Chris Koa

Chris Koa

Of Counsel



Chris has over 20 years of experience with domestic and international software-as-a-service, software licensing, software development, open source, IT services, e-commerce, IP, strategic sourcing, privacy, data security, data breach response and other technology transactions matters from both customer and provider perspectives, as well as M&A deals, M&A integration matters, joint ventures, venture capital financings, equity public offerings including IPOs and other corporate transactions.

Chris also serves as a Board member of ArtsFund and has contributed 100+ hours of pro bono services each year since joining Dorsey 4+ years ago in addition to driving diversity initiatives.

Before joining Dorsey, Chris served in a broad range of in-house counsel and business-side positions focused on technology transactions and corporate transactional matters including at Microsoft, Dell and BP.

Chris clerked for Federal District Court Judge Edward J. Schwartz in San Diego before entering private practice with Wilson Sonsini in Silicon Valley and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in San Francisco.

Chris received his J.D. from New York University Law School, where he was elected as Class Representative, Senior Editor of the Journal of International Law & Politics and Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Organization. Chris also received an M.P.A. from the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and B.A. from Carleton College.

Education & Admissions

New York University School of Law (J.D.), Elected Class Representative, Senior Editor, Journal of International Law & Politics; Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Organization

Princeton University (M.P.A., Public & International Affairs)

Carleton College (B.A., English Literature)


  • California
  • Washington


  • Spanish (conversational), Mandarin Chinese (introductory)


  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Honorable Edward J. Schwartz


Representative Work

Business Experience

  • Immediately before joining Dorsey, Chris served as IT / M&A Transactions Counsel at BP Americas, where he was responsible for the IT legal aspects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures including drafting and negotiating asset and share purchase agreements and transition services agreements for multiple international business units within BP in addition to technology transactions including cloud computing, software licensing and other strategic outsourcing matters. Chris also served as the primary lead for various digital security matters, including leading sensitive data breach matters in coordination with privacy/regulatory specialists.
  • He also previously acquired business-side experience as an investment banker with WR Hambrecht --focused on capital raising and M&A for emerging growth companies—in addition to business development, legal technologies and software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience with Marsh McLennan.

In-House Experience

  • Chris also previously held in-house counsel positions focused on technology transactions, IT and other corporate transactional work with Microsoft, Dell, Prudential Financial and start-up Kintana, Inc. During his in-house years, he served in multiple leadership roles with the Association of Corporate Counsel, where he served as Co-Chair of the Cloud Computing Subcommittee and was a frequent speaker on cloud computing, contract negotiation and drafting and other IT and business law matters. Chris is also very engaged with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and other diversity-related organizations

Representative Transactions

  • Negotiated Cloud Computing / Software-as-a-Service / SaaS Agreements on behalf of customers, providers and distributors/resellers.
  • Represented customers and providers in negotiating IT Services / IT Outsourcing matters.
  • Represented global company regarding information technology legal aspects of multiple $2+ Billion M&A / divestiture transactions including drafting and negotiating Asset/Share Purchase Agreements, Transition Services Agreements and Technology License Agreements (in-bound and out-bound licensing).
  • Served as lead provider-side corporate attorney enabling strategic business priorities and managing legal risks for Software-as-a-Service/Cloud Computing, IT Consulting, IT Outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing and Data Center Services matters.
  • Led Strategic Sourcing Technology Transactions and Licensing deals for global companies.
  • Advised senior management regarding digital/cyber security, intellectual property, liability, risk management, strategic and contract issues
  • Served as lead corporate attorney (in coordination with privacy specialists) in responding to multiple high risk data breaches.
  • Developed strategic alliances and licensing deals, provider and distributor deals, customer agreements, negotiation playbooks, intellectual property matters and development/delivery of IT Services.
  • Drafted and negotiated multi-billion dollar OEM software license agreements.
  • Advised and trained sales, marketing and business development executives on legal and business.
  • Serves as lead corporate attorney regarding driving M&A contractual and other legal-related integration strategies to help ensure ROI regarding multiple acquisitions.
  • Served as outside general counsel to dozens of emerging growth companies.
  • Led multiple Venture Capital financing transactions.
  • Negotiated multiple M&A transactions.
  • Advised regarding multiple IPOs and follow-on equity public offerings.
  • Served as business-side Investment Banking advisor to define and execute on capital raising and M&A exit strategies.

News & Resources

Select Presentations

  • NAPABA Annual Convention, “The Global Proliferation of Cloud Computing:  Managing the Explosion of Potential Risks,” New Orleans, LA, November 2015
  • NAPABA Central Regional Conference, “Cloud Computing:  What Public Sector and In-House Counsel Need to Know about Privacy, Security, and Compliance in the Cloud,” Minneapolis, MN, September 2015
  • Texas Bar CLE Advanced In-house Counsel CLE, “Software Agreements – Buyer and Seller Perspectives,” August 2015
  • University of Texas Law School Technology Law Conference, “Cloud Computing: Critical Business, Technology, Legal, and Regulatory Considerations and Negotiation Strategies”, May 2015
  • Practicing Law Institute, “Cloud Computing 2015: Key Issues and Practical Guidance,” May 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, “Looking at Cloud Contracts from Both Sides Now: Negotiating Key Elements from Customer and Provider Perspectives,” Oct. 2014
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, Moderator, “Drafting & Negotiating Non-Disclosure Agreements,” Oct. 2013
  • Practicing Law Institute, Annual Privacy & Data Security Conference, “Commercial Cloud Computing,” June 2012
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Annual Convention, Moderator, "Legal Strategies for Sustaining Corporate Growth through Successful M&A Integration," Nov. 2011
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Austin Chapter, “Cloud Computing,” Sept. 2011
  • Licensing Executive Society Conference, Panelist, “Cloud Computing,” Feb. 2011
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, Moderator & Panelist, “Contract Drafting to Avoid Disputes and Inefficiency,” Oct. 2010

Industries & Practices

Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Blockchain & Digital Assets
  • Corporate Governance & Compliance
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
  • Emerging Companies
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • FinTech
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Technology
  • Technology Commerce

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • ArtsFund
    • Board Member
  • Association of Corporate Counsel
    • National Co-Chair, Cloud Computing Subcommittee
    • Houston Chapter Board Member, Chair of IT Privacy & E-Commerce Practice Group and Chair of Legal Services Management / Value Challenge Group 
    • Austin Chapter President Elect, Board Member & Chair of Pro Bono Committee
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
    • Co-Chair, Young Lawyers & Voting Rights Committees
  • Austin Asian American Bar Association 
    • Board Member & Chair, Education Committee  
  • Houston Asian American Bar Association 
    • Board Member
  • Chinese Software Professionals Association 
    • General Counsel & Corporate Secretary  
Chris Koa