Gopi K. Panchapakesan’s practice focuses on the litigation and arbitration of complex business disputes.

Gopi advises businesses and individuals facing difficult legal challenges. He has tried numerous cases, and has also procured early dismissals and settlements for a number of his clients. Gopi has represented companies and individuals across a wide variety of industries, including e-commerce, biomedical and pharmaceutical, energy, apparel, multi-level marketing, and real estate. He offers a steady hand and calm guidance to his clients and has a knack for efficiently resolving complex disputes early on in cases, but also has the experience to take cases to trial if the situation demands it.

Gopi has particular expertise defending companies and individuals in class actions and quasi-criminal actions, including cases brought under the federal civil RICO statute. He has been named a “Southern California Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine since 2018. He has also served on a number of non-profit boards, most recently serving as the Co-President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California.

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2011
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 2006

Honors & Awards

  • Southern California Rising Stars, Los Angeles Magazine, 2018-present

  • Fellow, Leadership Advancement Program, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 2019

Representative Cases

  • Won mistrial less than three weeks into a three-month federal prosecution in relation to Backpage.com in a case involving litigation of significant First Amendment and Communications Decency Act issues, the resolution of which are likely to have a significant effect on websites, social media platforms, and publishing companies going forward.

  • Defending publicly traded nutritional product company in civil RICO and unfair business practices class action.

  • First-chaired arbitration involving complex breach of contract claims asserted against client, an apparel company, securing over $1 million in offsets for client.

  • Represented publicly traded e-commerce company, successfully securing early dismissals in multiple cases.

  • Represented large Taiwanese conglomerate and other lead defendants in a 34-defendant civil RICO and alter ego action. Plaintiff sought over $80 million in trebled RICO damages. After winning key motions on the eve of trial, the case was successfully resolved for a nominal amount.

  • Represented major pipeline and renewable energy company in various compliance matters involving state and local government authorities.

  • Representing apparel company in its pursuit of contractual and fraudulent transfer claims against a former customer.

  • Obtained final approval of a class action settlement on behalf of a publicly traded nutritional product company, defeating objections made by several class members.

  • Represented a publicly traded company through final arbitration hearing in a multi-million dollar accounting malpractice case.

  • Represented global biomedical company in international arbitration.

  • Successfully defeated motion to compel arbitration on behalf of Labor Commissioner of the State of California.

  • Successfully settled several cases involving complex vendor and customer disputes on behalf of global supplier of consumer products.

  • Settled case brought by the government under the Federal Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act for less than one-sixth of the damages initially demanded by the government.

  • Settled action brought against a big-box retailer by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, in which the government alleged the retailer sold products in violation of air quality standards.

  • Defeated class certification on behalf of large retail bookseller in a wage and hour class action.

  • Successfully represented several families (pro bono) who were living in dilapidated housing on skid row in Los Angeles. Procured a $750,000 settlement on behalf of the tenants in a partnership with the Inner City Law Center.

Affiliations

  • Co-President, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, 2020-2021
  • Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, 2016 – 2019

Recent News & Events

  • Bird Marella Secures Mistrial in Defense of Backpage.com Executive

    In an abrupt end to a trial expected to last three months, Bird Marella won a mistrial in the highly-publicized Backpage.com federal jury trial. On September 14, 2021, U.S. District Judge Brnovich granted the defense motion that the prosecutors had presented irrelevant and inflammatory testimony in violation of her prior ...

  • Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan to Present ACC Webinar on Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims

    Principals Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan will be panelists in the upcoming MCLE webinar, “When Civil Cases (Almost) Go Criminal – Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims,” on June 29 at 11:00 am PST.   Hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Chan and Panchapakesan will be joined by Andrea Phillips, Chief Counsel of Litigation & Employment – Americas at Rolls Royce. The panel ...

  • Multiple Bird Marella Attorneys Named 2021 Southern California Rising Stars

    Attorneys Julia Cherlow, Gopi Panchapakesan, Ray Seilie, and Fanxi Wang have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. All four attorneys have been recognized consecutively as a “Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney” in Southern California.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of ...

  • Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk and Gopi K. Panchapakesan to Present Webinar on Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law

    Principals Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk and Gopi K. Panchapakesan will be featured panelists in the upcoming webinar presentation, “Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law,” co-hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Bird Marella. Van Dyk and Panchapakesan will be joined by Shopify’s Associate General Counsel and Data Privacy Officer, Vivek Narayanadas, and Northrop Grumman’s Corporate Counsel, Kimberley ...

