Elizabeth Pipkin

Elizabeth Pipkin


Recognized as one of California’s top trial lawyers, Elizabeth chairs the firm’s Civil Litigation practice group.  Elizabeth’s practice focuses on technology, trade secrets, business disputes, and civil rights.

A courtroom veteran, Elizabeth brings keen strategic thinking to every step of litigation.  In addition to her trial work, she has handled many sensitive investigations and frequently assists clients in risk management.  Clients have described Elizabeth as “an excellent trial lawyer” who “communicates well” and has a “strong ability” to solve problems. 

Elizabeth has been quoted in publications such as The New York Times, Wired Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The Los Angeles Times, and Techdirt, and she has appeared on broadcast outlets such as KQED, NBC Bay Area, and Al Jazeera America.  She has spoken at Stanford Law School, the SMU Dedman School of Law, and the Practising Law Institute.

Elizabeth serves as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.  She is also a board member and corporate secretary for the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

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  • Credentials


    • State Bar of California
    • State Bar of Texas
    • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
    • D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
    • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Central Districts of California
    • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Texas
    • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


    • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2001
    • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1998
  • Experience

    Representative Matters

    • Obtained the first-ever court order requiring the federal executive branch to remove a person wrongly included on a post-9/11 terrorist watchlist.  The client was a Malaysian former Stanford Ph.D. student who was erroneously watchlisted and barred from returning to the United States.  After eight years of litigation and a trial, our client’s name was fully cleared. 
    • Represented a major hard disk drive manufacturer in an action alleging trade secret misappropriation and defamation. The case settled on confidential terms, including a stipulated judgment in client’s favor.
    • Represented a medical research non-profit organization in a trade secrets action against a major pharmaceutical company.
    • Obtained dismissals of individuals in multiple actions for trade secrets theft. 
    • Successfully defended a major Silicon Valley networking company against contract claims arising from asset purchase transaction.
    • Obtained a sizable settlement from a security firm when its employee stole property from the client, a Silicon Valley computer hardware manufacturer.
    • Represented a partner in a real estate partnership in dissolution and partition proceedings.

    Reported Cases

    • Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal. 2014) 62 F.Supp.3d 909.
    • Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security (9th Cir. 2012) 669 F.3d 983.
  • Awards & Honors
    • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award (Civil Rights), 2015
    • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (limited to top one-half of one (1) percent of trial lawyers)
    • Northern California Super Lawyers (2018)
    • Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2014
    • Top 100 Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2015
    • Silicon Valley “Women of Influence 2015,” Silicon Valley Business Journal
    • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (Northern California)
    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Pro Bono Award, 2015
    • Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley’s Beacon Award for Diversity, 2015
    • Profiled in Winning: Successful Attorneys and Their Strategies, National Law Journal, 2014
    • Honored by the naming of the “Elizabeth Pipkin Public Interest Law Fellowship” at the University of Texas School of Law, Sponsored by Bill and Stephanie Whitehurst, 2014
    • Top “40 under 40” Silicon Valley executives, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2013
    • Tribute to Women Award, YWCA of Silicon Valley, 2011
  • Articles & Blogs


    • “Surveillance of Muslim Communities is Already Happening,” (online) or “State Secrets Trump All” (print), Daily Journal


  • Speaking Engagements & Presentations
  • Professional & Community Contributions
    • Ninth Circuit Judicial Council Lawyer Representative
    • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
    • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, President-Elect, Board of Directors
    • Northern District Practice Program, Board of Directors
    • Harvard Law School Association of Northern California, Executive Board
    • Team in Training Cycling Events, 2015 (100 mi) and 2016 (100 km)
    • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Member
    • California Women Lawyers, Member
    • Asian Law Alliance, Jade Circle Supporter
    • Harvard Club of Silicon Valley, Member
    • Clerked for The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2002-03