Mr. Chu is a partner of Irell & Manella LLP. He was named The Outstanding Intellectual Property Lawyer in the United States in the first Chambers Award for Excellence, 2006. Chambers has described Mr. Chu as “beyond doubt the most gifted trial lawyer in the USA,” who “delivers staggering results for clients.”
Mr. Chu was Co-Managing Partner of the firm for two terms from 1997 to 2003 and has been a member of its Executive Committee since 1985. He is presently Chair of the Litigation Group.
After law school, Mr. Chu clerked for the Honorable Charles M. Merrill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, joined Irell & Manella as an associate in 1977, and became a partner in 1982.
Mr. Chu was lead trial counsel in cases with over $4.3 billion in jury verdicts and settlements, including:
- City of Hope v. Genentech – The jury verdict was the largest damage award ever affirmed on appeal by California courts. More than $565 million was paid by the defendant.
- TiVo v. EchoStar, et al. – $1.6 billion in judgments and settlements including over $600 million paid by EchoStar after the jury verdict and post trial proceedings; TiVo v. Motorola and TiVo v. Cisco – $490 million; TiVo v. AT&T – $215 million; TiVo v. Verizon – $250 million, plus future royalties.
- Stac Electronics v. Microsoft – $120 million jury verdict.
- Immersion v. Sony – After the jury verdict of $82 million, plaintiff was paid more than $150 million.
- Texas Instruments v. Samsung – Settlement over $1 billion from ITC and district court actions (co-lead counsel).
Mr. Chu was lead counsel for the defendant in one of the "Top Defense Verdicts" of 2010, Linear Technology v. Novellus Systems, in which Irell secured a unanimous jury verdict in favor of Novellus on all of the plaintiff's causes of action – including breach of contract and lack of good faith and fair dealing. Mr. Chu was also lead counsel for the alleged infringer in one of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts for 2005,” Ultratech Stepper Inc. v. ASML, in which the jury found plaintiff’s patent invalid by clear and convincing evidence, and in Boole & Babbage v. Candle Corporation in the first trial involving a patent on computer software in 1986, where the jury also invalidated the patent.
Some of Mr. Chu’s professional awards include:
- One of 40 selected as "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal, for 2000-2009 (2010)
- “Top Ten Trial Lawyers” in the nation, The National Law Journal (describing Mr. Chu as a “Giant Killer”)
- “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal since 1994 (describing Mr. Chu as “an innovator, with a penchant for reversing trends” along with “extensive pro bono work.”)
- “Number One Super Lawyer in Southern California,” receiving highest vote total in the first poll of 65,000 lawyers, by Los Angeles Magazine, 2004 (describing Mr. Chu as relishing the thrill of “the quixotic challenge of an impossible case”)
- “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California” by Daily Journal every year since inception in 1993 (describing Mr. Chu as “brilliant, innovative, indefatigable, and unflappable. The kind of guy you can imagine performing his own appendectomy.”)
- One of ten "Most Admired Attorneys" by IP Law360 (2010)
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Featured in The Best Lawyers in America (in nine categories: Bet-The-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation – Patent, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Information Technology Law, Patent Law, and Technology Law), Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in American Law
- Number One IP lawyer in California in 2003-04, according to Chambers Global
- One of the “Top 10 Most Influential Lawyers in California” by California Law Business (1999)
- One of the “Who’s Who in Technology” of “Top Most Influential People in Los Angeles Internet Industry Companies” by Los Angeles Business Journal (1998)
- One of the “Top 20 Lawyers in Los Angeles Firms” by California Law Business (1994)
- “1994 Executive of the Year in Law” by Los Angeles Business Journal
- The “Dream Team” law firm by California Law Business (1992)
- One of the top intellectual property lawyers in a survey of clients and lawyers by California Lawyer (1992)
- “Top 45 Lawyers Under 45” in the United States by The American Lawyer
- “Top Players in High-Tech Intellectual Property” based on a national survey by The National Law Journal (1991)
- Recipient of the Significant Achievement Award for Excellence and Innovation in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from the Center for Public Resources (1987)
- Featured in article “Up and Coming” by The American Lawyer, describing his role in “precedent-setting” litigation (1986)
- One of ten “New Superstars” in a survey by Legal Times of Washington (1983)
Professional Activities and Other Awards
Some of Mr. Chu’s other awards and activities include:
- Harvard Board of Overseers, 2009-present
- Honorary Doctoral Degree, City of Hope Graduate School of Biological Sciences, 2009
- "UCLA School of Law Commencement Speaker," May 9, 2008. Mr. Chu delivered keynote speech to graduates at the UCLA School of Law commencement ceremony.
- "UCLA Medal," June 2007. The Medal is "the highest accolade for exceptional achievement that the University of California, Los Angeles may bestow upon an individual."
- "Distinguished Advocate," 2006. The Edwin A. Heafey Jr. Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy at Santa Clara University School of Law each year selects an outstanding trial or appellate lawyer to visit the law school as a "Distinguished Advocate."
- "PACE-Setter Award," 2004. The PACE-Setter Awards are presented annually to people of "outstanding accomplishment and meaningful endeavor."
- "Learned Hand Award," 2003. The Learned Hand Award is "the highest honor the American Jewish Committee bestows upon a member of the legal profession who has been a voice of understanding and goodwill."
- Mr. Chu is a member of the Board of Directors of Public Counsel (since 1993) and its Executive Committee (since 1995). Public Counsel is the nation's largest pro bono public-interest law firm. He has previously served on the Board of Governors of the University of California, Los Angeles Foundation. Mr. Chu also has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and has served as a judge pro tem.