  • Gopi Panchapakesan to Present SABA Webinar on Class Action Litigation

    Principal Gopi K. Panchapakesan will be a featured panelist in the upcoming webinar presentation, “Recent Trends in Class Action Practice: Perspectives from Both Sides of the V,” hosted by the South Asian Bar Association of North America and the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC). Gopi, who currently ...

  • Five Bird Marella Attorneys Selected by Super Lawyers as 2020 Rising Stars

    Bird Marella attorneys Gopi Panchapakesan, Naeun Rim, Julia Cherlow, Ray Seilie, and Fanxi Wang have been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for 2020. This marks the fourth consecutive year of selection for Cherlow, third consecutive year for Panchapakesan and Wang, and the second consecutive year ...

  • Bird Marella Elevates Gopi Panchapakesan to Principal

    Bird Marella is proud to announce the elevation of Gopi K. Panchapakesan to principal, effective January 1, 2020. Since joining the firm as an associate in 2014, Panchapakesan has established a successful practice focused on the litigation and arbitration of complex business disputes. He has particular expertise defending clients in civil ...

  • Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan Analyze Recent Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Arbitration

    Managing Principal Paul Chan and associate Gopi Panchapakesan co-authored the article, “The Changing Scope of Arbitrability and Appealability.” Published by the National Law Journal, the article highlights the Supreme Court’s decisions in Henry Schein v. Archer & White Sales and Lamps Plus v. Varela. Chan and Panchapakesan comment on what those decisions ...

  • Six Bird Marella Attorneys Named to 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

    Bird Marella is proud to announce that six of the firm’s attorneys have been selected to the 2019 Southern California Rising Stars list. Those recognized include: Julia Cherlow: Business Litigation Tristan Favro: Securities Litigation* Gopi Panchapakesan: Business Litigation Naeun Rim: White Collar Criminal Defense* Ray Seilie: Business Litigation* Fanxi Wang: ...

Other News & Events

  • Panelist, “When Civil Cases (Almost) Go Criminal – Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims,” Association of Corporate Counsel, June 2021
  • Panelist, “Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law,” Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2021
  • Panelist, “Recent Trends in Class Action Practice: Perspectives from Both Sides of the V,” South Asian Bar Association of North America, October 2020

Publications

Gopi K. Panchapakesan’s practice focuses on the litigation and arbitration of complex business disputes.

Gopi advises businesses and individuals facing difficult legal challenges. He has tried numerous cases, and has also procured early dismissals and settlements for a number of his clients. Gopi has represented companies and individuals across a wide variety of industries, including e-commerce, biomedical and pharmaceutical, energy, apparel, multi-level marketing, and real estate. He offers a steady hand and calm guidance to his clients and has a knack for efficiently resolving complex disputes early on in cases, but also has the experience to take cases to trial if the situation demands it.

Gopi has particular expertise defending companies and individuals in class actions and quasi-criminal actions, including cases brought under the federal civil RICO statute. He has been named a “Southern California Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine since 2018. He has also served on a number of non-profit boards, most recently serving as the Co-President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California.

Representative Cases

  • Won mistrial less than three weeks into a three-month federal prosecution in relation to Backpage.com in a case involving litigation of significant First Amendment and Communications Decency Act issues, the resolution of which are likely to have a significant effect on websites, social media platforms, and publishing companies going forward.

  • Defending publicly traded nutritional product company in civil RICO and unfair business practices class action.

  • First-chaired arbitration involving complex breach of contract claims asserted against client, an apparel company, securing over $1 million in offsets for client.

  • Represented publicly traded e-commerce company, successfully securing early dismissals in multiple cases.

  • Represented large Taiwanese conglomerate and other lead defendants in a 34-defendant civil RICO and alter ego action. Plaintiff sought over $80 million in trebled RICO damages. After winning key motions on the eve of trial, the case was successfully resolved for a nominal amount.

  • Represented major pipeline and renewable energy company in various compliance matters involving state and local government authorities.

  • Representing apparel company in its pursuit of contractual and fraudulent transfer claims against a former customer.

  • Obtained final approval of a class action settlement on behalf of a publicly traded nutritional product company, defeating objections made by several class members.

  • Represented a publicly traded company through final arbitration hearing in a multi-million dollar accounting malpractice case.

  • Represented global biomedical company in international arbitration.

  • Successfully defeated motion to compel arbitration on behalf of Labor Commissioner of the State of California.

