Thomas E. Wallerstein

Wallerstein Thomas

Tom Wallerstein is a well-known Bay Area commercial litigator whose practice focuses on high-stakes litigation, including trade secrets, non-competes, and other employment litigation; intellectual property disputes; partnership, founder and stock / equity disputes; and other complex commercial litigation. Tom routinely appears in court and has first-chair trial experience in state and federal courts in California, Delaware, and elsewhere.

Tom began his career in Philadelphia working on a wide variety of high-profile litigation matters, including representing two Philadelphia mayors and trying a federal jury trial. He later joined a global litigation firm, where he gained effusive praise for his courtroom skills, and served as the lead attorney on a variety of cases where the amount at stake reached into the tens of millions of dollars. Before joining Venable to help launch its San Francisco office, Tom also was the founding and managing partner of a Silicon Valley litigation boutique firm.


Representative Matters

Trade Secrets and Employment Litigation

  • Litigated a trade secret, patent, and licensing dispute in Delaware Chancery Court
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice in federal court of trade secret misappropriation and related claims in excess of $50 million, on behalf of an Italian software company
  • Represented a defendant in federal court against claims for more than $200 million brought under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of claims against an individual brought against the DTSA, resulting in one of the first published opinions on the ex parte seizure provision of that Act
  • Represented a computer hardware manufacturer in several high-stakes lawsuits alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition; obtained complete dismissal of the lawsuit and settlement of all claims, after engaging in extensive discovery and filing an antitrust cross-complaint
  • Represented a pet products company and its CEO in trade secret litigation; obtained complete dismissal of the lawsuit and a favorable confidential settlement of all claims
  • In separate matters, represented various companies, including a computer hardware manufacturer, software startups, a national consumer goods retailer, and others, accused of wrongful termination, discrimination, and/or retaliation
  • Represented the world’s largest manufacturer of surgical robots and obtained an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of an out-of-state non-compete agreement; defended against claims of trade secret misappropriation, with a favorable outcome
  • Obtained dismissal of wrongful termination and First Amendment claims against Philadelphia’s mayor and chief of staff related to the termination of a high-level official

General and Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Representing a well-known website company in an arbitration involving claims of $40-$50 million
  • Litigated a $40 million computer hardware and software contract claim in California Superior Court
  • Represented an industry association in an antitrust matter in federal court
  • Represented the principals of a pharmaceutical company defending against claims of breach of fiduciary duty in which the amount at stake reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a computer software and hardware manufacturer in a $14 million contract dispute, regarding the development and production of advanced, customized software
  • Represented a software manufacturer in copyright and related claims brought in federal court by one of the world’s largest social media companies
  • Obtained favorable settlements and dismissals in representing the city of Philadelphia, its mayor, and chief of police in numerous cases arising from the arrest of protestors during the 2000 Republican National Convention
  • Defended a pet products company against claims of trademark and patent infringement brought by competitors
  • Won a bench trial concerning enforceability of a post-nuptial agreement in which the amount at stake exceeded $150 million
  • Litigated a business defamation case in federal court in Pennsylvania
  • Representing Luke's Organic in dual litigation matters pending in both California and Delaware

Partnership, Founder, and Executive Compensation Disputes

  • Defeated an emergency injunction request and served as lead trial counsel in a LLC partnership dispute in Delaware Chancery Court
  • Served as lead trial counsel in a five-week trial in California state court related to a partnership dispute
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of an executive accused of back-dating stock options
  • Represented an individual whose product design led to a $1 billion acquisition of his former startup
  • Representing several companies in disparate industries that are defending against intellectual property claims brought by former co-founders and partners
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims brought by one of the co-founders of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies

Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Healthcare

  • Obtained a settlement worth more than $200 million on the eve of trial on behalf of a pharmaceutical company related to a royalty dispute
  • Obtained an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of an out-of-state non-compete agreement on behalf of the world’s largest manufacturer of surgical robots
  • Defended mass-tort product liability claims brought against manufacturer of "fen-phen"
  • Defended mass-tort product liability claims brought against manufacturers of products containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA)
  • Defended a manufacturer of spinal-cord stimulators and pacemakers against various product liability claims of negligence and strict liability
  • Defended a manufacturer of various asbestos-containing products in product liability claims

Class Actions

  • Obtained dismissal of all claims on behalf of an automobile manufacturer sued in a national class action alleging breach of express and implied warranties related to allegedly defective windshields
  • Obtained complete dismissal of all claims against a national software company, sued in several national class actions alleging that the company’s policies of “sun-setting” online services violated sections of California’s Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and constituted a breach of express and implied warranties
  • Obtained dismissal of all claims on behalf of a motorcycle manufacturer sued in a national class action alleging design defect and breach of warranties
  • Represented manufacturers in various mass torts and multidistrict products liability litigation involving "fen-phen," PPA, asbestos, spinal-cord stimulators, etc.




  • J.D. cum laude University of Pennsylvania Law School 1999
  • Keedy Cup Moot Court Finalist

    Executive Articles Editor, Journal of Constitutional Law

  • B.A. San Francisco State University 1996
  • Dean’s List, 1996
  • Butler University 1989
  • Debate Scholarship

    Dean’s List

    Judicial Council

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Pennsylvania (inactive)

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable Peter G. Verniero New Jersey Supreme Court 1999 2000

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Co-editor, Venable’s Trade Secrets and Transitions blog
  • Co-author, Trade Secrets: Law and Practice, LexisNexis, 2019


  • Selected for inclusion in Benchmark Litigation, "Labor & Employment Star" in the west, 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2014 - 2018