Marwa Elzankaly

Marwa Elzankaly

Of Counsel

Recently named to The National Law Journal’s “Winning Litigators”, Marwa represents clients ranging from individuals to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in commercial and general civil disputes.

Whether resolving conflict early on or taking a matter to trial, Marwa achieves excellent results.  Securities fraud, antitrust, trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and various business torts are all part of her extensive skill set. 

She has practiced in state and federal courts, successfully handling state and federal appeals, and has appeared before various administrative tribunals.

Marwa’s experience with contract disputes is multi-faceted and includes disputes over partnership agreements, internet advertising agreements, agreements for the sale of goods, assignments of intellectual property, commercial leases, and many more. Her practice is built on her ability to work closely with clients, to understand their business needs before deciding on the best course of action.    

Marwa was a Partner at McManis Faulkner for five years and received numerous awards recognizing her as one of the top attorneys in California.  As “Of Counsel” to the firm, Marwa is active on the firm’s technology practice group and works with the firm on high stakes commercial matters.

Unique to her practice, Marwa has worked with clients on developing public relations and media strategies and has extensive experience working with local and national media in high profile cases.  She has been quoted by the New York Times, The San Francisco Daily Journal, The Recorder, The San Jose Mercury News, The Los Angeles Times, and Law 360.  She has been interviewed by CNN and Fox News.  In addition, Marwa has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a nationally televised appearance on C-Span.

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  • Credentials


    • State Bar of California
    • U.S. District Court, Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. Supreme Court


    • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1999
    • B.S., University of California, Riverside, 1996


    • Arabic
  • Experience

    Representative Matters

    • Successfully defended a Silicon Valley Corporate executive after a jury trial in federal court, in an action for misappropriation of source code.
    • Successfully represented a client in a federal securities fraud investigation for insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
    • 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
    • Overturned a three-panel decision of the Ninth Circuit, upon rehearing en banc, arguing before a panel of 11 Ninth Circuit judges that the federal government acted in bad faith, entitling the client to an award of $3.8 million in attorneys’ fees.
    • Successfully prosecuted three appeals on behalf of a Stanford graduate student from Malaysia who found herself inexplicably on the No-Fly List, and obtained a judgment in favor of her client. In a decided victory, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to allow federal trial judges to adjudicate the makeup of the No-Fly List.
    • Represented a major Silicon Valley company in a malicious prosecution action based on an underlying patent infringement lawsuit. Defended the same company in a copyright infringement action.
    • Secured a favorable appellate decision in an action for misappropriation of trade secrets, in a published opinion by the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District.
    • Represented Feld Entertainment, Inc., dba Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, obtaining the dismissal of a federal action filed against Feld Entertainment and successfully defending its former star performer, Mark Oliver Gebel, in a criminal trial, obtaining an acquittal in record time. Also secured her client’s right to do business without unwarranted interruption in an unpublished Ninth Circuit opinion.
    • Secured a favorable judgment in an action against a local municipality seeking records under the California Public Records Act.

    Reported Cases

    • Ibrahim v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 912 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. 2019).
    • Ibrahim v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security 669 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2012).
    • County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (2009) 171 C.A. 4th 119.
    • Sutter's Place v. Superior Court (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 1370.
    • Ibrahim v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security 538 F.3d 1250 (9th Cir. 2008).
    • Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (2004) 117 Cal.App. 4th 794.
  • Awards & Honors
    • Winning Litigators, The National Law Journal,  2020
    • Women of Influence, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2012
    • Minority 40 Under 40 Lawyers, The American Lawyer & The National Law Journal, 2011.
    • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award, Civil Rights, 2009
    • Top 100 Litigators of 2009, Daily Journal.
    • Top 20 Under 40 California Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2009
    • Northern California, Top 40 under 40, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2009
    • YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award, 2009.
    • Northern California Super Lawyers – Rising Stars, 2009
  • Articles & Blogs
  • Speaking Engagements & Presentations
  • Professional & Community Contributions
    • Member, Board of Advisors, Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara University School of Law  G
    • U.C. Berkeley, Instructor, Business Law
    • Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN Silicon Valley), Guest Speaker
    • California State Bar, Guest Speaker
    • San Mateo County Bar Association, Guest Speaker
    • Federal Bar Association, Member
    • California Minority Counsel Program, Member
    • Standing Committee on Professional Conduct, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Former Member
    • Zaytuna College, Management Committee, Former Member