Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The Top 50 Attorneys of San Francisco for 2022. With the sixth largest economy in the U.S. and as an critical hub to global wealth, San Francisco has a wide variety of attorneys who are experts in their industries. While the area has had some economic setbacks due to the pandemic, lawyers in the area are helping guide individuals and businesses back on track. This year’s awardees serve at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. They are respected and admired for their work and are leaders within their local communities.
Among this year’s awardees is Aaron Schuer, General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Yelp, who as one of the company's first lawyers helped them grow from 500 to over 5000 employees, from offering content in 3 countries to over 30, and from 10 million reviews to over 200 million. Awardee Chrysty Esperanza, General Counsel of Block, has been credited with supporting not only customers but also their employees as they recover from the pandemic and come back stronger than ever. Also awarded is Stephanie Burns, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of PlayStation, who has spent the majority of her career serving in executive leadership roles with well-known companies like Amazon and StubHub.
This year’s awardees have an unmatched passion and dedication to the legal profession. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Attorneys of San Francisco for 2022.
1. Aaron Schur
General Counsel & SVP, Yelp
Aaron Schur is a General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Yelp. He first joined the company in 2010 as deputy general counsel and vice president. Schur is known for being an experienced and innovative tech attorney with a successful record advising executives and employees at all levels on difficult legal areas, helping shape innovative product offerings, and prevailing in high stakes legal matters.
Previously, Schur was an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP, one of the first ten attorneys in the firm's growing San Francisco office. Earlier in his career he worked with Bingham McCutchen LLP as an associate. Schur earned a JD from New York University School of Law, an MA in nationalism studies from Central European University, and an undergraduate degree in history from the University of California, San Diego.
2. Mark Pearson
Senior Legal Counsel of Marketing & Intellectual Property, Airbnb
Mark Pearson is the Senior Legal Counsel of Marketing & Intellectual Property for Airbnb.
Additionally, he is an Attorney at Law for ARC Law Group, where he works with creative, talented, and entrepreneurial clients negotiating complex licensing agreements. He guides clients on protecting and exploiting their intellectual property and publicity rights and creating and funding business entities. Pearson has 24 years of experience. He began his career in 1998.
Before joining Airbnb, Pearson was an associate attorney at Berman Entertainment & Technology Law, and before that an attorney at Charles Schwab. Earlier in his career he worked with KIMO (ABC) as a sports reporter. Pearson is a sought-after public speaker and interview guest on radio and television on matters dealing with intellectual property and entertainment law. He graduated from Golden Gate University, School of Law with a JD and from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in journalism.
3. Tia Sherringham
General Counsel, DoorDash
Tia Sherringham began her professional career 14 years ago. Today, she is a General Counsel for DoorDash, the technology and logistics company that started with door-to-door delivery. Sherringham joined DoorDash in 2017 as the second legal hire and today oversees the legal team, as well as our information security & enterprise technology functions. As the executive sponsor of their Parents@ Employee Resource Group and champion of our Womens@ ERG, Sherringham is known for having helped foster and shape an inclusive culture at DoorDash.
Sherringham first got her start in 2008 as an associate at Latham & Watkins. From there, she went on to the U.S. Federal Courts before eventually moving on to become a commercial and product counsel at Instacart, her most recent position prior to joining DoorDash. Sherringham graduated from the University of California, Berkeley - School of Law with a JD and from Columbia University in the City of New York with an undergraduate degree in history.
4. Sapna Mithani
Senior Counsel of Commercial & Product, Instacart
Sapna Mithani is a Senior Counsel of Commercial and Product for Instacart. She first joined the company in 2018 as commercial and product counsel. Instacart, the leading grocery technology company in North America, works with grocers and retailers to transform how people shop. It partners with more than 800 national, regional, and local retail brands to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America on the Instacart Marketplace. The Instacart platform offers retailers a suite of enterprise-grade technology products and services to power their e-commerce experiences, fulfill orders, digitize brick-and-mortar stores, provide advertising services, and glean insights.
