Christopher Vejnoska Partner and General Counsel, Mass Torts & Product Liability, Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution
See by:open filter
Chris serves as Orrick’s General Counsel. In his practice, he is a first chair trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience handling high stakes, precedent-setting cases, particularly in the products liability arena. He has had years where clients asked him to serve as trial counsel for five or more products cases, and his most recent products liability engagements include leading a cross-office team in defending multiple Chinese companies in an MDL and serving as trial counsel for a large talc company. Chris also is the President of a captive insurance company owned by Orrick and a number of other law firms.
Chris also has acted as national counsel for companies facing thousands of mass tort product liability claims and complex, multiparty class action litigation, and has counseled multinational companies entangled in lengthy, enterprise-threatening litigation and negotiated legal and business solutions involving billions of dollars. He has extensive experience in complex and commercial litigation, ranging from insurance recovery disputes to trade secrets issues, and has significant experience in assisting foreign aerospace companies with international arbitration disputes with first-tier aircraft manufacturers.
Earlier in his career, Chris represented large public companies in mergers, acquisitions, strategic investments and private financings; private companies in initial public offerings; and emerging growth companies in general corporate matters. Chris' transactional experience also offers clients a unique perspective on risk mitigation strategies to avoid costly litigation in the future.
Chris also is the Chair of Orrick’s Risk Management Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Chris was a partner at Clifford Chance and a partner at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he was a member of the Policy Committee, a member of the Executive Committee, Chair of the Risk Management Committee and Chair of the Hiring Committee.
Luciano Vella, associate in the Milan office, is a member of the employment law and litigation practice.
Luciano is specialized in employment and labor law as well as in agency matters, trade union law and employment litigation, providing legal assistance to Italian and foreign companies. In addition, he has a specific expertise in the Italian system of health and safety in workplaces.
He is author of numerous articles in the field of labor law published in trade magazines.
Graduated from the University of Pisa in 2015 with honors, he was admitted to the Italian bar in 2018.
Silicon Valley; San Francisco
Silicon Valley; San Francisco
Stephen Venuto, a partner who works out of both the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, is a member of the Technology Companies group. His practice focuses on advising high-growth technology and media companies and their founders, advisors and investors.
Steve was Facebook’s first lawyer and is widely recognized as one of the leading startup lawyers in the country. The American Lawyer recently named him “Dealmaker of the Year”, recognizing his corporate work and representation of Instagram in its sale to Facebook, and quoting a prominent board member as saying that Steve “is an outstanding lawyer, but he’s also an outstanding business partner . . . someone who cares about everybody [who's] involved in a company.” The Daily Journal has named him to its list of Top 100 Lawyers in California (chosen regardless of specialty), and, separately, to its inaugural Top Emerging Companies Lawyers list.
Numerous standout technology companies and their founders have turned to Steve for representation including Asana, Bleacher Report, Facebook, Getaround, Instagram, Ooma (NYSE), Pinterest, ResearchGate, and Warby Parker. Steve provides general corporate legal counseling and represents companies at all stages of their life-cycle.
Eleanor’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, project development and project finance, particularly in the energy sector.
She also focuses on real property matters, both in support of energy project development and in more traditional real estate contexts. Eleanor’s real estate experience includes drafting purchase and sale agreements and easements, negotiating title insurance policies, and coordinating title curative work. Prior to joining Orrick, Eleanor practiced at a Texas-based real estate firm and in the Houston office of another major international law firm.
Bryan D. Victor, a partner in the Sacramento office, has been a
member of the Public Finance practice group since 2003. His practice includes bond,
disclosure, issuer’s and underwriter’s counsel work for tax-exempt and taxable
financings. His practice is focused primarily on transactions for 501(c)(3) organizations, with a focus on health care transactions (he has worked on more than 115 health care transactions as bond, disclosure or underwriter's counsel through 2018), the State of California and the California
Department of Water Resources.
Bryan has experience with many structures used in public finance, including master trust indentures, fixed and variable rate bonds, direct purchases, delayed delivery bonds, insurance, letters of credit and other credit or liquidity agreements; commercial paper programs; conversions and reofferings. Bryan has extensive experience working with stand alone hospitals, health care clinics and large health systems. He provides annual and bi-annual federal securities law training for staff of the State of California Treasurer's Office, the State of California Department of Finance, the State Controller's Office, CalPERs and other state agencies and applies that securities law expertise on health care transactions. Bryan is the lead partner for general public finance matters for the State of California as bond and disclosure counsel, including the issuance of general obligation commercial paper notes, general obligation bonds and revenue anticipation notes, negotiation and review of credit and liquidity agreements related to such obligations and disclosure related to same.
Ayla is an associate in the Energy & Infrastructure group in Orrick's Houston office.Ayla focuses her practice on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, and general corporate matters for clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
Jenna is a Managing Associate in Orrick's White Collar Criminal Defense practice.Jenna represents corporations and individuals facing high-stakes criminal, civil and regulatory investigations, criminal prosecution, and enforcement actions. She has extensive experience conducting a broad range of internal corporate investigations and defending clients in cases involving government fraud, Anti Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy laws, trade secret theft, and other violations of federal criminal law. Her practice also focuses on complex commercial litigation matters across a variety of industries.
