Chris Yates, a partner in Latham & Watkins’ San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices, litigates and tries precedent-setting antitrust cases in courts across the United States.

Mr. Yates regularly counsels and represents clients at the forefront of the sports, technology, travel, and consumer products industries. Drawing on more than two decades of litigation and trial experience, he routinely achieves success for clients facing a variety of cutting-edge antitrust and competition issues, including:

  • Class actions
  • Challenges to sports governing bodies
  • IP-related antitrust claims
  • Distribution and pricing policies
  • Industry standard-setting and related claims of anticompetitive collusion or monopolization
  • Alleged aftermarket monopolization

Mr. Yates has achieved success in federal trial courts throughout the country, including New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Delaware, and California, and has won appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and other appellate courts.

Mr. Yates is recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer by: Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, Global Competition Review (GCR), and Lawdragon. Mr. Yates was named a Power Player by Sports Business Journal and a Top California Antitrust Lawyer by The Daily Journal. In recognition of his excellence in Antitrust Litigation, GCR shortlisted Mr. Yates as Litigator of the Year in 2023.

Mr. Yates served as Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Practice from 2010 - 2020.

Mr. Yates has represented:

Sports and Entertainment

  • World Aquatics (formerly FINA), the International Federation for aquatic sports, in defeating certification of a damages class of elite swimmers and in obtaining summary judgment of monopolization and monopsony claims brought by elite swimmers and a swimming league. Earned Litigator of the Week Honors from The American Lawyer
  • The US Soccer Federation in many matters over more than a decade, including wins at trial. Mr. Yates’ work for the Federation was recognized by The American Lawyer and as GCR’s Litigation of the Year. His work included: 
    • Securing a victory at summary judgment, defeating claims brought by a promoter alleging that the Federation and Major League Soccer entered into an unlawful agreement in restraint of trade
    • Defeating a preliminary injunction brought by the North American Soccer League (affirmed by the Second Circuit) alleging the Federation’s Professional League Standards are the product of a conspiracy
    • Defending claims that the Federation conspired with FIFA to exclude regular season Spanish league games from the United States. His work earned him Runner Up for Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer and as GCR’s Litigation of the Year
    • Defended the Federation in an arbitration before the US Olympic Committee
  • Waddell & Reed in obtaining complete dismissal of a complaint alleging that W&R and boxing manager Al Haymon entered into an unlawful conspiracy. The result was called an “unequivocal win” by The American Lawyer
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organizer of the Golden Globes, in litigation that alleged antitrust laws require the HFPA open its membership to “all objectively qualified applicants”. The HFPA’s motion to dismiss was granted with prejudice, earning Runner Up honors for Litigator of the Week from The American Lawyer
  • National Women's Soccer League in litigation challenging the League's age requirement
  • Fanatics in actions brought by consumers and retailers challenging Fanatic’s exclusive agreement with the NFL and MLB
  • The Atlantic Coast Conference in the In re Name, Image and Likeness Litigation and in another class action brought by current or former college athletes

Technology and IP

  • Apple in monopolization and conspiracy cases over ~20 years, including:
    • Defeating a series of individual cases and a putative class action, at trial and on appeal, brought by resellers who alleged that Apple violated California’s antitrust and unfair competition laws by opening its own retail stores
    • Defeating a nationwide consumer class action, at the class certification stage, brought by plaintiffs claiming that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and False Advertising laws
    • Defeating a putative class action, at the class cert stage, asserting that Apple and AT&T Mobility violated antitrust and other laws when introducing the iPhone 
    • Securing a summary judgment win against claims that Apple monopolizes a claimed aftermarket of software applications for the iPhone
  • Alcatel-Lucent in obtaining summary judgment in the EDTX against allegations of conspiracy to remove plaintiff’s technology from a wireless standard
  • Capital One in the prosecution of antitrust claims against Intellectual Ventures, a notorious patent troll
  • SanDisk in connection with antitrust counterclaims alleging that Round Rock (a patent assertion entity) violated the antitrust laws
  • Oracle in many matters over 20 years including as trial counsel defeating DOJ’s efforts to enjoin a merger, in jury trial against competitors, and also in defeating monopolization claims and obtaining tens of millions in recovery against unauthorized service providers. His work for Oracle secured over US$100 million in damage judgments for the client

Healthcare and Life Sciences

  • Genentech against allegations by MedImmune that one of Genentech’s settlement agreements was a collusive and designed to extend a patent monopoly.  The order granting Genentech summary judgment on Noerr grounds was affirmed by the Federal Circuit
  • NorthBay Healthcare in successful defense of conspiracy claims brought by a surgeon and in asserting claims against a large integrated healthcare insurer/provider


  • Hyatt in litigation alleging that Hyatt conspired to prevent the use of trademarked keywords by online travel companies. After plaintiffs recognized that they could not obtain class certification, the case settled on favorable terms
  • Orbitz in multiple matters, including multidistrict litigation alleging that Orbitz and other online travel companies conspired and entered into resale price maintenance agreements with hotel chains; Mr. Yates secured dismissal of all claims

Consumer Products/Distribution

  • CooperVision, a leading manufacturer of contact lenses, in multidistrict litigation alleging it conspired with others to implement Unilateral Pricing Policies
  • DoorDash in antitrust litigation alleging a conspiracy among food delivery companies to implement certain contractual terms. We convinced Plaintiffs’ counsel not to name DoorDash in the amended complaint
  • Guitar Center in a MDL alleging that Guitar Center orchestrated a conspiracy among manufacturers to fix resale prices through minimum advertised pricing programs. Guitar Center’s motion to dismiss was granted with prejudice and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
  • Emerson Electric
    • In litigation alleging that Emerson and others unlawfully boycotted an innovative technology. Emerson’s motion to dismiss was granted with prejudice
    • In litigation alleging that Emerson monopolized the market for garbage waste disposers. The matter resolved without any payment by Emerson
  • Reyes Holdings and Harbor Distributing in connection with antitrust claims brought by a craft brewer seeking damages and divestiture of prior acquisitions. Mr. Yates obtained dismissal of all claims
  • StarKist and Dongwon Industries as lead counsel in multidistrict litigation proceedings alleging that StarKist entered into a price fixing conspiracy with Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea
  • U.S. Sugar as co-lead trial counsel in defeating the Department of Justice’s efforts to block U.S. Sugar’s acquisition of Imperial Sugar. Mr. Yates cross-examined the DOJ’s key witnesses and economist and showed the court that the economist's assumptions were "flawed," and his testimony "internally inconsistent" and "unpersuasive”

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, Columbia University School of Law, 1992
    Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1989
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July 26, 2023Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

Latham team recognized as appellate court affirms previous decisions against the US Department of Justice's challenge to U.S. Sugar's purchase of Imperial Sugar.

February 8, 2023Recognition

Latham Named Law360’s Competition Group of the Year

Law360 Named Latham a Competition Group of the Year, thanks to a historical defeat of a FTC in-house merger challenge, defending biotech firm Grail, after its acquisition by Illumina.