cathleen donohoe - associate

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t 415.671.4628 (x103)
f 415.480.6688

Bar Admissions

Northern District of California
Central District of California
Eastern District of California
Southern District of California
District of Colorado
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals


Stanford University Law School, J.D., With Distinction
Article Editor and Submissions Editor, Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance

Tulane University, M.B.A.

University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A. in Economics, Summa Cum Laude


Publications and Lectures

Newman Not an Ideal Case for Defining Tippee Liability, Law 360, August 7, 2015, co-authored with Robert Horowitz, Esq.

Take-aways from SEC’s Panel Discussion on Recent Enforcement Action in Complex Derivatives Area, Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Financial Services Observer, July 14, 2015.

The Use of Special Economic Zones to Attract Foreign Direct Investment, seminar for post-graduate attorneys, University of Pretoria, South Africa, October, 2013, co-lecturer.

Cathleen Donohoe is an experienced complex commercial litigator who has successfully handled multi-million dollar litigation matters for public and private companies of all sizes in a variety of industries while working at some of the Silicon Valley’s most-respected law firms, including Fenwick & West LLP and DLA Piper LLP. Cathleen has particular expertise in managing and resolving complex commercial, intellectual property, and securities litigation matters involving large volumes of electronic data, including the successful cost-effective management of the discovery process in light of complex international data privacy rules and regulations. Cathleen has conducted thorough, timely, and cost-effective independent investigations in the U.S. and overseas, including investigations of accounting fraud, commercial bribery, intellectual property theft, and counterfeiting, often leading to the forced resignation or termination of the wrongdoers.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Cathleen successfully negotiated high-value automotive procurement contracts involving the purchase of complex technology components for Ford Motor Company and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International. 

Representative Litigation Matters

Complex Commercial Litigation/Intellectual Property Litigation/Financial Services Litigation

  • State Courts – California Superior Court, Alameda Division; Delaware Chancery Court – successfully litigated and negotiated the settlement and dismissal of a multi-million dollar multi-jurisdictional dispute between the founders of a digital gaming company.   
  • State Court – California Superior Court, Santa Clara Division – Litigated through extensive discovery and motion practice and settled in mediation an acquisition earnout dispute between a Canadian technology company and its founders.
  • State Court – California Superior Court, Alameda Division – Successfully litigated and mediated a multi-million dollar breach of contract and theft of trade secret matter involving a multinational joint enterprise software design and development project.
  • State Court – California Superior Court, Sonoma County Division – Prevailed at the pleading stage obtaining dismissal in its entirety of an action to quiet title for mortgagor client, one of the nation’s largest banking institutions.

Securities Litigation Matters

  • Federal Court – Northern District of California – Successfully defended a $10 million securities class action matter on behalf of a technology client, prevailing on motion in the district court, and subsequently obtaining affirmance on appeal in the Ninth Circuit
  • Federal Courts – District Courts in California and Delaware – Successfully defended CyberSource and individual officer and director defendants in shareholder class actions in multi-jurisdictional actions seeking to enjoin the proposed $2 billion merger between CyberSource and Visa U.S.A., enabling the merger to proceed as scheduled.
  • Federal Court – Northern District of California – Conducted expedited discovery and negotiated the settlement of an M&A litigation matter seeking to enjoin the $220 million merger of Nuance Communications with ScanScoft, enabling the merger to timely proceed to closing.
  • State Court – California Superior Court, Santa Clara Division – obtained dismissal on the pleadings of a stock options backdating derivative case against a telecommunications company through the deconstruction and criticism of plaintiff’s flawed statistical analysis in support of erroneous factual conclusions.

   Corporate Investigations/Regulatory Matters  

  • Federal Court – Northern District of California – Led an internal investigation on behalf of a California corporation concerning the embezzlement of more than $1 million by a corporate insider, working closely with the FBI in gathering incriminating evidence leading to the eventual prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment of the embezzler.
  • Internal Investigation – Led internal investigation of CEO’s alleged malfeasance in the management of the company’s patent portfolio; collected and reviewed client documents, interviewed witnesses and drafted investigation report presented to the company’s Board of Directors, concluding no wrongdoing and recommending no disciplinary action be taken.
  • Internal Investigation – Designed and conducted an internal investigation concerning the accounting treatment of future pension obligations for a multi-billion dollar public pension plan, presenting investigation findings and recommendations to the Pension Board at a public Pension Board meeting, with findings and recommendations adopted by Board.
  • Internal Investigation – Successfully led an internal investigation involving employees and documents in several foreign countries; identified critical documents uncovering wrongdoing under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, resulting in the company CEO’s forced resignation.