Gordon Atkinson, Partner

Gordon C. Atkinson is a litigation partner and the partner in charge of the San Francisco business litigation. Resident in the San Francisco office, he is a former member of the firm's management committee and has been with the firm since September 1985.

Mr. Atkinson's practice centers on complex business litigation in a variety of settings, including the representation of technology and other clients in securities litigation, venture capital, licensing and intellectual property disputes. He has tried cases involving mergers and acquisitions, software licensing, tax fraud, venture capital funding and other contract disputes, as well as a dispute involving the ownership of patent rights involving medical devices. He has represented software clients in multiple state and federal court and arbitration disputes over the use of proprietary information.

Mr. Atkinson has represented insurers and insureds in disputes under many different types of insurance policies, including trial and pretrial proceedings in a variety of complex coverage actions. He has also represented clients in all aspects of environmental law, including the defense of civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings, specializing in matters involving the remediation, sale or development of contaminated property and the regulation of hazardous materials.

Mr. Atkinson has been consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his commercial litigation, environmental litigation, intellectual property litigation and securities regulation work. He is also annually listed in Super Lawyers (2004-2012).

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Atkinson was with Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance) in New York. At Rogers & Wells, his litigation practice focused on the areas of First Amendment (defamation) and commodities and securities fraud.

Mr. Atkinson received a JD at the University of Chicago Law School in 1981. He served as a founder, and later president, of the Chicago Law Foundation. He also served as a student attorney in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, where he successfully tried a race and gender discrimination trial before an administrative law judge. He completed his undergraduate education at Harvard University, where he graduated, cum laude, with a BA in Government in 1977.  

Mr. Atkinson is a member of the bars of the states of California and New York, the Ninth and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is a member of the American and the San Francisco bar associations.

In addition to the practice of law, Mr. Atkinson was formerly an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He was previously the president of the Board of Directors for Sunny Hills Services, a non-profit organization working with abused and neglected children. He also served as an officer on the Board of Trustees for the San Francisco Day School.


  • University of Chicago Law School
    JD, 1981
  • Harvard University
    BA Government, 1977, cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York


  • American Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco

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