Women of Influence: Five Things You Should Know About San Francisco Partner Christine Wong

Christine Wong, the San Francisco-based co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense Group, knows what makes investigators tick. For more than seven years during her pre-MoFo career, she worked as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of California, learning how to—in her words—“ask the hard questions.”

After working in the public sector, Christine went on to serve as the head of international compliance at a Fortune 500 multinational corporation. That experience taught her the importance of factoring a company’s business goals into its legal strategy, a lesson she began learning as a little girl from her father, who, as the owner of a small wholesale food business, would take her to visit his retailer clients every week.

“He would talk to everyone—from the cashiers to the stock people to the owners—to learn what their motivations were, what they contribute to the business, and what they saw as its priorities,” Christine explains. “And that has really helped me work with our clients to develop the most tailored solution for their business needs.”

These days she focuses on investigations and white-collar defense, including anti-bribery and corruption, antitrust, competition, and export control matters.

Five things you should know about Christine Wong are:

  1. She’s a strong supporter of U.S. National Parks.
  2. She puts great stock in humor. “I try to find a moment of levity in even the darkest of hours,” Christine explains. “I find that humor can be a powerful way to disarm our opponents, make our clients feel comfortable, and generally lower everyone’s blood pressure.”
  3. When Christine was working as a prosecutor, she focused on cases involving public corruption and organized crime.
  4. In her prior role as head of international compliance, she worked with a cross-border team to develop and implement a robust compliance program covering a wide range of potential risks.
  5. Despite her intense work life, Christine counts reading as one of her greatest pleasures.