Charlene (Chuck) Shimada’s practice concentrates on securities litigation defense, corporate governance, class actions, and complex commercial litigation. Chuck represents issuing corporations, officers and directors, underwriters, and public accounting firms, not only in private litigation, but also in government investigations and proceedings. Based on her professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law, she has been elected to The American Law Institute. She also has been recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and Super Lawyers.
In partnership with the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), Morgan Lewis partner Charlene (Chuck) Shimada sat down with Professor Tyler to discuss Justice Ginsburg’s momentous legacy in this video.
Chuck was named the 2022 Lawyer of the Year in Securities/Capital Markets Law in San Francisco by The Best Lawyers in America and recognized among the distinguished Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2017–2020 and as a 2021–2022 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation. Chambers USA highlights Chuck's “notable strengths acting for underwriters defending significant securities class actions, alongside wider strengths advising individual and corporate clients in litigation and regulatory investigations.” Chambers USA also notes that clients describe her as a “terrific” securities litigator, identifies her “very thoughtful” approach as a “key strength,” and reports that a “client enthuses: She knows the answers, knows the courts very well and is an excellent attorney to have in your corner."
A pioneer in the legal profession, Chuck was the first Asian Pacific American woman partner in a major San Francisco law firm. She was also the first woman litigation partner, as well as the first woman of color partner, at a premier California firm known for its elite litigation practice. She served as the office managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco headquarters, one of the first women of color to hold that position in any major US law firm. She also served as the co-office managing partner of the San Francisco office of another international law firm.
In addition to her legal practice, Chuck is active in professional and civic affairs. She served as a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s board of directors, co-chair of the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives Committee, and president of the Berkeley Law Alumni Association.
Throughout her legal career, Chuck has fought for women’s rights. She was a founding member of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s No Glass Ceiling Task Force, which since 2001 has been helping participating firms increase both the number of women partners and their leadership opportunities. She also co-founded Women In Securities (WISe), a network for women securities litigators that seeks to promote their development and advancement. She is a leader of the Northern California chapter of the global women’s organization Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), a member of the Women Attorneys Advocacy Project, and an Advisory Committee member of the Women in Securities Litigation Network.
In 2012, Chuck was recognized as one of The Recorder’s Women Leaders in Law. That same year she received an award in honor of her “25 years of vision and leadership” from the Asian American Bar Association.
Before entering private practice, Chuck served as a law clerk to Judge Martin Pence of the US District Court for the District of Hawaii. She is admitted to practice in California and Hawaii.
Recognized, Lawyer of the Year – Securities/Capital Markets Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2022)
Ranked, Securities Litigation, California, Chambers USA (2013–2022)
Recognized, Litigation – Securities, San Francisco; Securities/Capital Markets Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2013–2023)
Recommended, Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation (2021–2023)
Top 250 Women in Litigation, Benchmark Litigation (2017–2020)
Recommended, Dispute Resolution – Securities Litigation – Defense (2016–2022), Securities Shareholder Litigation, The Legal 500 US (2012, 2013)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Securities Regulation, US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Top Woman Lawyer, The Best Lawyers in America (2016, 2017, 2022)
Recognized, Northern California Super Lawyers (2004–2007, 2010–2021)
Top Rainmakers, Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Diversity & The Bar (2015)
Top 40 Women Leaders in Law, The Recorder (2012)
Recipient, 2012 Asian American Bar Association Award in Honor of 25 Years of Vision and Leadership
Member, The American Law Institute (elected 2017)
Co-founder, Women In Securities (WISe)
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Council Member, US–Japan Council
Co-Vice Chair, Women In Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Northern California
Member, Women in Securities Litigation Network Advisory Committee
Member, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus’s Leadership Council
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco No Glass Ceiling Task Force
Member, Standing Committee on Professional Conduct for the US District Court for the Northern District of California
Member, Women Attorneys Advocacy Project
Co-Chair of Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives Committee (2016–2017) and Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative (2014–2017)
Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco (2014–2017)
Board of Directors, Japan Society of Northern California (2011–2017)
Board of Directors, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (2006–2009)
Board of Directors, Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (1999–2006)
President (2002–2003) and Board of Directors (1996–2003), Berkeley Law Alumni Association
Member, Phi Beta Kappa