Zhu Julie Lee



Z. Julie Lee is a partner and business lawyer in the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Lee has extensive experience representing clients with their cross-border transactions, with an emphasis on China. She counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and commercial transactions such as supply agreements, licensing arrangements, distributorship agreements, cross-border technology transfer and practical ways to protect intellectual property transferred to a foreign country. Additionally, Ms. Lee provides tax and business law advice relating to the formation, operation, termination and reorganization of corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships in the U.S. She represents taxpayers in administrative and judicial disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue on income tax, sales/use tax and property tax matters. She has also done a significant amount of international tax work, including assisting U.S. clients to structure acquisitions and reorganizations outside the U.S., structuring foreign clients’ investments in, and acquisitions/dispositions of, U.S. businesses and real estate, and advising foreign clients on U.S. estate tax matters. She is a member of the International, Taxation, and Transaction & Securities Practices and the Automotive, Energy and Sports Industry Teams.

Thought Leadership

Ms. Lee frequently speaks on the topics of cross-border transactions and mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. She has been quoted or featured in a number of legal and business publications about doing business in China, including the Wall Street Journal and the M&A Journal. Additionally, Ms. Lee was profiled in the Wisconsin Law Journal in an article titled, "Lee helps Wisconsin bridge gap to China," (November 17, 2010). Since 2000, she has co-authored the Tax Section of the Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law, published by the Wisconsin Bar Association.

Representative Cross-border Corporate Transactions

A list of Ms. Lee’s recent representative cross-border corporate transactions includes:

  • Represented a publicly-traded U.S. manufacturing company on its acquisition of equity interests in a formerly state-owned enterprise in the restricted industry in China 
  • Represented a U.S. technology company to form a cooperative joint venture in China 
  • Represented a U.S. service company in connection with its equity joint venture in the restricted industry in China 
  • Represented a U.S. manufacturing company in connection with its sale of equity interest in a Chinese joint venture and related tax issues 
  • Represented a publicly-traded U.S. company to enter into a $100 million+ supply agreement with a publicly-traded company in Asia 
  • Represented numerous U.S. companies on market entry strategies and the formation of wholly-owned subsidiaries ("WFOE") in China, and related tax, employment and contract issues 
  • Represented several clients in negotiations with their Chinese business partners, in the Chinese language, to quickly resolve disagreement and reach a compromise

Representative Tax-related Experience

A list of Ms. Lee’s recent representative tax-related experience includes:

  • Represented various Chinese and European companies to structure their investment in the U.S. in a tax-efficient manner 
  • Represented various U.S. companies on tax issues involved in cross-border joint ventures and acquisitions 
  • Represented various U.S. companies and non-U.S. companies on inter-company transfer pricing issues and issues resulting from sending employees to work in a foreign country


Ms. Lee was named to the 2006 and 2007 lists of Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® for her international work. She is a recipient of The Milwaukee Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award.


Ms. Lee is a member of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Global Advisory Network and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's China Council. She served as a member of the Governor’s Wisconsin International Trade Council and chaired the Milwaukee Bar Association's Tax Section.


Ms. Lee received her undergraduate degree from Beijing University in 1991. She joined Foley & Lardner after receiving her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law in 1998. During law school, Ms. Lee served as co-president of the Northwestern International Law Society, co-founded the Northwestern Small Business Legal Clinic, and was an articles editor of the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business.


Ms. Lee is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.


CARES Act – Summary of Tax Provision
29 March 2020
Coronavirus Resource Center:Back to Business
New Rules Offer Clarity On China's Outbound M&A Crackdown
27 September 2017
Manufacturing Industry Advisor
2014 Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law: Tax Law
30 April 2014
Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law
2013 Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law - Tax Review
19 June 2013
Virtual CLE Week
Every Tuesday & Thursday from December 1 - 17 2020
Foley Family Office Series
17 September 2019
Milwaukee, WI
2016 NDI Executive Exchange
10 November 2016
Chicago, IL
2015 NDI Executive Exchange
4 November 2015
Chicago, IL