DLA Piper announced today that Cedric Chao has joined the firm’s Litigation practice as a partner in the San Francisco office.

A seasoned trial lawyer with a history of successfully handling complex US and cross-border litigation and international arbitration matters, Chao has served as lead counsel in high stakes matters before US trial judges and juries, international arbitration tribunals, and appellate courts on behalf of clients operating in a wide range of industries and countries.

Chao joins DLA Piper from Morrison & Foerster LLP, where he co-chaired the firm’s international litigation and arbitration practice. In addition to appearing in courtrooms across the US, he has led teams in significant international commercial arbitration proceedings under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the London Court of International Arbitration, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, and JAMS. He has also served as an arbitrator for the ICC and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

“Cedric will play a leadership role in the continued expansion of our global platform, of which cross-border litigation and international arbitration are integral components,” said Jay Rains, co-chairman (Americas) of DLA Piper. “We also anticipate that he will be a significant asset in growing our Asia-Pacific practice.”

“Cedric is a leading trial lawyer on the West Coast, with a rare combination of significant jury trial experience and an insider’s knowledge of the rarefied world of international arbitration,” said Robert Mathias, joint global leader and US chair of DLA Piper’s Litigation practice. “He will strengthen our capabilities within the globalized business environment, where clients are increasingly facing potential legal liabilities and financial and reputational risk.”

Chao currently serves as a US representative to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and as one of 31 Advisers to the American Law Institute project to draft the Restatement of the US Law of International Commercial Arbitration. He formerly chaired the Magistrate Judge Screening Committee of the Northern District of California, and formerly served as the Ninth Circuit member on the American Bar Association Federal Judiciary Committee, which evaluates all presidential nominees to the federal courts. He also served as the chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California.

“With a practice that spans sectors and continents, Cedric will be a key figure as we continue to integrate our US and Asia-Pacific practices and client bases,” said Stephen Cowan, managing partner of DLA Piper’s San Francisco office. “He will provide immediate depth to our Northern California litigation practice and we look forward to his contributions.”

Earlier in his career, Chao served as an Assistant US Attorney in San Francisco and held a clerkship with US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Stanford University. Chao is ranked for international arbitration in both Chambers Global and Chambers USA and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.



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