Photograph of Nicole Janigian Simonian

Nicole Janigian Simonian


Nicole Janigian Simonian is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office and a director of the firm’s China consulting subsidiary, CMI Shanghai. She serves as the co-chair of the firm’s International Trade practice and International Employment and Global Mobility Lead, with a focus on the firm’s Asia practice.

Nicole has over 20 years of experience working with companies, from emerging growth to multinational conglomerates, on their market entry and global business expansion throughout Asia (including China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand), the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. She has been a strategic advisor to private equity and portfolio companies spanning a number of industries, including aerospace, personal care, semiconductors (assembly and testing), food and beverage, medical devices, retail, apparel and textiles, advertising, outsourcing services, nonprofit organizations, and universities.

Having served as the head of her prior firm’s Asia practice overseeing the China, Hong Kong, and Singapore offices, Nicole understands the need to provide legal solutions that meet and support business expectations.  She has in-depth experience supporting clients in mobilizing and managing global workforces in conjunction with companies expanding and increasing their international footprint. Her background in corporate, trade, and international employment law provides a holistic approach.  Nicole’s experience also includes working with companies to ensure and manage compliance risks with government authorities in Asia on issues dealing with cross-border investigations, investment regulations, customs and trade, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

She regularly advises clients with respect to international employment issues, including day-to-day compliance, strategic alliances, restructuring and reorganization, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and post-acquisition integration. Nicole has significant experience assisting companies in developing and maintaining international workforces and structuring global mobility and expatriate processes to address the growing need to move talent and goods across borders.

Nicole is a frequent speaker on international compliance issues before domestic and global in-house legal counsel. She is also an advocate for diversity, having served for over eight years as the co-chair of her prior firm’s Women’s Forum, an office mentor coordinator, and a member of the diversity committee.  

In addition, she has been active as a Future Leader for the Pacific Council on International Policy, an international affairs organization focused on public policy issues impacting the West Coast. In this role, she works alongside a select group of prominent civic and business leaders to develop and implement strategies to prepare younger members for international public service. In 2020, Nicole was elected to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves as a member of the World Trade Week Committee.

Representative Matters

  • Advised multiple U.S.-based universities in establishing professor exchanges and joint certificate programs with overseas institutions of higher learning (in Asia and in Latin America), including reviewing relevant agreements, analyzing legal structures for personnel exchanges, and providing assistance on regulatory compliance.
  • Serves as lead legal advisor for American multinational aircraft manufacturer with respect to its international employment strategies in Latin America and Asia.
  • Serves as lead legal advisor for American multinational gas turbine manufacturer; responsible for overseeing compliance with respect to various aspects of international trade, including foreign investment, imports and exports, sanctions, and other regulatory compliance issues.
  • Advises on all aspects of international employment in connection with the spin-off and formation of a publicly traded health care company in Asia and Latin America.
  • Advises a multinational cosmetics company on all aspects of market entry into China, including corporate structure, joint venture negotiations, employment issues, distribution arrangements, trademark licensing, regulatory requirements, product labeling rules, and customs requirements.
  • Served as lead legal advisor for a major multinational consumer products company and medical technology company with respect to their global mobility, expatriate secondment, and international employment strategies for Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
  • Advises on various regulatory requirements, including market access into Asia, for several U.S. multinational clients.
  • Represented a U.S. semiconductor equipment manufacturer in structuring its operations in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, PRC, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, and Italy.
  • Represented a GPS manufacturer in acquiring licensing rights to mapping data from various Chinese governmental authorities.
  • Counseled a U.S. industrial construction materials manufacturer in the transfer of operations to Mexico.
  • Represented a multinational corporation in a multijurisdictional disposition of offshore assets and operations in the U.S. and China.
  • Represented a leading multinational toy manufacturer in the development and launch of its flagship store in Shanghai.
  • Represented a collections-based educational and research institution in the design and construction of one of the largest Chinese classical gardens to be built outside of China.


Admitted to practice: California

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member, Board of Directors Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 2018, 2019, and 2020 World Trade Week Committee
  • Member, Pacific Council on International Policy, Future Leaders Program
  • Member, Inner City Law Center, Past Board of Directors
  • Member, Council of Advisors to the Armenian Community of Hong Kong and China
  • Member, Women in International Trade
  • Member, Remarkable Women
  • Member, Armenian Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association – Conference of Delegates to the State Bar of California (2002-2004)
  • Sustainer, Junior League of Los Angeles
  • Moot Court 1L Oral Arguments Judge, UCLA School of Law (Spring 2018)


  • Named by Los Angeles magazine as one of Southern California’s Rising Stars (2005-2007, 2009-2013)
  • Named by the Armenian Bar Association as one of the “20 Rising Stars Under 40”