• The University of Chicago (J.D., 1996), cum laude; Member of The University of Chicago Law Review
  • Stanford University (B.A., Economics, 1993), with honors and distinction; Phi Beta Kappa

Charles E. (“Chad”) Elder has 20 years of experience in a wide variety of complex business disputes, with an emphasis on antitrust and securities litigation.  He has represented companies and individual executives in many high-profile matters, including class actions, government investigations, and stockholder derivative claims.  He currently heads Irell’s Antitrust practice group.  

In addition to representing clients, Mr. Elder has lectured on antitrust and securities litigation topics, has been quoted by a variety of publications including The New York Times on noteworthy legal matters, and has served as a neutral mediator in complex business litigation.

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Representative Matters

  • Won a judgment of dismissal in a federal securities class action brought against Tesla Motors and Elon Musk, challenging their statements regarding the safety of the Model S electric car.  The court held that Tesla's and Musk's statements about Model S safety were neither false nor misleading.  Mr. Elder is also leading the defense in the pending appeal. 
  • Successfully represented video game publisher THQ Inc. in a series of lawsuits regarding THQ’s joint venture with JAKKS Pacific to publish games under license from World Wrestling Entertainment.  Mr. Elder was lead counsel in a lawsuit in which JAKKS accused THQ of fraud and mismanagement.  Mr. Elder won the case at trial and on appeal; the court found that the testimony of JAKKS’ key expert witness "disintegrated" on Mr. Elder’s cross-examination at trial.  Mr. Elder won two binding arbitration hearings against JAKKS and also won summary judgment (and the subsequent appeal) in a lawsuit brought by WWE. 
  • Lead antitrust counsel for Tessera, Inc., a global leader in the development and licensing of semiconductor packaging technology, in an antitrust and patent lawsuit it filed against two major memory chip manufacturers, Micron and Infineon.  Shortly after Mr. Elder defeated their summary judgment motions aimed at the antitrust claims, Micron and Infineon agreed to settle the case by paying a substantial up-front amount plus ongoing royalties.
  • Successfully represented the former Chairman and CEO of Countrywide Financial Corporation, Angelo Mozilo, in a number of different matters, including a civil suit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, shareholder class actions, and consumer lawsuits, arising from the well-publicized disruption of the mortgage banking industry.  Mr. Elder was a lead member of the Irell team that successfully obtained the settlement of all claims against Mr. Mozilo in the shareholder class actions without any personal contribution, the outright dismissal of a number of consumer actions, and the settlement of the SEC's lawsuit on terms widely lauded by the media as favorable to Mr. Mozilo. 
  • Won a judgment of dismissal in a federal securities class action against Calavo Growers, a food products company, in which the court rejected the plaintiffs' claims that Calavo intentionally applied the wrong accounting treatment to an earnout provision in a merger agreement.  The matter is currently on appeal. 
  • Lead counsel defending ConstructConnect, a provider of construction project data, in a lawsuit filed by its largest competitor, who has alleged antitrust, unfair competition, trademark infringement and other related claims.
  • Lead counsel for Genstar Capital, a private equity firm, in a lawsuit brought by a former stockholder in a Genstar portfolio company regarding that company's failure to hit financial targets for an earnout payment.
  • Defended the officers of MGM Resorts International in a putative class action alleging securities fraud in connection with the construction of the CityCenter project in Las Vegas.  The matter settled on terms highly favorable to our clients.
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Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California