Amelia L. B. Sargent

Partner
Biography
  • Bio
  • Honors
  • Winning Matters
  • Cases
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Publications
  • News

A deep thinker and intuitive strategist, Amelia Sargent brings the best of academia’s rigor and curiosity to her complex business litigation practice, applying a bold but meticulous approach to her clients’ toughest problems. Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022 “Litigation Star” and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” She has also been recognized in both the 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch,” and among SuperLawyers’ “Southern California Rising Stars” in 2020 and 2021.

Amelia’s practice focuses on trial and appellate litigation for clients in a wide range of industries—from electric car start-ups, to established biopharmaceutical companies, to mobile game developers—with a particular focus on intellectual property and trade secret disputes. Clients turn to Amelia for her steady judgment and guidance, and her ability to weave the law and facts together into a compelling—and ultimately winning—narrative.

Amelia’s recent matters include:

  • As a member of a 100%-diverse trial team in “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” of the year, secured a favorable ruling on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Amelia questioned or defended multiple expert and percipient witnesses during the four-day trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • On behalf of a Korean-based LED manufacturer, won simultaneous motions for summary judgment dismissing $16 million in cross-claims by its U.S.-distributor, and then won the appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented as lead counsel nine executives and employees at an electric vehicle start-up against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and other claims brought in a confidential arbitration by their former employer—who was represented by a BigLaw giant.
  • Represented university professors as amici curiae before the United States Supreme Court in Republic of Hungary v. Simon (No. 18-1447) and Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp (No. 19-351).

Amelia was also the driving force in forming Willenken’s art, cultural, and educational institutions industry group, which provides representation and counseling in a wide range of matters. Amelia teaches “Art and the Law” at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Through regular contributions to the American Bar Association Section of International Law: Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee’s quarterly newsletter, publications in academic journals, and presentations at industry conferences such as ALI-CLE’s Legal Issues in Museum Administration, Amelia also shares her specialized knowledge of this area with the wider legal community.

Prior to joining Willenken, Amelia practiced at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Comparative Literature, and enjoys reading cookbooks and traveling.

Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022 “Litigation Star” and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” Prior to that, she was a 2021 “Future Star.” She has also been recognized in both the 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch,” and among SuperLawyers’ “Southern California Rising Stars” in 2020 and 2021.

Higher education honors include:

  • John Hart Ely Book Prize for Outstanding Performance in Legal History (Stanford, 2010)
  • Gerald Gunther Book Prize for Outstanding Performance in Civil Procedure (Stanford, 2008)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court
The Ninth Circuit Affirms Willenken’s Victory of Summary Judgment on Behalf of Major LED Manufacturer
Willenken Vigorously Defends Electric Vehicle Start-Up Team Against Aggressive Opponent

The following is a representative sample of Amelia’s casework:

  • Abbvie Endocrine, Inc. v. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. As a member of a 100%-diverse trial team in “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” of the year, secured a favorable ruling on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Amelia questioned or defended multiple expert and percipient witnesses during the four-day trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • Global Software Corporation v. Former Executive. Currently defending against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breach of a confidentiality agreement brought against a software engineering executive leaving a global software giant and going to a competitor start-up.
  • Nascent Electric Vehicle Company v. Former Employees. As lead counsel for nine executives and employees, successfully resolved allegations of trade secret misappropriation, violation of non-solicitation obligations, and breach of fiduciary duties relating to the formation of a new electric vehicle start-up after they resigned from a competitor company.
  • Global Biopharmaceutical Company v. Large Health Benefit Manager. After extensive research, drafted the case strategy that guided the firm’s representation of and ultimately secured a favorable settlement for one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies in a complex breach of contract action involving some of the largest sponsored health plans in the country.
  • Leading Manufacturer of Insulated Water Bottles v. Product Distributor. Crafted the driving strategy and narrative for a case—set to go to trial in 2022—in which the client, a leading manufacturer of insulated water bottles, alleged breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of confidentiality obligations against its former employees.
  • Republic of Hungary, et al. v. Rosalie Simon et al. and Federal Republic of Germany v. Alan Phillip, et al. Filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court for two university professors, in two high-profile matters involving litigation over Holocaust-era assets, addressing whether international comity could still provide a basis for a court to decline jurisdiction over a foreign sovereign, if the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provided that no immunity existed.
  • David Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. In the highly-watched cultural property case, submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the Solicitor General of the Kingdom of Spain at both the trial and appellate levels, regarding the application of Spanish principles of adverse possession.
  • Lumens Co., Ltd. v. GoEco LED LLC et al. Argued and won summary judgment on behalf of Lumens Co. Ltd., a Korean LED manufacturer, against $16 million in cross-claims brought by a reseller, and then successfully presented oral argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upon the defendant and counterclaimant’s appeal, which affirmed the victory.
  • Frey v. Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy. Enabled favorable resolution of case on behalf of the major California utility after filing the opening summary judgment motion on subject matter jurisdiction and pre-emption.

Amelia’s recent publications include:

Willenken Recognized by Benchmark Litigation for the Fifth Consecutive Year

September 30, 2021

firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Communities-of-Color Organizations in Handy Worker Classification Case

September 7, 2021

Biography

A deep thinker and intuitive strategist, Amelia Sargent brings the best of academia’s rigor and curiosity to her complex business litigation practice, applying a bold but meticulous approach to her clients’ toughest problems. Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022 “Litigation Star” and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” She has also been recognized in both the 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch,” and among SuperLawyers’ “Southern California Rising Stars” in 2020 and 2021.

