Chris Wion is a seasoned legal advisor and accomplished trial lawyer committed to providing exceptional representation for businesses, business owners, and key employees embroiled in complex commercial litigation matters.
Clients rely on Chris not only for his ability to craft winning litigation strategies as a forceful courtroom advocate, but also for his creative and practical approach to conflict resolution that never loses sight of the desired legal and business goals. Whether it's complex litigation or strategic business counsel, Chris stands as a dedicated partner with a proven track record of success. Efficient, creative and focused on the unique needs and objectives of each client, Chris serves as:
Complex commercial litigation counsel. With more than 20 years experience as a litigator and trial lawyer, Chris has successfully advised clients across a diverse range of disputes, including:
- Shareholder, corporate governance, and ownership disputes
- Intellectual property litigation, including patent and trade secrets disputes.
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Business torts
- Employment disputes
- Environmental claims
- Malpractice and negligence claims
- Construction and structural defect disputes
- Class actions
Outside general counsel. Beyond the courtroom, Chris has advised boards of directors on a wide array of strategic planning, business, regulatory, and legal matters.
Clients. Chris has successfully represented corporate clients of all sizes, ranging from multibillion-dollar online retail and technology giants to closely held companies across various industries.
In his time away from the office, Chris enjoys cycling, trail-running, and ski-mountaineering.
- University of Washington School of Law (J.D., 2002)
- Williams College (B.A., psychology, 1995, cum laude)
- Washington State
- United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District
- Extern for the Honorable John C. Coughenour, United States District Court-Western District of Washington (2000)
Awards & Accolades
- The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation (2021 – 2023)
- Washington Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer (2014–2022); Top 100 (2016–2020); Rising Star (2006–2013)
- Benchmark Litigation, Washington State, Litigation Star; Labor & Employment Star
- Martindale-Hubble, AV Rated - Preeminent
- Avvo Rating: 9.9 (Superb)
- Federal Bar Association
- King County Bar Association
- Seattle IP Inn of Court
- Microsoft v. Motorola: Represented a Fortune 100 company against a competitor seeking $4 billion in annual royalties relating to our client’s implementation of certain standard wi-fi and video-compression technologies. In the first trial, the royalty rate was set at $1.8 million. In the second trial, the jury found in favor of our client, awarding $14.5 million for breach of commitment to make technologies available on reasonable terms.
- Lummi Nation v. Cooke Aquaculture: Represented owner of commercial fish farm whose net pens failed, releasing hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound waters near Lummi Island. The Lummi Nation asserted multi-million dollar claims for alleged harm to the environment, native fish stocks, and other cultural and monetary damages. After a three-week trial, the jury awarded less than 10% of plaintiff's claimed damages as reimbursement for its assistance in the cleanup and recovery efforts.
- Veritas v. Microsoft: Represented a Fortune 100 company in a case involving breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation claims in excess of $1 billion relating to a software development contract. Achieved a favorable settlement while motion for summary judgment was pending.
- SVT v. Storey Construction (and) SVT v. Lake Flato: Represented Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson in multimillion-dollar construction and design defect cases against a general contractor and design team of a vacation home.
- CEES v. Washington River Protection Services: Represented a DOE prime contractor on a Hanford Superfund clean-up site against a subcontractor seeking $50 million in damages for breach of contract. Settled shortly before trial.
- Jain v. J.P. Morgan: Represented the target of the largest-ever ($232 million) insider trading award under 16(b) of Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, in a malpractice/negligence action against a former counsel and other fiduciaries.
- Olympic Pipe Line Co. v. Shell Oil Pipeline Co.: Represented Olympic in an action to collect a $3.6 million trust fund in a factually complex case involving a former shareholder’s competing claim as an unpaid creditor in prior bankruptcy proceedings. Recovered $3 million in settlement, weeks before trial.
- Kaimakis v. DMSI et al.: Pursued breach of fiduciary duty and related claims in a derivative action on behalf of a shareholder/director of a closely held company. The settlement involved the replacement of certain key people, prevented dissolution, and implemented new controls for proper corporate governance.
- Carpenters Tower, LLC v. SDL: Represented a general contractor against the owner of a high-rise apartment building in a case involving significant construction and structural defect claims in excess of $90 million.
- Lisitsyn v. GPS Tile & Marble: Represented a business owner against independent contractors’ claims of failure to pay statutory prevailing wages. After a four-day trial, the judge reversed a prior summary judgment ruling of liability, dismissed all claims, and awarded the owner its reasonable attorney fees.
- Western Mortgage v. KeyBank: Defended Key Bank against claims of breach of contract, misrepresentation, and breach of representations and warranties by the purchaser of a $17 million loan portfolio.
- U.S. Trust v. SunTrust et al.: Represented a trust company in a multi-party litigation involving fraud and forgeries by an insurance broker in connection with a unique life insurance product valued at $5.5 million.
- In re ProAir: Represented a start-up airline against an investor who failed to supply promised financing through a pledge of stock worth $20 million, in a one-week trial involving breach of contract and Washington State Securities Act claims.
- Olympic Pipe Line Co. v ESIS, Inc.: Sought $2 million from an ACE subsidiary based on breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and indemnification claims.
- Caswell v. Olympic Pipe Line Co.: Defended a toxic tort, wrongful death action.
- Keithly v. Intelius, Inc.: Represented an internet company against consumer class action claims of unfair and deceptive on-line trade practices.
- Fairfield Development, LP v. The Boeing Co.: Represented a commercial developer against a former landowner in an action to recoup the multimillion-dollar cost of an environmental cleanup and remediation of contaminated soils under Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act.
News & Insights
- Firm News
Summit Law Group is proud to announce that twenty-four partners have been included in the 2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. The annually published lists recognize the top practitioners statewide based on peer recognition and professional achievement.
- Firm News
Summit Law Group is pleased to announce that 22 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2023 Washington Super Lawyers® and Washington Rising Stars® lists. The annually published lists recognize the top five percent of attorneys statewide based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Nine attorneys were additionally honored in the Super Lawyers Women's Edition and two were recognized for their tenth year by Super Lawyers.
- Firm News
For the fourth year in a row, Summit Law Group has been named the Washington Firm of the Year by Euromoney's Benchmark Litigation. Summit finished ahead of fierce competition from a shortlist of the best ranked law firms in Washington.
- Firm News
Summit Law Group is proud to announce that the firm's Litigation and Labor and Employment practices have received top-tier rankings in the 2023 edition of Benchmark Litigation, a guide to the leading litigation law firms and lawyers around the world.
- Firm News
Summit Law Group is proud to announce that eighteen partners have been selected by their peers for inclusion in 2023 Best Lawyers lists. Sixteen attorneys have been included in The Best Lawyers in America®, and two have been named to the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list.
- Firm News
Summit Law Group is proud to announce that thirteen of its attorneys have been named to the 2022 Washington Super Lawyers® list and five attorneys have been named to the 2022 Washington Rising Stars® list. The annually published lists recognize the top five percent of attorneys statewide based on peer recognition and professional achievement.
- Firm News
For the third consecutive year, Benchmark Litigation has named Summit Law Group the Washington Firm of the Year. Summit finished ahead of strong competition from a shortlist of firms and litigators who have performed exceptionally well at both local and national levels.
- Firm News
Eighteen Summit Law Group attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. In addition, two Summit attorneys have been included in the 2022 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list.