Jonathan Hughes is a trial lawyer and has been lead trial counsel in dozens of high stakes cases. He has recently tried more than a dozen cases to judgment, including several jury trials to favorable verdicts. He represents law firms and lawyers and energy, technology, financial services, real estate, and other businesses. Selected as one of the "Top 100 Attorneys" in California by the Daily Journal (2014), Mr. Hughes is a leader in the firm's Attorney Liability practice group, which has represented more than half of the 50 largest firms in California, including 8 of the state's 10 largest firms and more than one third of the AmLaw 100, as well as numerous small- and mid-sized law firms.

In his law firm practice, Mr. Hughes defends firms against significant legal malpractice claims and claims asserted by bankruptcy trustees. He also represents law firms and law firm partners in partnership disputes relating to partner departures, compensation disputes, and dissolutions. Law firms also call on Mr. Hughes to provide counseling and advice on complex conflicts and other legal ethics matters. Mr. Hughes serves as the co-chair of the firm's ethics committee, and was a director of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, PC, before that firm's combination with legacy Arnold & Porter in 2012.


  • BP - lead trial counsel in California action alleging claims under the California False Claims Act relating to natural gas sales.
  • Airbus Helicopters - lead trial counsel in Texas action seeking damages relating to purchase of helicopters.
  • Recology – obtained favorable jury verdicts in multiple, separate jury trials, alleging employment, False Claims Act and business tort claims.
  • MMPIA – obtained summary judgment for client in adversary proceeding brought in bankruptcy court in Los Angeles, challenging the client's acquisition of controlling interest in company with one of the largest private real estate holdings in southern California.
  • Ariba, Inc. – obtained defense verdict and verdict for client on cross-claims in jury trial in Tampa, Florida in case brought by failed start-up business asserting various business interference claims.
  • Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) – successfully represented company in shutting down and obtaining damages arising from large-scale counterfeiting operation in southern California.
  • Oakland Raiders – four-month jury trial in Sacramento, California resulting in a $34.2 million jury verdict in favor of the client.


Northern California Super Lawyers
(2007, 2014-2020)
California Lawyer
Recognized as one of the "Attorneys of the Year" (2015)
Daily Journal
"Top 100 Attorneys" (2014)


  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1996, Order of the Coif
  • AB, Political Science, University of California, Davis, 1993, cum laude
  • California
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, The Honorable Melvin Brunetti
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section

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