supplies manufacturer in its acquisition of a party supplies company in Texas. 
  • Represented a healthcare recruiting company and its subsidiaries in their debt refinancing with two lenders and the concurrent private placement of common stock and warrants.
  • Represented multiple clients in establishing their employee long-term incentive benefit plans.
  • Advise clients in different industries on general corporate matters, including entity formation, corporate governance, JV agreements, strategic alliance agreements, stock option plans, employment agreements, consulting agreements, and services agreements. 
  • Serve as outside general counsel and advise clients in different industries on general corporate, employment, leasing, financing, intellectual property, commercial dispute and litigation matters. 

Real Estate Transactions:

  • Represented a real estate developer in $350,000,000 construction and mezzanine loans for the development of an approximately 33-acre retail, office, hotel and residential mixed-use project in Texas.
  • Represented a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed real estate conglomerate in the acquisition of nearly 3,000 acres of land in Van Alstyne and Anna, Texas for future development of a master planned community, including CFIUS and FIRRMA analyses. 
  • Represented a developer in the acquisition of 570 acres of land for future mixed-use development in the Austin area.
  • Represented an international real estate developer in the acquisition and financing of 300 acres of land for the development of a single-family residential community in North Texas.  
  • Represented an Asian family office in its investment in a joint venture for a subdivision development project in Texas.  
  • Represented a top Chinese private equity fund in its investment in several multifamily projects. 
  • Represented a lot developer in the phased development of 112-acre of land and lot sales in Texas. 
  • Represented a Chinese real estate investor in its acquisition of a $27,000,000 retail shopping center in Minnesota. 
  • Represented two separate U.S. sponsors in setting up multiple funds to raise Asian capital to invest in multiple multifamily projects throughout the U.S.
  • Represented a national private equity group's real estate division in establishing a $35,000,000 master credit facility and the closing of multiple project loans in several states.
  • Represented a real estate investment group in the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of hotels (each hotel's purchase price ranging between $15,000,000 and $25,000,000) located in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, and the subsequent disposition thereof.
  • Represented a real estate investor in the sale of a shopping center and the defeasance of a $24,000,000 mortgage loan.
  • Represented an international investor in restructuring its joint venture agreement with the developer in a mixed-use project in Florida. 
  • Represented a foreign finder in its negotiations of consultant agreements with multiple U.S. developers in raising EB-5 funds from Asian investors. 
  • Represented various investors in their acquisition or disposition of or equity investment in a variety of multifamily, student housing, office, retail, industrial, and mixed-use projects. 
  • Represented various real estate developers and equity investors in the negotiations of dozens of joint venture agreements in a variety of real estate projects. 

US-China Cross-Border Transactions:

  • Represented a Chinese industry-leader manufacturer in establishing a $300,000,000 manufacturing facility in Tennessee, including site acquisition, negotiation of state and local governmental incentives, leasing, employment, trademark, financing, and general corporate matters. 
  • Represented a Chinese company in its $92,000,000 bid to acquire a promotional products company based in California.
  • Represented a Shanghai-based real estate developer in its $30,000,000 acquisition of the stock of a public oil and gas company based in Houston, Texas.
  • Acted as U.S. counsel to a New York-based group in raising funds from Chinese investors to invest in real estate projects in the U.S.
  • Represented an international group with Chinese capital in developing multiple assisted living facilities throughout the U.S.
  • Represented a Chinese technology company in its acquisition of an offshore oil and gas engineering  company based in Texas. 
  • Represented a Chinese company in its acquisition of railroad tie technology and manufacturing facilities through public auction out of Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Represented a Chinese wellness company in restructuring its joint venture with its U.S. partner and brand licensor. 
  • Represented a U.S. private equity group in deal structuring and due diligence on a US target company's wholly-owned subsidiary in Ningbo, China.
  • Represented a private U.S. energy company in raising $17,500,000 from Chinese investors to jointly acquire 85,000 acres of federal oil and gas leases in Nevada.
  • Represented a New York and Toronto dual-listed energy company in its negotiation of a farm-out agreement with a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company for oil and gas assets in Bulgaria.
  • Represented a U.S. renewable energy company in its negotiation of a strategic alliance agreement with a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer.
  • Represented a U.S. engineering company in its negotiation of a strategic alliance agreement with a Chinese LED manufacturer. 
  • Represented a U.S. investor in its investment in a U.S. private equity fund focusing on the telecommunications, IT and energy industries in China.
  • Represented a U.S. apparel company in setting up a WFOE in Shanghai.
  • Conducted due diligence review of a US subsidiary and issued a US counsel opinion letter in connection with the Chinese parent company's IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
  • Represented numerous Chinese companies in setting up subsidiaries in the U.S.

