Christopher Van Gundy is a partner in the firm's San Francisco office, where he pursues a dual practice of litigation and regulatory compliance for his food, dietary supplement, tobacco/vape, cannabis and other clients regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Areas of Practice

In his 30+ years of experience as both in-house and outside counsel, Chris has enjoyed extensive first chair case and trial responsibility in a wide variety of food and general commercial matters, in federal, state, and foreign court and arbitral tribunals. Chris regularly represents clients in class action and general litigation matters involving state consumer false advertising and Lanham Act claims, labeling claims, supply chain and distribution disputes. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Chris’ in-house experience included representation of an affiliated group of food companies involving marquee brands of juice, bottled water, tree nuts and citrus. 

With extensive experience in litigation, including jury trials, involving food companies and other FDA and USDA regulated companies, Chris is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive regulatory counseling. Chris litigates and counsels companies on general regulatory compliance and product labeling reviews, California Proposition 65, product recalls, allergen and food borne pathogen issues, and “organic,” “natural,” “healthy” and nutrient content claims. By leveraging his dual regulatory and litigation practice, Chris is able to achieve optimal outcomes for his client by mitigating litigation risk or obtaining favorable results in litigation. 

Chris is regularly asked to speak at leading food law conferences, including the Food and Drug Law Institute, and frequently writes on important food and dietary supplement law developments. 



Leading Lawyer, Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation, Chambers USA, 2022-2023

  • Christopher Van Gundy - Chambers USA 2023


Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "What’s the Deal with CBD?"American Bar Association Business Law Basics Webinar, January 9, 2020
  • Speaker, "What is FDA’s Role in the Regulation of CBD?" Food and Drug Law Institute Legal and Practical Issues in the Evolving World of Cannabis Regulation, November 18, 2019
  • Co-Chair, "CLE International's 4th Annual Food Law Seminar," UCLA Law Faculty Center, Los Angeles, CA, June 6-7, 2019
  • Panelist, “How Cannabis & Hemp Might Disrupt the Industry,” Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association 104th Annual Meeting & Conference, Falls Church, VA, April 8-10, 2019
  • Co-Chair, "CLE International’s Food Law Seminar," Denver, CO, April 19-20, 2018
  • Co-Chair, "CLE International’s Food Law Seminar," Austin, TX, May 11-12, 2017
  • Co-Chair, "CLE International’s Food Law Seminar," Washington, D.C., March 17-18, 2016
  • Speaker at CLE International’s Annual Food Law Conference since 2014




Chair, Food and Drug Law Institute, Food Ad Planning Committee

Digital Media


J.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1988

A.B., Brown University, 1985, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Spencer Williams, U.S. District Court, San Jose.


  • California
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