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Christopher W. James
Christopher W. James
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Christopher W. James

Christopher W. James
San Francisco

555 Mission Street
Suite 2000
San Francisco, California 94105

Los Angeles

Two California Plaza
350 South Grand Avenue
Suite 2100
Los Angeles, California 90071

Christopher W. James

Experience Highlights

  • Represented a chemical company in connection with a Department of Justice antitrust cartel grand jury investigation in which charges were not pursued

  • Represented a senior bank executive in connection with internal investigation and investigations by the SEC, DOJ, OCC and California AG of alleged securities and consumer fraud and banking regulation violations, in which no charges were pursued against client

  • Represented the audit committee of a public company in DOJ and SEC investigations concerning alleged FCPA violations in West Africa and the Middle East and provided counsel to the company regarding its compliance program

  • Represented the audit committee of a public company in an SEC investigation of alleged securities violations and provided counsel to the company on its compliance program

  • Represents clients in government enforcement inquiry concerning alleged violations of California’s Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)

  • Represents executives in high-value real estate civil asset forfeiture case, concerning underlying allegations of bribery and money laundering

  • (Office of the Comptroller of Currency) Defended a former President and CEO of a Northern California bank in an OCC regulatory investigation; the OCC decided not to assess civil monetary penalties 

  • Represented oil services company in an attempt by CA State AG to block an asset sale because of alleged antitrust concerns; obtained denial of preliminary injunction

  • Represented individual in DOJ investigation of healthcare and wire fraud

  • (N.D. Cal.) Represented an individual during sentencing phase of a federal antitrust auction rigging prosecution 

  • Assisted in defending a leading automobile parts supplier and its affiliates in connection with multi-forum investigations and class action litigation involving alleged antitrust violations 

  • Represents Special Committee of former public energy company in shareholder derivative class action challenging merger transaction; plaintiffs determined to drop suit against clients following motion to dismiss

  • Represents private retail business and its executive management team in derivative action and offensive countersuit involving co-investors, and concerning issues of fraud, contract and fiduciary violations; obtained summary disposition eliminating majority of liability exposure, and litigated remaining issues through arbitration hearing (decision pending)

  • Represents private retail business in various contract and collection matters

  • (Cal. Sup. – Alameda Cnty.) Defended a retail manufacturer in California state court against allegations of carcinogenic product material under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (“Prop 65”)

  • Performed risk assessment, designed evaluation process, and advised global technology company on ethics and compliance issues as part of voluntary monitorship program

  • Conducted multiple internal investigations for a multinational technology manufacturing company in connection with supply chain risk 

  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of global company and its affiliates in connection with potential FCPA violations in Mexico

  • Investigated and advised audit committee of energy services company concerning internal complaints of alleged whistleblower employment discrimination

  • Counselled a multi-national oil services company on FCPA and anti-corruption compliance programs, as well as compliance issues related to international expansion 

  • Advise numerous companies in M&A transactional due diligence evaluations of internal compliance programs and internal controls


  • Washington University School of Law, J.D., 2012 (Staff Editor, Washington University Law Review)
  • Indiana University, B.S., Finance, Business Economics, Public Policy Analysis, 2009
  • Legal 500 U.S., Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense, 2024
  • Selected to the 500 Leading Cybersecurity Lawyers in the World, Lawdragon, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Ones to Watch,” Commercial Litigation (San Francisco), 2023 and 2024
  • Selected to the Northern California Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers® (Thomson Reuters), 2019-2023
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, ACLU Reproductive Justice Award, 2015
  • Founding Steering Committee Member: V&E Report Publication
  • Member: American Bar Association; Young Lawyers Division
  • Steering Committee Member: ABA Young Lawyers Division, White Collar Crime
  • Member: International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Member: State Bar Association of California
  • Member: Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
  • California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • “US Enforcement Trends in Latin America,” LEC Experience LATAM 2022 Conference, June 29, 2022 (panelist)
  • “Demonstrating Compliance with Data Privacy Legislation,” published in Latin Lawyer’s The Guide to Corporate Compliance (Second and Third Editions), July 2021, May 2022 (co-author)
  • Global Corporate Compliance Course, Fordham University School of Law; Guest Lecturer – Information Security and Data Privacy, February 22, 2022
  • “Pilot Program No Longer: DOJ Makes FCPA Pilot Program Permanent Policy,” V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, November 30, 2017 (co-author)