Previously, Mithani was a corporate counsel of legal and business affairs at App Annie and before that, an associate at Silicon Legal Strategy. Earlier in her career she worked with Gunderson Dettmer as a corporate and securities paralegal. Mithani earned a JD from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree in legal studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
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5. Joan Villa
Counsel of Corporate Compliance, Netflix
Joan Villa is a Counsel of Corporate Compliance for Netflix. Her responsibilities include regulatory inquiries support, legal advice relating to anti-corruption and modern slavery, compliance training and communications, third party corporate due diligence, regulatory compliance risk assessments, political law compliance, conflicts of interest/gifts, travel and entertainment guidance, and the overall continuous improvement for the company’s compliance program. She has 14 years of experience. She began her career in 2008.
Before joining Netflix, Villa was an associate for the control room at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Earlier in her career she worked with Google as a legal assistant where she reviewed and produced responses to legal processes from law enforcement and government agencies. Villa graduated from Cardozo School of Law with a JD and from New York University with an undergraduate degree in political science.
7. Chrysty Esperanza
General Counsel, Block
Chrysty Esperanza is the General Counsel at Block, Inc., where she leads the litigation, corporate, employment, privacy, intellectual property, tax, and trust & safety teams. At Block, she provides strategic counsel on managing risk on a broad spectrum of issues, including leading the task force that has been managing the company’s response to Covid-19. She first joined the company in 2021.
Prior to Block, Esperanza was a senior counsel for Electronic Arts Inc. She previously served as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, and also as an associate at Farella, Braun and Martel. Esperanza graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with an undergraduate degree in mass communications and media studies, and with a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
9. Anita Irwin
VP & Deputy General Counsel, Chegg
Anita Irwin is the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Chegg, an education technology company that provides digital and physical textbook rentals, textbooks, online tutoring, and other student services. It is the leading student-first interconnected learning platform, which is on-demand, adaptive, personalized, and backed up by a network of human help. In her role, Irwin leads the commercial, product, marketing, IP, privacy, and international legal teams. She has 21 years of experience. She began her career in 2001.
Before joining Chegg, Irwin was a senior director and associate general counsel at Twitter, and before that a senior legal director at Yahoo!. Earlier in her career she worked with FCB San Francisco as a VP of legal affairs and director. Irwin graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law with a JD and from Loyola Marymount University with an undergraduate degree in marketing.
11. Najah Hopkins
Senior Counsel, Uber
Najah Hopkins is the Senior Counsel of Uber. She first joined the company in 2020 as a counsel managing the legal contracting and negotiation function for drivers and rider-facing strategic partnerships for mobility. In her current role, Hopkins builds out negotiation playbooks, templates, and other tools to better standardize commercial deal work. She also serves in a consulting capacity on all significant commercial deals, working closely with lead attorneys to ensure that the team is leveraging work across other deals and negotiating in a consistent manner.
Previously, Hopkins was an in-house counsel at BAE Systems, and before that a senior manager and legal advisor of commercial engine contracts at Raytheon Technologies. Earlier in her career she worked with the Kings County District Attorney's Office as a counselor. Hopkins earned a JD and an MBA from Howard University, an MSW from New York University, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Southern California.
13. Mark Danis
VP & Deputy General Counsel, The Clorox Company
Mark Danis began his professional career 38 years ago. Today, he is a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for The Clorox Company. Danis has full oversight and management of U.S. litigation, regulatory, marketing, social media, privacy, and data security. He is a key member of the Specialty Division and Legal Services leadership teams.
Danis first got his start in 1984 as a software programmer at ADP. From there, he went on to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, before eventually rising to become a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP where he was a trial lawyer representing clients in complex litigation and regulatory matters, including patent infringement, trade secrets, license disputes, and FCPA and data breach investigation. Danis graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law with a JD and from the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in philosophy.
