Christopher Van Gundy is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office.

Areas of Practice

Chris counsels and represents food companies in litigation matters involving Lanham Act and consumer false advertising claims, class actions and brand protection, as well as in regulatory matters involving supply chain liability, product labeling reviews, California’s Proposition 65, food borne pathogens, and “organic,” “natural,” “healthy,” and nutrient content claims, to name a few. Chris also counsel companies regarding federal, state, and local regulatory compliance, labeling issues, and supply chain liability in the CBD/cannabis space. 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.

Chris has extensive jury trial experience and success in prosecuting and defending false advertising litigation, distribution and trademark disputes, bodily injury, class actions, insurance coverage work, and general commercial arbitration and litigation matters. In his 25+ years of experience as both in-house and outside counsel, he has enjoyed extensive first chair case and trial responsibility in a wide variety of food and general commercial matters, in U.S. and foreign court and arbitral tribunals.

He is one of the founders of the California State Bar's Food Law Committee, promoting education, awareness and practice development of an emerging body of food law and regulation. Chris co-hosts an annual food law conference, and is a frequent speaker on a wide variety of food law issues.



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


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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