Joining Forces with a Veteran Litigator
Mainland China Criminal Defense Lawyer

September 2022 

Mao Hongtao

We are pleased to welcome the arrival of Mr. Mao Hongtao, a veteran criminal defense lawyer with over twenty years of trial experience in mainland China.

Mr. Mao specializes in criminal defense and complex disputes in mainland China. Mr. Mao has been awarded “National Outstanding Lawyer” by the All China Lawyers Association, “Top 15 Litigation Lawyers in China” by ALB, “Outstanding Lawyer in Legal Aid Action” by the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, among other honours. He is widely recognized in the legal industry of mainland China. Mr. Mao is a member of the Criminal Professional Committee of the All China Lawyers Association and is an  initiator of the “Ten Criminal Defenders” forum in Beijing.

In his over twenty years of practice, Mr. Mao has assisted defendants in numerous criminal cases, including many high-profile cases with significant social impact. Below are some of the representative cases in which Mr. Mao has been involved in:

  • Company A was engaged in real estate promotion and publicity activities by means of “group buying for accumulation of customers”, and collected subscription money from potential buyers, which could be credited against the purchase price of the property if the potential buyers eventually bought the property under promotion. The public security authorities suspected that the conducts of Company A and its related personnel constitute the crime of operating illegal business.  As a result of Mr. Mao’s team, the case was eventually concluded at the litigation stage with the procuratorate withdrawing the prosecution, resulting in the acquittal of the defendants.
  • Mr. A, a representative of a municipal level People’s Congress, was accused of the crime of fraud due to a private lending dispute, involving an amount of RMB20 million. Through the work of Mr. Mao’s team for about one and a half years, Mr. A obtained an absolute non-prosecution decision from the procuratorate.
  • Mr. J, a former member of the Party Committee of the Public Security Bureau of a municipality and the head of the economic investigation branch thereof, was suspected of serious crimes in relation to his official duties, the municipal Discipline Inspection Commission handled the case and transferred Mr. J to the municipal procuratorate for investigation and public prosecution, and Mr. J was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of RMB1.2 million for several offences in the first instance. Subsequently, Mr. J’s family engaged Mr. Mao and his team as the lawyer for the second trial, and the provincial high court adopted Mr. Mao’s arguments, quashed the judgment of the first instance and ruled for a retrial. In the retrial, the court partially adopted the defense contended by Mr. Mao’s team, significantly reduced the amount involved in the case as well as the sentence eventually imposed on the Mr. J.
  • Company H, a guarantee company, was engaged in providing guarantee to housing fund loans, corporate loans, small subsidised loans and business start-up subsidised loans. In view of the legal risks inherent in the collection of loan in Company H’s business, a public security bureau accused Company H and the relevant personnel of the formation of a triad society organisation. Mr. Mao’s team intervened and firstly, through communication with the procuratorate at the examination and prosecution stage, denied the investigation authorities’ allegations of the formation of a triad society, and then, at the subsequent trial stage, maximised the interests of the client through a set of comprehensive and in-depth defense efforts.
  • A Korean national, Mr. L, was suspected of the crime of contract fraud as well as the crime of fraud. The public prosecution charged Mr. L with contract fraud, involving hundreds of millions of RMB, and the court of first instance sentenced Mr. L to ten years’ imprisonment for the crime of fraud, and the case was remanded for retrial in the second instance. After the first hearing of the retrial, the public prosecution withdrew the charges and made a decision of not to prosecute. In this case, Mr. Mao’s team acted as Mr. L’s defending counsel in the first trial, the second trial and retrial, and finally made Mr. L regained his freedom through their continuous efforts over a period of three years.
  • A government agency and a company are involved in a contractual dispute. Where the government agency’s lawsuit has went through the first trial, second trial and retrial stages, the court dismissed the lawsuit for reason that it was not within the scope of cases that might be accepted by the court, and the government agency suffered, among others, a loss of advance payment of RMB50 million. After the intervention of Mr. Mao and his team, they frequently communicated with the government agency, analysed, exchanged and collected evidence on the basis of the communication, and considered that the previous ruling of the court to dismiss the case was an improper application of law and should be corrected. Accordingly, Mr. Mao’s team represented the government agency to apply for contest of the judgment to a municipal procuratorate, and after a hearing organized by the municipal procuratorate, it was considered that the case was indeed an improper application of law by the people’s court, so it was submitted to a provincial procuratorate for a contest. At the first opportunity, Mr. Mao’s team submitted their views to the provincial procuratorate and communicated with the person in charge of the case on numerous occasions.  Following the various discussions, the provincial procuratorate adopted the view contended by Mr. Mao and his team and decided to contest the case, which made significant progress to the case and effectively avoided the loss of state-owned assets.
  • The chairman of a company listed on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange was subject to criminal detention for a criminal offence, and after Mr. Mao’s intervention and defense, the client was released on bail pending trial.  After a year of unremitting efforts, the client received a decision of not to be prosecuted by the procuratorate.