• University of Nebraska, B.A. (1994) cum laude
  • The George Washington University, M.A. (1997) with distinction
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. (2001)


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

Christopher J. Banks


When your case needs to be tried, Chris Banks delivers. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and passionate advocate who specializes in simplifying complex matters for presentation to a jury or judge. Chris has spent a substantial portion of his career in court, cross examining witnesses, giving winning opening statements and closing arguments, and arguing nuanced legal issues. He also works hand-in-hand with companies and founders, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, to help them solve or avoid legal disputes before litigation arises.

Clients appreciate Chris’s personal touch and deep investment in their matters. He most frequently works with clients in trade secret misappropriation, restrictive covenant and employee mobility litigation, technology licensing and development disputes, and labor and employment litigation, including both single-plaintiff employment claims, wage and hour class actions, and PAGA litigation.

Chris has a demonstrated track record in court, including trying or arbitrating a half-dozen cases in the last six years alone. Before that, he represented Japanese pharmaceutical company Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. as lead trial counsel in a three-month trial, where he recovered more than $523 million for Asahi Kasei.

Chris also represents clients before disputes develop, helping them anticipate and solve potential problems before they turn into litigation. He counsels clients on employment agreements, intellectual property protection, technology licensing and development arrangements, and a variety of labor and employment matters.

Chris works closely with clients to match their business objectives with an appropriate legal strategy, and enjoys helping them protect some of their most important assets—their employee goodwill and relationships and their intellectual property.

Chris was named an Attorney of the Year by The Recorder in 2011, the Winning Litigators Hot List by the National Law Journal in 2012, and one of the top 20 lawyers in California under 40 by the Daily Journal in 2013. Today, Chris continues to advise technology and life sciences companies facing potential employment, competitive, and contractual disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Secured $415 million judgment for Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. after three-month jury trial that was upheld on appeal, generating a $523 million recovery for the client in 2014.
  • Successfully defended aerospace company as lead trial lawyer against claims of unlawful termination and retaliation in the Western District of Washington in 2018.
  • Successfully defended hospital network against claims for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and retaliation as lead trial lawyer at arbitration hearing in 2018.
  • Successfully defended software company in arbitration as lead trial lawyer on claims for breach of contract in 2019.
  • Successfully obtained defense verdict and judgment for information network company as lead trial lawyer in jury trial alleging race discrimination in the District Court of Nevada in 2019.
  • Successfully defended a billion-dollar reasonable royalty claim for online brokerage in trade secret misappropriation bench trial in California state court in 2016.
  • Represented companies in the technology, healthcare, medical products, pet food, and fire protection industries in wage and hour class action and PAGA lawsuits.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a multinational company in the Northern District of California against ERISA claims for prohibited transactions after class certification.
  • Represented numerous companies and founders in pre-litigation separations in the technology, pharmaceutical, and other industries.

Speeches & Presentations


Client Alerts & Newsletters

Press Coverage

Firm News & Announcements

February 23, 2022 Commercial and Labor & Employment Trial Lawyer Christopher Banks Joins Crowell & Moring