Christopher J. Bakes


Christopher Bakes is a partner who practices in the offices of Lewis Brisbois on both coasts – Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Admitted to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, he is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice. Chris is recognized nationally for the breadth and depth of his practice, the high profile of his cases, matters and transaction, and the results he has obtained in a range of industries, from tech and entertainment to construction and real estate.

He is also recognized for his extensive résumé of pro bono work, including pioneering litigation advocating for gay men and lesbians’ right to serve in the armed forces of the United States, litigation advancing child protection and safety, and multiple initiatives advancing music and reading literacy in underserved communities in Sacramento, San Francisco, and East Palo Alto. Chris chaired the appointed committee whose work resulted in the San Francisco Giants’ current ballpark, and chaired the committee that oversaw the founding and opening of Cristo Rey High School, Sacramento, a school operated for the benefit of those families with incomes under the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

As a trial lawyer, Christopher has represented the largest companies in the world, doing so in courts across California and the United States. He has litigated information technology and intellectual property disputes, health care contracts, government contracts and contracting, actions involving significant federal and state statutes, research and development (R&D) contracts, and major construction and real estate development contracts. He has litigated multiple matters of first impression in both state and federal courts, and is known for the size, complexity and high-profile of his cases. 

Christopher’s representation of individuals includes large and complex headline cases, ranging from representation of creative talent in the entertainment industry to elected officeholders and C-level executives.

Christopher is also committed to the development and formation of new attorneys. He is an invited faculty member at the New York State Bar Association’s Trial Academy, held annually. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association.

Christopher is a former United States Navy JAG officer, serving both in the continental United States (San Diego) as a trial defense counsel in general and special courts-martial, and with Allied Forces South (Italy), as Staff Judge Advocate onboard USS Orion (AS-18), serving both the ship and Commander Submarine Group Eight (Naples). Christopher received his military legal training at the Naval Justice School, Newport, Rhode Island.

Legal Experience

  • United States Navy
  • Locke Lord LLP

Military Service

Officer, Judge Advocate General's Corps., United States Navy

Community Activities

  • Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula
  • Cristo Rey High School
  • All Hallows Concerts

Past Affiliations

  • Chair, Cristo Rey High School Sacramento Feasibility Study
  • Founding Board President, Cristo Rey High School, Sacramento
  • Lead counsel, Watson v. Perry (Secretary of the Navy)
  • Board member, East Palo Alto Boys and Girls Club
  • Chair, music literacy programs for poor and marginalized communities in Sacramento
  • Volunteer, jobs and employment outreach, Alemany Projects, San Francisco
  • Volunteer, youth outreach, Visitacion Valley Projects and neighborhoods, San Francisco
  • Volunteer, attorneys’ and legal professionals’ reading literacy program for poor and marginalized youth, San Mateo County
  • Facilitator and volunteer, campaign to preserve and restore Catholic elementary education in marginalized communities in Sacramento and the rural Central Valley
  • Member, School Board, Diocese of Sacramento


  • State Bar Admissions
    • California
    • District of Columbia
    • New York
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the Central District of California
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court



New York

District of Columbia

United States Supreme Court

All California Districts

Southern District of New York

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Second Circuit Court of Appeals


  • ABA
  • Federal Bar Association
  • The Federalist Society

Awards & Honors

  • American Jurisprudence Award
  • Navy Achievement Medal


University of San Francisco

Juris Doctor

University of San Francisco

Bachelor of Arts, Economics

United States Navy Military Justice School

Representative Matters

Dana Cheng et al. v. Dan Neumann et al. (Case No. 22-1124 1st Cir. 2022)

  • Chris Bakes’s oral argument before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, September 12, 2022. Chris and partner Bryan P. Sugar represent a national media company on First Amendment issues.

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