Elizabeth Pipkin

Elizabeth Pipkin


Recognized as one of California’s top trial lawyers, Elizabeth focuses her practice on technology, trade secrets, business disputes, and civil rights.  She also manages day-to-day operations of the firm.

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 difficult problems. 

Elizabeth has been quoted in 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 president of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s board of directors.  She recently co-chaired the Northern District of California lawyer representatives committee.

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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
    • B.A., Brigham Young University
  • Experience

    Representative Matters

    • Obtained decertification of a class action brought by consumers under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law, against a major Silicon Valley technology company.
    • Successfully petitioned for and retained rehearing en banc. The ruling from the panel of 11 Ninth Circuit judges overturned a three-panel decision of the Ninth Circuit, mandating that the firm’s client should be awarded the vast majority of her attorney’s fees.
    • Obtained the complete dismissal of an action filed against a commercial lender in a dispute involving a failed merger between two companies in the clean energy industry.
    • 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. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security, 912 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. Jan. 2, 2019).
    • 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


    • Leading Commercial Litigators 2024, Daily Journal
    • Top 100 Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2014, 2015, 2023
    • Top Women Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2015, 2020, 2023
    • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award (Civil Rights), 2015
    • The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Commercial Litigation, 2024
    • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2018-2023
    • 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


    • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (limited to top one-half of one (1) percent of trial lawyers)
  • Articles


  • Speaking Engagements & Presentations
  • Professional & Community Contributions
    • Northern District Practice Program (NDPP), Board of Directors, 2016 – Present
    • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, President, Board of Directors
    • Northern District of California Lawyer Representative, Co-Chair, 2019
    • Ninth Circuit Judicial Council Lawyer Representative, 2017-2019
    • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
    • 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