17. Monica Bathija
Senior Immigration Attorney, Fragomen
Monica Bathija is a Senior Immigration Attorney for Fragomen. She first joined the company in 2017. Fragomen is a leading firm dedicated exclusively to immigration services worldwide. Founded in 1951, the firm represents a broad range of companies, organizations, and individuals to help facilitate the transfer of employees worldwide. It provides immigration support in more than 170 countries. In addition to her responsibilities with Fragomen, Bathija is a Pro Bono Immigration Attorney for Kids in Need of Defense.
Previously, Bathija was an immigration associate at Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and before that an associate and senior immigration counsel at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. Earlier in her career she worked with Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP as an immigration legal assistant and law clerk. Bathija earned a JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law and an undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
18. Renée Machi Lawson
VP of Legal & Deputy General Counsel, Dropbox
Renée Machi Lawson is the Vice President of Legal and Deputy General Counsel for Dropbox. Its platform allows individuals, families, teams, and organizations to collaborate and sign up for free through its website or app, as well as upgrade to a paid subscription plan for premium features. Lawson is an experienced legal and business advisor with strong roots in fast-paced and results-driven technology environments and in a breadth of legal areas. She is a strategic leader who thrives on developing and working collaboratively with teams and across functional areas to resolve complex legal issues in alignment with business objectives. Lawson has 26 years of experience. She began her career in 1996.
Before joining Dropbox, Lawson was a deputy general counsel at Airbnb and before that, she co-founded Alta Vista School, an independent, non-profit elementary and middle school in San Francisco dedicated to hands-on, experience-based learning with a focus on STEM. Earlier in her career she worked with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP as an associate. Lawson graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a JD, from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a master’s degree in German, and from Santa Clara University with an undergraduate degree in German.
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22. Douglas Kramer
General Counsel, Cloudflare
Douglas Kramer began his professional career 21 years ago. Today, he is the General Counsel of Cloudflare, an Internet infrastructure company that operates one of the largest cloud networks in the world and offers security, performance, and reliability services to tens of millions of web-based properties. Kramer has served in this role since August 2016 and helped guide the company through a successful IPO in September 2019. He oversees the work of the legal, policy, and trusty & safety teams for the company.
Earlier in his career, Kramer held a number of senior positions in the Obama Administration, and worked as a litigator for law firms in Washington and Kansas City. He first got his start in 2001 as an associate at Covington & Burling. From there, he went on to University of Kansas, before eventually rising to deputy administrator at US Small Business Administration, his most recent position prior to joining Cloudflare. Kramer graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with a JD and from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and English.
25. Claudia Wilson
Deputy General Counsel & Head of Litigation, Zynga
Claudia Wilson began her professional career 21 years ago. Today, she is the Deputy General Counsel and Head of Litigation for Zynga, a leading developer of the world's most popular social games that are played by millions of people around the world each day. It develops, markets, and operates social games as live services played on mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, and social networking sites, such as Facebook. Zynga generates revenue through mobile game downloads, in-games sales of virtual goods, and advertising services.
Wilson first got her start in 2001 as an associate litigation attorney at Bingham McCutchen. From there, she went on to the U.S. Federal Courts before eventually moving on to become an associate general counsel at Tesla, her most recent position prior to joining Zynga. Wilson graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD and from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in government.
26. Kirsten Daru
General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, Life360
Kirsten Daru is the General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Life360, a family communication, location, and alert app for smartphones that allows users to share their locations with each other. She joined the company shortly after its acquisition of Tile, Inc, where she served as chief legal & privacy officer since early 2019.
Prior to Tile, Daru was the chief privacy officer of Electronic Arts, Inc. She began her career as a litigator with a focus on consumer protection and antitrust. Throughout her career, she has earned a reputation as a fierce advocate for protecting privacy and fostering a competitive marketplace where innovation can thrive. Daru has testified before Congress on a number of occasions, most recently in April 2021 when she advocated for legislation to protect privacy and competition in the digital marketplace. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with an undergraduate degree in Latin and with a JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
28. Jane Froyd
SVP & General Counsel - Americas, Treasury Wine Estates
Jane Froyd began her professional career 22 years ago. Today, she is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Americas of Treasury Wine Estates. With over 12,700 hectares of vineyards, 70-plus wine brands and over 2,600 team members, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) brings together some of the most popular and collected wines from Australia, California, Italy, France, and New Zealand. Its treasured brands include Penfolds, Beringer, Wolf Blass, Stags' Leap, Beaulieu Vineyard, Lindeman's, Sterling Vineyards, 19 Crimes, and Wynns Coonawarra Estate.