San Francisco; Boston
San Francisco; Boston
Michelle Visser has extensive experience in defending companies that face the regulatory investigations, class action litigation, and payment card brand claims that frequently follow the announcement of cybersecurity incidents. In addition to litigating privacy and cybersecurity matters, Michelle has navigated numerous companies through their cybersecurity response, including by overseeing technical forensic investigations, advising on notification obligations and coordinating communication strategies.
When faced with an incident, companies call Michelle for crisis response with an eye toward potential litigation. Clients also look to Michelle for privacy and cybersecurity advice before a crisis is at hand. Michelle regularly takes the lessons learned from litigating privacy and cybersecurity matters to provide clients with proactive advice on how to structure their privacy and cybersecurity programs and incident response plans in ways designed to reduce legal exposure. Michelle is ranked as Up and Coming by Chambers USA Privacy and Data Security in 2020 for being equally capable in both compliance and enforcement elements of privacy regulation.
For her role in representing companies that have faced some of the most high-profile cybersecurity incidents and litigation to date, Michelle was named an Up and Coming lawyer by Chambers USA in 2020, a Next Generation Lawyer by The Legal 500 in 2019, one of the “40 Under 40” in 2018 by the Global Data Review and a “Rising Star” by Law360 in 2015. She was also recognized as one of the “Women Leaders in Technology Law” by The San Francisco Recorder in 2015. Clients endorse Michelle, telling Chambers, they are “very impressed with her; I'm very happy to have her to rely on due to her responsiveness and pragmatic advice.”
Michelle is also regularly turned to for defense against other types of class actions and complex litigation with experience in defending companies against securities, antitrust, and other commercial claims.
Alessandro Vittoria is a member of the international Technology Companies Group and is based in the Milan office.
Alessandro’s activity is mainly focused on M&A, private equity and venture capital. He has developed a deep experience in public and private acquisitions, minority investments and joint ventures in various sectors. In venture capital, Alessandro regularly assists founders, funds and private investors in investment transactions, mainly in the tech sector.
During his career, Alessandro has also developed significant skills in corporate advisory, also related to listed companies, and in commercial and real estate contracts (including construction contracts). He has also assisted SGRs in the formation of investment funds and the regulation of relationships among partners.
Alessandro joined Orrick in 2018. Previously he had worked, since the beginning of his career, with BonelliErede, in their Milan office.
In 2006/2007 Alessandro has been visiting lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, in New York.
Skanthan’s practice focuses on structured finance, derivatives and investment management.
A significant portion of Skanthan’s structured finance practice involves the representation of banks and asset managers in connection with the formation and structuring of cash and synthetic CLOs and other securitization vehicles as well as other types of credit-focused investment funds.
Skanthan is also a derivatives specialist with expertise advising clients with respect to a wide variety of over-the-counter and centrally cleared derivatives and structured products. His practice focuses on a wide range of issues relating to derivatives, including transaction structuring, bankruptcy close-out analysis and regulatory and compliance obligations arising under the U.S. securities laws, the Commodity Exchange Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. Skanthan also advises registered and private investment funds with respect to margin lending facilities, prime brokerage facilities and related regulatory issues.
Skanthan served as a reservist in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998-2002.
Wheeling, W.V. (GOIC)
Wheeling, W.V. (GOIC)
Andrew, a career associate in Orrick's Wheeling office, is a member of the Private Investment Funds practice within Orrick's M&A and Private Equity Practice Group.
Andrew concentrates his practice on matters pertaining to private equity and alternative investment funds, representing both investors and fund sponsors.
On the investor side, he primarily represents institutional investors, advising their participation in funds with a variety of focuses including venture capital, buy-out, real estate, and mezzanine opportunities. He works to ensure fund arrangements not only advance clients' economic objectives, but are responsive to the complex fiduciary and regulatory issues institutional investors must manage on behalf of their stakeholders.
On the sponsor side, Andrew handles various aspects of fund formation relating to the internal structuring of sponsor and management entities, drafting of fund documents, and negotiations with investors.
In addition, Andrew has experience handling a range of issues in M&A, real estate, oil & gas, and pipeline infrastructure transactions.
Peter earned his reputation as one of the country’s most prominent trademark lawyers by safeguarding international and domestic brands. For more than 30 years, he has devised practical legal strategies which align with each client’s business objective. In addition to trademark, Peter has litigated trade dress, false advertising, copyright, product disparagement, anti-counterfeiting and trade secret matters on behalf of startups and Fortune 50 companies.
As a veteran first chair litigator, Peter is undaunted by complex facts, precarious circumstances, or cases without legal precedent. No matter the parties or scenario, he uses his experience, creativity and persistence to safely guide clients towards a resolution. He has handled cases before state and federal courts throughout the U.S., inter partes matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as well as challenges before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.
In addition to his legal experience, Peter’s success derives from his ability to connect with juries. While growing up, he and his family lived throughout Europe and the United States, working jobs ranging from automotive factory worker to caring for the elderly. This breadth of experience enables Peter to relate to people from every background. Peter has handled trademark matters for former Vice President Al Gore, former actress Elizabeth Taylor and charity Kars 4 Kids.
Peter is a member of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, the International Trademark Association where he serves on the Association's Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, the American Council on Germany, and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.