Rocky C. Tsai


  • JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 2002; Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • BA (Biological Sciences), summa cum laude, Harvard College, 1997; Phi Beta Kappa


  • California, 2002

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, 2004
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, 2010
  • State Bar of California (Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law, and Privacy Section)  
  • American Bar Association, Vice-Chair, Unilateral Conduct Committee (Antitrust Section), 2016-2017; Vice-Chair, Books & Treatises Committee (Antitrust Section, 2017-2018)
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Editor-in-Chief of the American Bar Association’s State Antitrust Practice and Statutes treatise (5th edition)
  • Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Asian Law Caucus:  Annual Event Planning Committee (2006-present); Co-Chair, 2007-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, 2015-2017
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2016-2017), Rising Star (2012-2015)
  • Legal 500 (2016, 2018)
  • 2015 Father Cuchulain Moriarty Award, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, presented in recognition of extraordinary pro bono contribution to the Lawyers’ Committee Asylum Project
  • 2013 Best Lawyers Under 40, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
  • 2012 Fast Track Lawyer, The Recorder
  • Graduate, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, Stanford Law School (2008)

Rocky C. Tsai


Rocky Tsai, a litigation partner in the San Francisco office, represents a broad range of financial, technology and life sciences clients in securities and commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on the defense and resolution of complex class action litigation. His experience includes litigation counseling and front-line representation in securities class actions, consumer class actions, M&A litigation, SEC and FINRA investigations, and false advertising and unfair competition litigation. He has handled cases in multidistrict litigation, in arbitration, and in federal and state court trials and appeals. Mr. Tsai is a member of the Associate Development Committee, Pro Bono Committee, and Diversity Committee at Ropes & Gray.

Prior to law school, Mr. Tsai worked as a financial analyst at a quantitative hedge fund on Wall Street.


  • Argued and won motion to dismiss before the Delaware Court of Chancery, and secured dismissal of all claims in parallel California shareholder class action litigation, on behalf of acquirer alleged to have aided and abetted purported breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with acquisition of medical device company and rollover by alleged controlling shareholders. 
  • Argued and won motion to dismiss in Northern District of California fraud lawsuit, obtaining complete dismissal of securities fraud and control person claims asserted against venture capital partner in regard to investments in pre-IPO digital marketing and commerce company.
  • Obtained consent judgment providing for 100% recovery of damages on behalf of client in N.D. Cal. breach of contract suit arising from the disputed redemption of a hedge fund limited partner.
  • Argued and won dismissal in its entirety, with prejudice, of post-merger shareholder class action suit against private equity sponsor in Los Angeles Superior Court (Complex Litigation Department).
  • Led joint defense group of technology companies and venture capital funds in obtaining federal court order granting motion to dismiss unfair competition suit alleging violations of money transmission statutes.
  • Litigation counsel representing group of prominent university endowments in dispute with investment adviser and in related Advisory Board investigation and SEC enforcement proceedings.
  • Represented global credit investment firm in multi-party construction and indemnification dispute involving over a dozen project sites; negotiated global settlement agreement after leading three mediation sessions.
  • Argued and won dismissal in its entirety, with prejudice, of California state court shareholder derivative suit against pharmaceutical company director alleging breaches of fiduciary duty under Delaware law in connection with revenue recognition and product return reserve accounting restatement.
  • Won dismissal with prejudice, and obtained affirmance of the dismissal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, of a civil RICO lawsuit against a private equity firm and its principals.
  • Negotiated and obtained final court approval of contingent value right class action settlement for medical aesthetics company and its Board of Directors in post-closing deal litigation.
  • Won summary judgment for private equity investors in unfair competition lawsuit brought by portfolio company franchisees.
  • Represent peer-to-peer technology company; obtained final approval of favorable securities class action settlement.
  • Wrote California Court of Appeal petition for writ of mandate, resulting in widely cited published decision, on behalf of Swiss pharmaceutical companies successfully challenging trial court’s assertion of personal jurisdiction.
  • Represented European conglomerate against Eastern European sovereign in investment treaty proceedings involving multi-billion euro telecommunications investment.
  • Trial counsel in fraud case tried in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, resulting in victory for technology company client against former joint venture partner. Conducted trial examination of accounting witness, briefed successful motion to amend judgment and Ninth Circuit appeal preserving victory, and coordinated enforcement of $6.5 million judgment in conjunction with U.S. Marshal’s Service.
  • Part of trial team that obtained first jury trial defense verdict in San Francisco Superior Court for Dow Chemical Company; led expert development and dispositive medical causation defense. 
  • Presented oral argument in successful judgment on the pleadings on behalf of personal care product manufacturer in San Francisco Superior Court unfair competition action alleging deceptive use of “organics” labeling. 
  • Won order in Los Angeles Superior Court denying plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in consumer fraud action brought against dietary supplements retailer. Conducted depositions of multiple class representatives.
  • First-chaired multiple misdemeanor criminal trials to verdict and argued evidentiary hearings while serving as “on-loan” Deputy District Attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.


  • Author, “COVID-19 Pushes Commerce Online, Making ADA Website Compliance More Important Than Ever,” Legaltech News (May 19, 2020)
  • Co-author, "Cy Pres: The Next Best Thing - or Not," California Lawyer (October 2013)
  • Co-author, "New Rules on Equitable Tolling," The Recorder (March 21, 2013)
  • Co-author, "Dodd-Frank Aside, Breadth of Downturn and Personal Impact May Translate Into Juries, Courts that ‘Get It’," Securities Litigation Journal, Vol. 21, Issue 1 (September 2010)
  • Rocky C. Tsai, Kathryn Edwards.  "A New Era of Product Regulation:  California’s Green Chemistry Initiative," For The Defense (December 2009)
  • "Biometrics in the Private Sector: Trends and Case Studies," The Practitioner's Guide To Biometrics, Ch. 8 (2007)
  • "Biometrics and Privacy," 19 California Litigation No. 2, at p. 23 (2006)


  • Guest Lecturer, UC Hastings College of the Law, “Advanced Evidence” (Spring 2018)  
  • Panelist, "Attorney-Client Privilege Between Affiliated Entities: Who Owns the Privilege When Interests Diverge?," Strafford Webcast (April 22, 2014)
  • Panelist, "Hot Topics in Federal Court Practice,"  Toolbox and Primer for Federal Court Practice - Continuing Education of the Bar, Oakland, CA (December 6, 2013)
  • Speaker, "Changing Enforcement Landscapes: Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements & Issues in International Investigations," Ropes & Gray West Coast Lunchtime Legal Briefing Teleconference (November 21, 2013)
  • Speaker & Host, "Rising to the Top: Strategies for APA Partners and In-House Counsel to Succeed in the Business of Law," AABA & Ascend Leadership & Business Development Retreat (October 26, 2013)
  • Speaker, "Ongoing Impact of Regulation of Private Fund Managers," Ascendant Regulatory Compliance Management Conference, Napa, CA (September 26, 2013)
  • Invited Moderator, "Protecting Your Clients’ Intangible Rights: IP in the Age of Cybercrime and Social Media," NAPABA Annual Convention, Atlanta, GA (2011)
  • JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 2002; Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • BA (Biological Sciences), summa cum laude, Harvard College, 1997; Phi Beta Kappa
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