Doug Tilley

Doug represents plaintiffs and defendants in every kind of high-stakes commercial dispute. His practice includes trade secret, employee mobility, contract, fraud, copyright, and trademark matters as well as internal company investigations. Doug examines fact and expert witnesses in deposition and at trial, wins motions across the country, and distills complex technical subject matter into compelling and accessible presentations. Doug also helps clients proactively minimize risk by advising on employment issues, intellectual property strategies, regulatory interpretation, and corporate governance. Doug previously served as in-house head of litigation, regulatory, and government relations at a Silicon Valley company, and understands firsthand how legal needs must fit into overall business goals. He prides himself on executing targeted, efficient litigation strategies that generate superior results without breaking budgets or undermining business performance. Doug has long been recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star, an honor conferred upon only 2.5% of attorneys.


  • J.D., Harvard Law School (2009)
  • B.S., Finance (summa cum laude), Fordham University (2005)

Prior Associations

  • Zenefits
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
  • United States Department of Justice

Bar Admissions

  • State Bars: California and Washington
  • Northern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of Texas



“After more than a year working with Doug, I can’t give high enough praise for the immense assistance he has provided. We were dealing with an annoying and complicated copyright dispute with a malicious advocate. Doug was extremely helpful dealing with all of the tactical and strategic approaches to handle the situation (successfully, I might add), and kept me calm, focused, and limited my distraction so I could run my business. He’s also been invaluable in creating legal tools for my company to avoid and protect us going forward.  Doug has always been proactive and creative in his legal solutions, allowing me to feel confident while I focus on my own work.”  Brian Haven, CEO, Grand View Research

“Doug is a smart, creative lawyer who understands how business gets done.  He consistently helps us look for solutions to maximize upside without unnecessary risks.  He delivers great results on bet-the-brand cases, and has defused countless disputes before they became expensive distractions.  Make sure you have him in your corner.”  Kelly Wulff, former VP Legal, Zenefits

“I don’t usually say this about lawyers, but Doug is an asset to our business.  He gets what we do and helps shape our operations to capture opportunities without undermining compliance.  When disputes arise, Doug efficiently and expertly protects us and our hard work.”  David Hua, CEO, Meadow

Notable Matters

  • Eventbrite M.R.G. Concerts, Ltd., et al. (N.D. Cal.)– obtained eight-figure jury verdict (after two hours of deliberation) and award of legal fees incurred in contract dispute.
  • Applied Materials v. Ken Lai and Mattson Technology (Alameda Superior; related arbitration) – defending individual and new employer in semiconductor-related trade secrets dispute brought by publicly-traded former employer.
  • Eventbrite v. MF Live, et al. (N.D. Cal.) – prevailed in contract dispute against promoters of the Roxodus Music Festival, a Canadian version of the infamous Fyre Fest; case resolved favorably after Eventbrite obtained preliminary injunction freezing assets of MF Live and its founder.
  • Harmonize, Inc. v. Caret Health, et al. (San Mateo Superior) – defeated requests for a temporary restraining order and, subsequently, preliminary injunction in an Order finding plaintiff failed to show evidence of misappropriation, that any asserted information qualified as a trade secret, and that plaintiff could suffer any irreparable harm.
  • Coalition v. Apollo Brokers, et al. (S.F. Superior, related arbitration) – successfully defended insurance brokerage startup and its founders in trade secrets and contact action brought by well-financed former employer.
  • Heredia v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (N.D. Cal.) – secured a complete defense judgment on multi-million dollar claims for fraud, conversion, and breach of contract.
  • Ryan Brewer v. Veritas Investments, Inc. (S.F. Superior) – successfully represented real estate investment startup and founding team in declaratory judgment action over purported trade secrets asserted by one of San Francisco’s largest landlords.
  • San Fernando Hospital v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc.; Gardens Reg’l Med. Ctr. v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (L.A. Superior) – defeated related multi-million dollar actions alleging fraud and breach of contract.
  • GPI360 v. Vigilant Solutions(L.A. Superior) – obtained dismissal with prejudice of GPI’s claims and secured a perpetual, worldwide ban against GPI’s use of Vigilant intellectual property, backed up by a $500,000 consent judgment against GPI and related entities.
  • Zendesk v. Zenefits (T.T.A.B.) – defeated effort by Zendesk to permanently block US PTO application to register “Zenefits” as a federal trademark.
  • Perfect 10 v. Yandex (N.D. Cal.) – successfully defended search engine against claims of tens of thousands of instances of direct and secondary copyright infringement.  Nearly all of plaintiff’s claims were rejected on summary judgment, and case settled shortly thereafter on favorable terms.
  • United States v. Johnson & Johnson, et al.  (N.D. Cal.) – defended J&J and an operating subsidiary against billion-dollar claims of off-label pharmaceutical promotion.  Case resolved for a fraction of government’s demand.