• 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


Christopher J. Banks is a partner in the San Francisco office and is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial and Labor & Employment groups. Chris is a seasoned trial lawyer who helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 organizations solve their commercial and employment problems, including trade secret misappropriation and employee mobility disputes, contractual disagreements and claims for unfair competition, wage and hour and PAGA litigation, and other labor and employment matters. He also advises on intellectual property rights, technology licensing and development arrangements, breach of fiduciary duty, and other business torts.

Chris has a demonstrated track record in court, having tried or arbitrated a half-dozen cases within the last five years. Before that, he served as lead trial counsel for Japanese pharmaceutical company Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. in a three-month trial that resulted in the largest contested jury verdict in the United States for 2011. In 2014, he helped uphold that judgment on appeal to the California Supreme Court, with Asahi Kasei recovering more than $523 million.

Chris focuses on taking complex matters and simplifying them for presentation to a judge or jury. He has spent a substantial portion of his career in court, examining witnesses, arguing motions, and leading or helping lead trial teams. He also counsels companies to help them avoid disputes or resolve disputes that arise prior to litigation.

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.



Admitted to practice: California; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of California

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.


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