Chambers USA has described Morgan Chu as “beyond doubt the most gifted trial lawyer in the USA” who “delivers staggering results for clients.”
Morgan was co-managing partner of the firm for a maximum two terms from 1997 to 2003 and is presently chair of the Litigation practice group.
Morgan joined Irell & Manella LLP as an associate in 1977 and became a partner in 1982.
- Morgan argued and won a 9-0 U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s position that applicants who appeal to a district court must pay the agency’s legal bills (Peter v. NantKwest).
- Morgan was lead counsel for Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Juno Therapeutics against Kite Pharma winning a jury verdict and $1.2 billion judgment.
Morgan was lead trial counsel in some of the world’s largest—and, in some cases, precedent-setting—verdicts, judgments and settlements, resulting in actual payments totaling more than $9 billion, including:
- City of Hope v. Genentech. The jury verdict was the largest damages award ever affirmed on appeal by California courts. More than $565 million was paid by the defendant.
- TiVo v. EchoStar, et al. $1.7 billion in judgments and settlements, including over $600 million paid by EchoStar after the jury verdict and post-trial proceedings; TiVo v. Motorola and TiVo v. Cisco. $490 million; TiVo v. AT&T. $215 million; TiVo v. Verizon. $250 million, plus future royalties.
- Stac Electronics v. Microsoft. $120 million jury verdict.
- Immersion v. Sony. After the jury verdict of $82 million, plaintiff was paid more than $150 million.
- Texas Instruments v. Samsung. Settlement over $1 billion from ITC and district court actions (co-lead counsel).
Morgan has also secured top defense verdicts, including:
- Linear Technology v. Novellus Systems. A unanimous jury verdict in favor of Novellus on all of the plaintiff's causes of action—including breach of contract and good faith and fair dealing—in a matter recognized as one of the “Top Defense Verdicts of 2010."
- Ultratech Stepper Inc. v. ASML. One of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts of 2005,” in which the jury found plaintiff’s patent invalid by clear and convincing evidence.
- Boole & Babbage v. Candle Corporation. First trial involving a patent on computer software in 1986, where the jury invalidated the patent.
- “Top Ten Trial Lawyers” in the nation, National Law Journal (describing Morgan as a “giant killer”)
- One of 40 selected as "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" for 2000-2009 by National Law Journal (2010)
- “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by National Law Journal (1994-present; describing Morgan as “an innovator, with a penchant for reversing trends,” along with “extensive pro bono work”)
- Named “Number One Super Lawyer in Southern California,” receiving highest vote total in the first poll of 65,000 lawyers, by Los Angeles Magazine (2004; describing Morgan as relishing the thrill of “the quixotic challenge of an impossible case”)
- 10 "Most Admired Attorneys,” IP Law360 (2010)
- “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal (1993-present; describing Morgan as “brilliant, innovative, indefatigable, and unflappable. The kind of guy you can imagine performing his own appendectomy”)
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Featured in Best Lawyers in America (in nine categories: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Patent, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Information Technology Law, Patent Law and Technology Law), Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in American Law
- No. 1 IP lawyer in California in 2003-04, according to Chambers Global
- “Top 10 Most Influential Lawyers in California,” California Law Business (1999)
- One of the “Who’s Who in Technology” of “Top Most Influential People in Los Angeles Internet Industry Companies” by Los Angeles Business Journal (1998)
- One of the “Top 20 Lawyers in Los Angeles Firms,” California Law Business (1994)
- “1994 Executive of the Year in Law,” Los Angeles Business Journal
- The “Dream Team” law firm, California Law Business (1992)
- One of the top intellectual property lawyers in a survey of clients and lawyers, California Lawyer (1992)
- “Top 45 Lawyers Under 45” in the United States, The American Lawyer
- “Top Players in High-Tech Intellectual Property” based on a national survey by National Law Journal (1991)
- Recipient of the Significant Achievement Award for Excellence and Innovation in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from the Center for Public Resources (1987)
- Featured in article “Up and Coming” by The American Lawyer, describing his role in “precedent-setting” litigation (1986)
- One of 10 “New Superstars” in a survey by Legal Times of Washington (1983)
Professional Activities and Other Awards
- President, Harvard Board of Overseers (2014-2015) and Board Member (2009-2015)
- Honorary doctoral degree, City of Hope Graduate School of Biological Science (2009)
- Chair, City of Hope National Medical Center Board of Directors (2017-present); Chair, City of Hope Medical Foundation (2017-present); City of Hope Board of Directors (2017-present)
- Member, Board of Directors of Public Counsel (1993-present) and its Executive Committee (1995-present). Public Counsel is the nation's largest pro bono public interest law firm.
- UCLA Medal, "the highest accolade for exceptional achievement that the University of California, Los Angeles may bestow upon an individual" (2007)
- UCLA School of Law Commencement Speaker (2008)
- Learned Hand Award, "the highest honor the American Jewish Committee bestows upon a member of the legal profession who has been a voice of understanding and goodwill" (2003)
- Morgan previously served on the Board of Governors of the University of California, Los Angeles Foundation. He was also an adjunct professor of law at UCLA School of Law and served as a judge pro tem.
- Irell Scores $752M Jury Award for Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Juno Therapeutics12.2019
Harvard Law School (J.D., 1976), magna cum laude
Yale University (M.S.L., 1974)
University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1971; M.A., 1972; Ph.D., 1973)
- Hon. Charles M. Merrill, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit