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 commercial litigation practice, with an emphasis on trade secrets and business disputes. Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a “Litigation Star” for 2022-2024 and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” Amelia has also been selected to the 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys list by Los Angeles Business Journal.

Amelia’s thirteen years of trial and appellate experience includes stand-up roles at multiple trials, appellate briefing and argument before the Ninth Circuit, and three Supreme Court amicus briefs. Clients turn to Amelia for her steady judgment and her ability to weave the law and facts together into a compelling—and ultimately winning—narrative.

Amelia’s recent matters include:

  • Orchestrated strategy for the damages phase of “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. seeking $480 million in damages. At trial, Amelia presented two percipient witnesses on direct and second-chaired three other key percipient and expert witnesses. In the prior phase and trial, Amelia questioned or defended five witnesses, including cross-examining both key executive corporate witnesses, resulting in a liability ruling for the client.
  • As lead counsel defending nine executives and employees in arbitration, Amelia leveraged her e-discovery and forensic expertise against a “Biglaw giant” to successfully resolve allegations of trade secret misappropriation and related torts involving the formation of a new start-up after her clients resigned from a competitor company.
  • Briefed, argued, and won simultaneous motions for summary judgment, and a subsequent Ninth Circuit appeal, on behalf of a Korean LED manufacturer, winning $1m+ and defeating $16 million in cross-claims brought by a reseller.
  • Drafted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of university professors on international comity issues 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 also represents nonprofit mission-driven organizations on a wide range of matters, including Title IX matters. Clients value Amelia’s ability to balance litigation goals with the values of mission-driven organizations and the communities they serve. Amelia also regularly publishes and presents on art law topics, and teaches “Art and the Law” at the University of California College of Law, San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings College of Law).

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.

Amelia has been selected to the prestigious 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys list by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022-2024 “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 Best Lawyers’ “Women in the Law: Ones to Watch,” as well as 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 Extraordinary $448+ Million Trial Verdict in Delaware Chancery Court
Willenken’s Trade Secrets Team Achieves Settlement and Stipulated Injunction on the Eve of Trial
Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court

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 high-stakes 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, and in phase two, Amelia orchestrated the damages strategy resulting in a $448 million judgment. Pre- and post-judgement interest were set by stipulated judgment, in which Takeda waived its right to appeal.
  • Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. Represented the Kingdom of Spain as amicus curiae in the highly-watched cultural property case over the Nazi-looted painting, Pissarro’s Rue St. Honoré, après midi, effet de pluie. The case involved over 18 years of litigation, four appeals (total of 6 appellate opinions), one vacatur from the Supreme Court, and one request for certification to the California Supreme Court, which was denied. Amelia submitted a total of three amicus briefs to the trial and appellate courts regarding the application of Spanish principles of acquisitive prescription, as well as a letter to the California Supreme Court urging denial of certification. Read more here.
  • 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.
  • Individual v. Major State University System. As lead counsel, represented a major state university system in successfully settling a pre-litigation Title IX matter involving a former graduate student’s allegations of on-campus sexual misconduct against a well-known professor that had occurred many years before. After a university-level Title IX process, the plaintiff subsequently demanded additional concessions and a six-figure monetary claim. Through diligent analysis and methodical meet and confer, the case settled on favorable terms prior to litigation.
  • International Shipping Corporation v. Former Sales Executive. As lead counsel, defended sales executive against allegations of trade secret misappropriation involving his move to a competitor company, overseeing pre-litigation remediation and negotiation of resolution on favorable terms for client.
  • Global Software Corporation v. Former Executive. Represented and successfully defended high-level software engineering executive against wide-ranging allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breach of a confidentiality agreement brought by a global software giant when he left for a competitor start-up. After a pre-litigation remediation overseen by a third-party neutral, all allegations were dropped and settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • 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, which Supreme Court Justice Breyer referred to extensively at oral argument. The brief addressed 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.
  • Major Entertainment Company v. Independent Game Developer and Publisher. As lead counsel, defended an independent game developer and publisher against claims of breach of contract related to a video game license agreement. Amelia strategized cross-claims that alleged that plaintiffs and cross-defendants had breached key provisions under the contract that in fact excused the game developer’s performance, significantly increasing the defendant’s leverage and allowing for settlement.
  • Lumens Co., Ltd. v. GoEco LED LLC et al. Briefed, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

Los Angeles Business Journal Selects Amelia Sargent to the 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys List

May 28, 2024

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers USA for 2024 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Outstanding Firm Award

April 8, 2024

Willenken Earned Inaugural “Best Law Firms” Ranking from Best Lawyers

November 3, 2023

Biography

A deep thinker and intuitive strategist, Amelia Sargent brings the best of academia’s rigor and curiosity to her complex commercial litigation practice, with an emphasis on trade secrets and business disputes. Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a “Litigation Star” for 2022-2024 and included her on their 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.” Amelia has also been selected to the 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys list by Los Angeles Business Journal.