  • Successfully settled several cases involving complex vendor and customer disputes on behalf of global supplier of consumer products.

  • Settled case brought by the government under the Federal Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act for less than one-sixth of the damages initially demanded by the government.

  • Settled action brought against a big-box retailer by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, in which the government alleged the retailer sold products in violation of air quality standards.

  • Defeated class certification on behalf of large retail bookseller in a wage and hour class action.

  • Successfully represented several families (pro bono) who were living in dilapidated housing on skid row in Los Angeles. Procured a $750,000 settlement on behalf of the tenants in a partnership with the Inner City Law Center.

Affiliations

  • Co-President, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, 2020-2021
  • Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, 2016 – 2019

News & Events

Bird Marella Secures Mistrial in Defense of Backpage.com Executive

In an abrupt end to a trial expected to last three months, Bird Marella won a mistrial in the highly-publicized Backpage.com federal jury trial. On September 14, 2021, U.S. District Judge Brnovich granted the defense motion that the prosecutors had presented irrelevant and inflammatory testimony in violation of her prior ...

Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan to Present ACC Webinar on Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims

Principals Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan will be panelists in the upcoming MCLE webinar, “When Civil Cases (Almost) Go Criminal – Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims,” on June 29 at 11:00 am PST.   Hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Chan and Panchapakesan will be joined by Andrea Phillips, Chief Counsel of Litigation & Employment – Americas at Rolls Royce. The panel ...

Multiple Bird Marella Attorneys Named 2021 Southern California Rising Stars

Attorneys Julia Cherlow, Gopi Panchapakesan, Ray Seilie, and Fanxi Wang have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. All four attorneys have been recognized consecutively as a “Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney” in Southern California.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of ...

Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk and Gopi K. Panchapakesan to Present Webinar on Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law

Principals Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk and Gopi K. Panchapakesan will be featured panelists in the upcoming webinar presentation, “Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law,” co-hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Bird Marella. Van Dyk and Panchapakesan will be joined by Shopify’s Associate General Counsel and Data Privacy Officer, Vivek Narayanadas, and Northrop Grumman’s Corporate Counsel, Kimberley ...

Gopi Panchapakesan to Present SABA Webinar on Class Action Litigation

Principal Gopi K. Panchapakesan will be a featured panelist in the upcoming webinar presentation, “Recent Trends in Class Action Practice: Perspectives from Both Sides of the V,” hosted by the South Asian Bar Association of North America and the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC). Gopi, who currently ...

Five Bird Marella Attorneys Selected by Super Lawyers as 2020 Rising Stars

Bird Marella attorneys Gopi Panchapakesan, Naeun Rim, Julia Cherlow, Ray Seilie, and Fanxi Wang have been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for 2020. This marks the fourth consecutive year of selection for Cherlow, third consecutive year for Panchapakesan and Wang, and the second consecutive year ...

Bird Marella Elevates Gopi Panchapakesan to Principal

Bird Marella is proud to announce the elevation of Gopi K. Panchapakesan to principal, effective January 1, 2020. Since joining the firm as an associate in 2014, Panchapakesan has established a successful practice focused on the litigation and arbitration of complex business disputes. He has particular expertise defending clients in civil ...

Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan Analyze Recent Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Arbitration

Managing Principal Paul Chan and associate Gopi Panchapakesan co-authored the article, “The Changing Scope of Arbitrability and Appealability.” Published by the National Law Journal, the article highlights the Supreme Court’s decisions in Henry Schein v. Archer & White Sales and Lamps Plus v. Varela. Chan and Panchapakesan comment on what those decisions ...

Six Bird Marella Attorneys Named to 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Bird Marella is proud to announce that six of the firm’s attorneys have been selected to the 2019 Southern California Rising Stars list. Those recognized include: Julia Cherlow: Business Litigation Tristan Favro: Securities Litigation* Gopi Panchapakesan: Business Litigation Naeun Rim: White Collar Criminal Defense* Ray Seilie: Business Litigation* Fanxi Wang: ...

Other News & Events

  • Panelist, “When Civil Cases (Almost) Go Criminal – Litigating Quasi-Criminal Civil Claims,” Association of Corporate Counsel, June 2021
  • Panelist, “Recent Trends in Data Privacy Law,” Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2021
  • Panelist, “Recent Trends in Class Action Practice: Perspectives from Both Sides of the V,” South Asian Bar Association of North America, October 2020

Publications