Froyd first got her start in 2000 as an associate at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal. From there, she went on to Jones Day before eventually rising to become a general counsel at Flynn Restaurant Group, her most recent position prior to joining Treasury Wine Estates. Froyd graduated from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law with a JD and from Drake University with an undergraduate degree in English and history.
32. Rob Pohls
Senior Counsel, Hinshaw & Culbertson
Rob Pohls is a Senior Counsel for Hinshaw & Culbertson, representing insurers and corporations in various forms of complex litigation. He has litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal courts throughout California, practicing at both the trial and appellate levels. He also has litigated cases in several other states. For more than 30 years, Pohls has focused his practice on representing life, health and disability insurance companies. He therefore defends insurers, managed care organizations, claim administrators, and agents in bad faith, ERISA, and other forms of litigation involving the sale, underwriting, and administration of life insurance, and annuities, accident and health insurance, disability insurance, health care service plans, long term care insurance, pensions and retirement plans. He also counsels insurers about claims administration, insurance fraud, regulatory compliance, risk mitigation and minimizing exposure to bad faith litigation.
Pohls joined the San Francisco office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in September 2021. Previously, he managed a boutique law firm that he had established to both counsel life, health and disability insurers and represent them in bad faith, ERISA and other litigation. In addition, Pohls is a formally trained mediator and arbitrator who provides dispute resolution services, principally in disputes that involve life, health and disability insurance, ERISA and employee benefits, consumer lending and financial services, commercial disputes, labor and employment issues, and civil rights matters. He earned his JD from King Hall School of Law at the University of California, Davis and an undergraduate degree in political science from Bucknell University.
34. Carrie Friesen-Meyers
VP & Deputy General Counsel, Upstart
Carrie Friesen-Meyers began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Upstart, a leading AI lending marketplace partnering with banks and credit unions to expand access to affordable credit. As it transitioned to being a public company, Upstart is now poised to leverage its domain expertise and revolutionize every aspect of lending and credit risk evaluation. Friesen-Meyers is known for driving strategic decision-making and facilitating the resolution of a range of legal issues, including those in the area of finance, commercial contracts, HR/employment, privacy, M&A, litigation and other complex issues in collaboration with subject matter experts. She is also experienced in building legal teams and in managing outside counsel.
Friesen-Meyers first got her start in 2003 as a laboratory assistant at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From there, she went on to the U.S. District Courts before eventually rising to become a deputy general counsel at Upgrade, Inc., her most recent position prior to joining Upstart. Friesen-Meyers graduated from Harvard Law School with a JD, from The Fletcher School at Tufts University with a master’s degree, and from Goshen College with an undergraduate degree.
37. Shella Neba
General Counsel, Gem
Shella Neba is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Gem. Gem’s mission is to help companies hire great teams. Their talent engagement platform enables recruiting teams to build relationships that lead to diverse, high-quality talent pipelines, a great candidate experience, and predictable hiring at any scale. Neba oversees Gem’s legal department including all areas of privacy, compliance, and commercial.
Prior to joining Gem, Neba served as the head of global employment law for workplace collaboration hub Slack Technologies, where she was a key member of the direct listing team. Before her time at Slack, Neba was a partner at the largest labor and employment firm in the world, and was a trusted business advisor to numerous global HR and recruiting organizations. Neba received her JD from the University of Michigan and was a Judicial Extern with the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
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38. Susan Thomas
SVP & General Counsel of Investor & Capital Markets, LendingClub
Susan Thomas began her professional career 29 years ago. Today, she is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Investor & Capital Markets for LendingClub. Since its founding in 2006, LendingClub has transformed the banking industry by bringing a traditional credit product online, and it has been on the fast track ever since. It is one of the first fintechs to acquire a national bank charter, which has transformed its business economics and introduced all new capabilities, and now others are following its lead, validating the strength of its model. Thomas is an experienced attorney and industry leader in structured products and securitization with business and legal experience from law firm and in-house roles at corporations, national banks and other financial institutions.