Amelia’s practice focuses on trial and appellate litigation for clients in a wide range of industries—from electric car start-ups, to established biopharmaceutical companies, to mobile game developers—with a particular focus on intellectual property and trade secret disputes. Clients turn to Amelia for her steady judgment and guidance, and her ability to weave the law and facts together into a compelling—and ultimately winning—narrative.

Amelia’s recent matters include:

  • As a member of a 100%-diverse trial team in “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” of the year, secured a favorable ruling on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Amelia questioned or defended multiple expert and percipient witnesses during the four-day trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • On behalf of a Korean-based LED manufacturer, won simultaneous motions for summary judgment dismissing $16 million in cross-claims by its U.S.-distributor, and then won the appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented as lead counsel nine executives and employees at an electric vehicle start-up against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and other claims brought in a confidential arbitration by their former employer—who was represented by a BigLaw giant.
  • Represented university professors as amici curiae before the United States Supreme Court in Republic of Hungary v. Simon (No. 18-1447) and Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp (No. 19-351).

Amelia was also the driving force in forming Willenken’s art, cultural, and educational institutions industry group, which provides representation and counseling in a wide range of matters. Amelia teaches “Art and the Law” at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Through regular contributions to the American Bar Association Section of International Law: Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee’s quarterly newsletter, publications in academic journals, and presentations at industry conferences such as ALI-CLE’s Legal Issues in Museum Administration, Amelia also shares her specialized knowledge of this area with the wider legal community.

Prior to joining Willenken, Amelia practiced at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Comparative Literature, and enjoys reading cookbooks and traveling.

Honors

Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022 “Litigation Star” and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” Prior to that, she was a 2021 “Future Star.” She has also been recognized in both the 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch,” and among SuperLawyers’ “Southern California Rising Stars” in 2020 and 2021.

Higher education honors include:

  • John Hart Ely Book Prize for Outstanding Performance in Legal History (Stanford, 2010)
  • Gerald Gunther Book Prize for Outstanding Performance in Civil Procedure (Stanford, 2008)
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Winning Matters

Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court
The Ninth Circuit Affirms Willenken’s Victory of Summary Judgment on Behalf of Major LED Manufacturer
Willenken Vigorously Defends Electric Vehicle Start-Up Team Against Aggressive Opponent

Cases

The following is a representative sample of Amelia’s casework:

  • Abbvie Endocrine, Inc. v. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. As a member of a 100%-diverse trial team in “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” of the year, secured a favorable ruling on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Amelia questioned or defended multiple expert and percipient witnesses during the four-day trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • Global Software Corporation v. Former Executive. Currently defending against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breach of a confidentiality agreement brought against a software engineering executive leaving a global software giant and going to a competitor start-up.
  • Nascent Electric Vehicle Company v. Former Employees. As lead counsel for nine executives and employees, successfully resolved allegations of trade secret misappropriation, violation of non-solicitation obligations, and breach of fiduciary duties relating to the formation of a new electric vehicle start-up after they resigned from a competitor company.
  • Global Biopharmaceutical Company v. Large Health Benefit Manager. After extensive research, drafted the case strategy that guided the firm’s representation of and ultimately secured a favorable settlement for one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies in a complex breach of contract action involving some of the largest sponsored health plans in the country.
  • Leading Manufacturer of Insulated Water Bottles v. Product Distributor. Crafted the driving strategy and narrative for a case—set to go to trial in 2022—in which the client, a leading manufacturer of insulated water bottles, alleged breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of confidentiality obligations against its former employees.
  • Republic of Hungary, et al. v. Rosalie Simon et al. and Federal Republic of Germany v. Alan Phillip, et al. Filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court for two university professors, in two high-profile matters involving litigation over Holocaust-era assets, addressing whether international comity could still provide a basis for a court to decline jurisdiction over a foreign sovereign, if the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provided that no immunity existed.
  • David Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. In the highly-watched cultural property case, submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the Solicitor General of the Kingdom of Spain at both the trial and appellate levels, regarding the application of Spanish principles of adverse possession.
  • Lumens Co., Ltd. v. GoEco LED LLC et al. Argued and won summary judgment on behalf of Lumens Co. Ltd., a Korean LED manufacturer, against $16 million in cross-claims brought by a reseller, and then successfully presented oral argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upon the defendant and counterclaimant’s appeal, which affirmed the victory.
  • Frey v. Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy. Enabled favorable resolution of case on behalf of the major California utility after filing the opening summary judgment motion on subject matter jurisdiction and pre-emption.

Speaking Engagements

Professional Affiliations

Publications

Amelia’s recent publications include:

  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 2011
  • University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 2011
  • University of Toronto, M.A., 2003
  • Georgetown University, B.A., 2002
  • Admitted to the State Bar of California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California

related alerts (view all)

alerts
The Practical Lawyer Article: Five Steps To Protect Your Trade Secrets Without a Non-Compete
alerts
Law360 Article: Federal Trade Secret Identification Requirement Seems Likely
Webinar: ABCs of Art Law

related alerts (view all)

alerts
The Practical Lawyer Article: Five Steps To Protect Your Trade Secrets Without a Non-Compete
alerts
Law360 Article: Federal Trade Secret Identification Requirement Seems Likely
Webinar: ABCs of Art Law

latest news about amelia

Willenken Recognized by Benchmark Litigation for the Fifth Consecutive Year

September 30, 2021

firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Communities-of-Color Organizations in Handy Worker Classification Case

September 7, 2021

latest news about amelia

Willenken Recognized by Benchmark Litigation for the Fifth Consecutive Year

September 30, 2021

firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Communities-of-Color Organizations in Handy Worker Classification Case

September 7, 2021