Dispute Resolution:

  • Successfully settled a claim on behalf of an importer of LED products in connection with Section 337 investigations in front of the International Trade Commission. 
  • Successfully defended and resolved a claim against a social shopping and e-commerce company in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act lawsuit. 
  • Successfully settled a patent infringement lawsuit for an electronics importer. 
  • Successfully settled a copyright infringement lawsuit for a social shopping and e-commerce company.  
  • Represented minority members in resolving disputes with the majority member and manager of a real estate development project in New York.
  • Represented an energy company in its settlement with other working interest owners with respect to certain oil and gas assets in California and Turkey.
  • Successfully defended a Chinese construction elevator manufacturer in two product liability lawsuits, one in Texas and the other in Missouri.
  • Successfully represented various clients in resolving commercial disputes in joint venture agreements or commercial contracts.
  • Moderator, "Chinese Enterprises in the U.S.," US-China Chamber of Commerce of Dallas Webinar, Dallas, Texas (interview with the CEO of a top Chinese tile manufacturer's US factory and the Managing Director in charge of a leading Chinese real estate developer's Texas division) (September 30, 2021)
  • Speaker, Career Path Fireside Chat, Chinese American Lawyers Forum (June 12, 2021) 
  • Moderator & Speaker, "Legal Webinar Series," US-China Chamber of Commerce of Dallas Webinar Series, Dallas, Texas (Fall 2020) 
  • Panelist, "Business Contract Negotiations," US-China Chamber of Commerce of Dallas Panel Discussions, Dallas, Texas (June 5, 2019) 
  • Speaker, "US Commercial Real Estate Investment: Legal Hot Topics," 2018 America-China Real Estate Summit, Houston, Texas (April 6, 2018)
  • Speaker, "Yuan Tsunami – How to Ride the Chinese Investment Wave," multiple presentations in Dallas & Houston, Texas (2013 & 2014)
  • Speaker, "Chinese Investment in the US: New Trends in 2012," China Institute's China Briefcase Series, New York, New York (May 17, 2012)
  • Speaker, "Chinese Companies' Investments in the US – a Legal Perspective," The University of Texas at Arlington, presentation to a group of executives from Chinese state-owned companies, Arlington, Texas (February 15, 2012)
  • Speaker, "Legal Issues faced by Chinese Companies in Overseas Mergers and Acquisitions," The University of Texas at Dallas, presentation to a group of executives from China, Richardson, Texas (October 26, 2011)
  • Panelist, "Structuring and Negotiating Transactions with Chinese Companies," MyCFOnetwork, presentation to CFOs and other financial professionals, Dallas, Texas (September 29, 2011)
  • Speaker, "How to Represent or Negotiate with Chinese Companies," Law Firm Alliance, teleconference presentation to a group of international business attorneys (July 14, 2011)
  • Panel Leader, "China Update 2008 – China's Evolving and Emerging Laws," Harvard China Review Annual Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 29, 2008)
  • Panelist, "Doing Business with China", KRCL seminars, Dallas and Houston, Texas (2007)
  • Panel Leader, "Rules of the Game – China's Legal System," Harvard China Review Annual Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (April 7, 2007)
  • Organized a seminar in New York City on China's newly-enacted Enterprise Bankruptcy Law two weeks after its enactment, which was reported by the Financial Times; facilitated a Chinese drafting committee member's visit and exchange of views with several bankruptcy judges at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, New York, New York (September 14, 2006)
  • General Counsel of the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce of Dallas (2011-Present)
  • Former board member of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce (Director: 2010-2015; Vice Chair: 2013-2015)
  • Dallas Bar Association: Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Property Law and International Law Sections
  • Dallas Asian American Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association's Women Empowered to Lead (class of 2019)
  • Named a "Rising Star" by Texas Super Lawyers (2011-2012, 2014-2015)
  • Named to the Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List (2014) 
  • Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)

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