Thomas first got her start in 1993 as a partner at Powell Goldstein LLP. From there, she went on to Ford Motor Credit Company before eventually rising to become a capital markets senior counsel at Wells Fargo, her most recent position prior to joining LendingClub. Thomas graduated from the University of Michigan with a JD and an undergraduate degree in English language and literature.
41. John Pingel
General Counsel, Unison
John Pingel began his professional career 12 years ago. Today, he is the General Counsel of Unison. Unison is a vertically integrated originator and investment manager in residential equity agreements. They connect the needs of homeowners and institutional investors, giving the investors access to residential home price appreciation while keeping ownership, control and enjoyment of houses where they belong, in the hands of the actual homeowners who live there. Pingel is experienced in litigation, transactions, compliance, and product counseling. He is known for his interest in companies and ideas that are changing the status quo.
Pingel first got his start in 2010 as a litigation and real estate associate at Reed Smith LLP. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a JD and from Loyola Marymount University with an undergraduate degree in music.
43. Jennifer Yeh
SVP & General Counsel, Checkr
Jennifer Yeh is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Checkr, an API-first technology platform that combines the best in human expertise, AI, and machine learning. With fairness embedded and a focus on the candidate experience, Checkr makes it easy for people to understand reports and make fair decisions. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, the platform and solutions make background checks faster, easier, and more compliant. Using its advanced screening technology, companies can better understand the dynamics of the changing workforce, bring transparency and fairness to their hiring, and ultimately build a better future for workers. Yeh has 15 years of experience. She began her career in 2007.
Before joining Checkr, Yeh was an associate counsel to President Obama at The White House and before that, a senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy. Earlier in her career she worked with the U.S. District Court for Hawaii as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan Oki Mollway. Yeh graduated from Harvard Law School with a JD and from the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in business administration and management.
44. Dennis Sinclitico
Senior Counsel, Marqeta
Dennis Sinclitico began his professional career 17 years ago. Today, he is the Senior Counsel of Marqeta. Marqeta brings speed and efficiency to card issuing and payment processing with the world's first open API platform to developers, technical product managers, and visionary entrepreneurs. Its platform was built from the ground up to power an innovative payment experience for many of the apps and services you enjoy daily. Today, Marqeta has extensive partnerships with multiple banks and card networks including Visa, Mastercard & Discover, and its solutions are used by innovators in digital banking, lending, e-commerce, on-demand services and more.
Sinclitico first got his start in 2005 as an associate at Daniels, Fine, Israel, Schonbuch & Lebovits LLP. From there, he went on to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, before eventually rising to become a counsel of intellectual property and strategic partnerships at Visa, his most recent position prior to joining Marqeta. Sinclitico graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law with a JD and from the University of California, Los Angeles with an undergraduate degree in economics.
48. Hajime Tada
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, & Chief Compliance Officer, Shockwave Medical
Hajime Tada is a General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer of Shockwave Medical, a medical device company focused on developing and commercializing products and technology that targets calcified plaque, intended to revolutionize the interventional treatment of advanced cardiovascular disease. Tada is responsible for all legal and compliance matters for the company. His initial areas of focus include sales support, securities, corporate governance, labor & employment, IP management and protection, and compliance, as well as developing the in-house legal and compliance functions. Reporting to the CEO, Tada is a member of the executive team and provides legal support to the board of directors and board committees.
Previously, Tada was a general counsel at LakePharma where he provided and created the legal and compliance support for the fast growing private company that provided R&D support to start-ups in the biologics space. Earlier in his career he worked with Agilent Technologies as a corporate counsel. Tada earned a JD from the New York University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in political science from Yale University.
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