Pillsbury Winthrop LLP announces the addition of top litigator Christopher Bakes to its growing Sacramento office. Bakes joins as Counsel and specializes in commercial litigation, including complex contract and tort disputes, royalty franchising, licensing, trade defamation, trade secrets and proprietary information, government contracts, and implementing litigation avoidance strategies.
“Chris is a superb trial lawyer who further fortifies our outstanding Sacramento litigation practice,” says Ben Webster, managing partner of Pillsbury Winthrop’s Sacramento office. “His arrival complements our office’s areas of strategic focus and expands our service potential, geographically and substantively.”
Bakes most recently was a partner in the Sacramento office of Gray Cary, where he was its lead litigator.
Bakes boasts a number of major legal successes in his career: in 2002, he was victorious as lead arbitration counsel representing Agilent Technologies Inc. in litigation involving a hardware/software development agreement; in 2001, he was lead trial counsel in a matter resulting in a $7.2 million verdict in favor of his client in an action involving trade interference and defamation; in 2000, he represented Hewlett-Packard in a royalties calculation dispute, tried to a verdict in favor of HP after a five-week trial; in the late 1990s, he was lead trial and appellate counsel on a multi-firm team challenging the constitutionality of a critical act of Congress.
“The Sacramento office of Pillsbury Winthrop encompasses all that I’m looking for in the next phase of my career,” notes Chris Bakes. “While it has a local firm feel, it also draws upon Pillsbury Winthrop’s tremendous reputation, size and global reach.”
Prior to Gray Cary, Bakes’ legal career included service as a Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Navy. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for service to the submarine fleet in the Mediterranean. Bakes earned both his B.A. and J.D. from the University of San Francisco and attended the U.S. Naval Justice School.
In 1992-1994, Mr. Bakes chaired the San Francisco Ballpark Advisory Committee, an appointed body whose work eventually culminated in the construction of Pac Bell Park. In cooperation with other committee members, he also edited and published the hard-bound “A New Ballpark for San Francisco,” a critical lobbying piece used by the City and County of San Francisco in successfully opposing the 1992 proposed sale of the San Francisco Giants baseball club to out-of-city interests.
Bakes, a Sacramento native and sixth-generation Californian, currently volunteers at the elementary school level, teaching a version of moot court at a socio-economically diverse Sacramento school. In cooperation with Sacramento’s federal bench and dedicated court staff, he annually co-hosts elementary school tours of the Eastern District courthouse in Sacramento.
“I believe strongly in giving back to the community, and that was another attraction for me about Pillsbury Winthrop. The Sacramento office is very active in pro bono and civic activities, and I look forward to making my contributions in this area as well,” says Bakes.