Litigator Chris Banks counsels clients embroiled in high-stakes, complex commercial disputes. He concentrates on helping companies solve problems concerning technology licensing agreements and development contracts, intellectual property rights, and allegedly unfair business practices. Chris represents clients in the life sciences, information technology, financial services, and sports and entertainment industries. In 2011, Chris served as first chair for a Morgan Lewis trial team that secured one of that year’s largest US jury verdicts, with the final judgment upheld on appeal.
In the 2011 matter, Chris and his team obtained a $415 million judgment for Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. They prevailed after a three-month jury trial on claims that the defendant company, Actelion, fraudulently and intentionally interfered with Asahi’s development of a promising therapeutic agent. The courtroom victory won Chris a place among The Recorder’s 2011 Attorneys of the Year. Chris and his team successfully represented Asahi during the appeals process, with the California Court of Appeal upholding the judgment in 2013 and California’s Supreme Court declining further review in 2014. Asahi ultimately recovered $513 million in damages and interest from Actelion.
Selected as one of the 20 best attorneys in California under 40 by the Daily Journal in 2013 and designated a “Rising Star” by Northern California Super Lawyers, Chris continues to advise life sciences and information technology companies facing contractual and competitive disputes. He also plays a key role on other Morgan Lewis trial teams. For instance, in 2014, Chris led teams preparing for trial in the Northern District of California and Eastern District of Kentucky in two disputes that were successfully resolved for clients facing multimillion-dollar damage claims, for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, respectively.
Led negotiations for biopharmacutical company in termination of development and licensing agreement with larger, former development partner;
Led trial preparations for semiconductor company in successfully-resolved dispute with former supplier in Northern District of California;
Co-led representation of restructuring company facing breach of fiduciary duty claims in Eastern District of Kentucky;
Successfully resolved dispute for medical device company in litigation with electronic medical records software developer in Central District of California;
Secured $415 million judgment for Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. after three-month jury trial that was also upheld on appeal in California state court;
Helped successfully prosecute claims for pharmaceutical company in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration that resulted in a $91 million award;
Obtained summary judgment for a multinational company in the Northern District of California against an ERISA claim of prohibited transactions after class certification;
Helped obtain complete defense verdict for online stock brokerage in damages retrial in Santa Clara County Superior Court;
Obtained a complete defense verdict for a financial services client in arbitration with a broker-dealer self-regulating body that sought $10 million for alleged negligent investment administration;
Represented a leading direct marketing company in the Central District of California in multi-million litigation alleging copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and false advertising claims;
Helped obtain a $44.6 million jury verdict for a sports agency in the Central District of California on trade secrets claims;
Represented a data storage company in California state court and obtained a preliminary injunction against a former employee on claims of illegal competition and violation of a non-compete agreement.
George Washington University, 1997, M.A., With Distinction
Georgetown University Law Center, 2001, J.D.
University of Nebraska, 1994, B.A., Cum Laude
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of California
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Georgetown Journal of Law & Policy in International Business
Listed, "Rising Star," Northern California Super Lawyers (2011)