Amelia’s thirteen years of trial and appellate experience includes stand-up roles at multiple trials, appellate briefing and argument before the Ninth Circuit, and three Supreme Court amicus briefs. Clients turn to Amelia for her steady judgment and her ability to weave the law and facts together into a compelling—and ultimately winning—narrative.

Amelia’s recent matters include:

  • Orchestrated strategy for the damages phase of “one of the five big healthcare lawsuits” on behalf of AbbVie Endocrine, Inc. in a breach of contract case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. seeking $480 million in damages. At trial, Amelia presented two percipient witnesses on direct and second-chaired three other key percipient and expert witnesses. In the prior phase and trial, Amelia questioned or defended five witnesses, including cross-examining both key executive corporate witnesses, resulting in a liability ruling for the client.
  • As lead counsel defending nine executives and employees in arbitration, Amelia leveraged her e-discovery and forensic expertise against a “Biglaw giant” to successfully resolve allegations of trade secret misappropriation and related torts involving the formation of a new start-up after her clients resigned from a competitor company.
  • Briefed, argued, and won simultaneous motions for summary judgment, and a subsequent Ninth Circuit appeal, on behalf of a Korean LED manufacturer, winning $1m+ and defeating $16 million in cross-claims brought by a reseller.
  • Drafted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of university professors on international comity issues 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 also represents nonprofit mission-driven organizations on a wide range of matters, including Title IX matters. Clients value Amelia’s ability to balance litigation goals with the values of mission-driven organizations and the communities they serve. Amelia also regularly publishes and presents on art law topics, and teaches “Art and the Law” at the University of California College of Law, San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings College of Law).

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

Amelia has been selected to the prestigious 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys list by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Benchmark Litigation has named Amelia a 2022-2024 “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 Best Lawyers’ “Women in the Law: Ones to Watch,” as well as 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 Extraordinary $448+ Million Trial Verdict in Delaware Chancery Court
Willenken’s Trade Secrets Team Achieves Settlement and Stipulated Injunction on the Eve of Trial
Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court

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 high-stakes 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, and in phase two, Amelia orchestrated the damages strategy resulting in a $448 million judgment. Pre- and post-judgement interest were set by stipulated judgment, in which Takeda waived its right to appeal.
  • Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. Represented the Kingdom of Spain as amicus curiae in the highly-watched cultural property case over the Nazi-looted painting, Pissarro’s Rue St. Honoré, après midi, effet de pluie. The case involved over 18 years of litigation, four appeals (total of 6 appellate opinions), one vacatur from the Supreme Court, and one request for certification to the California Supreme Court, which was denied. Amelia submitted a total of three amicus briefs to the trial and appellate courts regarding the application of Spanish principles of acquisitive prescription, as well as a letter to the California Supreme Court urging denial of certification. Read more here.
  • 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.
  • Individual v. Major State University System. As lead counsel, represented a major state university system in successfully settling a pre-litigation Title IX matter involving a former graduate student’s allegations of on-campus sexual misconduct against a well-known professor that had occurred many years before. After a university-level Title IX process, the plaintiff subsequently demanded additional concessions and a six-figure monetary claim. Through diligent analysis and methodical meet and confer, the case settled on favorable terms prior to litigation.
  • International Shipping Corporation v. Former Sales Executive. As lead counsel, defended sales executive against allegations of trade secret misappropriation involving his move to a competitor company, overseeing pre-litigation remediation and negotiation of resolution on favorable terms for client.
  • Global Software Corporation v. Former Executive. Represented and successfully defended high-level software engineering executive against wide-ranging allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breach of a confidentiality agreement brought by a global software giant when he left for a competitor start-up. After a pre-litigation remediation overseen by a third-party neutral, all allegations were dropped and settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • 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, which Supreme Court Justice Breyer referred to extensively at oral argument. The brief addressed 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.
  • Major Entertainment Company v. Independent Game Developer and Publisher. As lead counsel, defended an independent game developer and publisher against claims of breach of contract related to a video game license agreement. Amelia strategized cross-claims that alleged that plaintiffs and cross-defendants had breached key provisions under the contract that in fact excused the game developer’s performance, significantly increasing the defendant’s leverage and allowing for settlement.
  • Lumens Co., Ltd. v. GoEco LED LLC et al. Briefed, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

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  • 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
  • Admitted to the District of Columbia Bar
  • 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

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related alerts (view all)

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Daily Journal Article: Trends in Noncompete Laws May Affect Trade Secret Litigation
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latest news about amelia

Los Angeles Business Journal Selects Amelia Sargent to the 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys List

May 28, 2024

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers USA for 2024 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Outstanding Firm Award

April 8, 2024

Willenken Earned Inaugural “Best Law Firms” Ranking from Best Lawyers

November 3, 2023

latest news about amelia

Los Angeles Business Journal Selects Amelia Sargent to the 2024 Women of Influence: Attorneys List

May 28, 2024

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers USA for 2024 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Outstanding Firm Award

April 8, 2024

Willenken Earned Inaugural “Best Law Firms” Ranking from Best Lawyers

November 3, 2023