Aaron Chiu is a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s global Antitrust & Competition Practice.
Mr. Chiu represents public and private companies in complex antitrust disputes and government enforcement actions across a wide range of industries, including technology, sports and entertainment, advertising, transportation, and retail and consumer products.
Mr. Chiu has substantial experience representing clients through trial and appeal, as well as in international arbitration. He has directed case strategy and led the briefing of numerous appellate briefs and dispositive motions. He also has extensive trial experience including oral arguments, directing and cross examining expert witnesses, and preparing opening statements and closing arguments. Mr. Chiu further counsels clients on various aspects of litigation strategy and risk. As part of his active pro bono practice, Mr. Chiu recently briefed and argued a criminal appeal on behalf of an indigent individual in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Chiu has served in a number of management roles at the firm, including on the Associates Committee and the Training and Career Enhancement Committee.
Mr. Chiu previously served as a law clerk to Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Chiu’s experience includes representing:
- A multinational technology company before the US Supreme Court in a putative class action alleging that it had monopolized a retail market for the sale of applications through its application store distribution platform and commission structure.
- A multinational technology company in successfully defeating a putative class action alleging that it violated the antitrust laws by requiring purchasers of one of its products to exclusively use one company for cellular service.
- FINA, the world governing body for international and Olympic aquatic sports in a pair of high-profile antitrust lawsuits alleging monopolization of the international market for top-tier swimming competitions.
- US Soccer in a high-profile antitrust lawsuit by soccer promoter Relevent Sports, LLC alleging that US Soccer conspired with FIFA and others to preclude official foreign league soccer matches from being played on US soil and to boycott professional soccer players, clubs, and leagues that seek to play in such matches.
- Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. in multi-district litigation brought by putative classes of retail and consumer purchasers of propane exchange tanks alleging that Ferrellgas conspired with its leading competitor to reduce the fill levels and thereby fix the prices of propane exchange tanks. Successfully obtained a cost-of-defense settlement with the class of retail purchasers and recently obtained dismissal of more than half of the remaining state-law claims by the consumer class.
- American Airlines at a federal trial against a group of private plaintiffs seeking to enjoin the merger between American Airlines and US Airways as violative of US antitrust law.
- Toshiba Corporation and its subsidiary against claims challenging the formation of a patent pool for SD Memory Card patents and the licensing of those patents as violative of the US antitrust laws.
- RPX Corporation, a provider of defensive patent risk management solutions, in its successful defense of claims challenging its business model as amounting to a patent buyers’ cartel in violation of the antitrust laws. After securing judgment on the pleadings, the Latham team successfully defended the judgment on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
- Toshiba Corporation, in defense of a putative class action challenging a standard essential patent pool as anticompetitive, and in a related successful international arbitration against Samsung to enforce a contractual covenant not to sue.
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company, in a seven-week trial defending against federal criminal charges charging the Utility with violating federal pipeline safety regulations following a gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California. The case started with government allegations that could have resulted in a fine of US$1.14 billion, and ended with dismissal or acquittal on 22 of the 28 counts charged, and a total fine of US$3 million.
- A global media conglomerate in a government investigation into bid-rigging in the advertising industry.
- Hann-Star Display Corporation in a Ninth Circuit appeal related to price-fixing lawsuits filed by opt-out plaintiffs alleging price-fixing in the TFT-LCD panels industry.
- Emerson Electric Co., in a Fourth Circuit appeal of a dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit alleging a boycott of specific safety technology. Following the Fourth Circuit Court’s decision affirming and reversing in part the initial dismissal on appeal, Latham negotiated a nuisance value settlement on behalf of Emerson.
- Guitar Center, Inc., in multidistrict antitrust litigation alleging a conspiracy among manufacturers to fix resale prices. After securing a dismissal of the second amended complaint, the Latham team successfully defended the dismissal on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.