Christopher P. Berka - Perkins Coie LLP

Christopher P. Berka

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2009

Chris Berka is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with a practice focusing on environmental, real estate, energy, natural resources, product liability and contract matters. He has resolved more than two hundred cases for clients in a range of industries and sectors, including technology, aerospace, oil and natural gas, wind energy, real estate development, pharmaceuticals, higher education, transportation, news media, mining and consumer products.

In addition to his litigation practice, Chris has had extensive experience handling business transactions and regulatory proceedings before federal, state and local government agencies overseeing the investigation and remediation of environmental conditions, public health and safety and land use.

The Legal 500 cites Chris as “client focused, cost-conscious and strategy driven.” As a writer, he has published more than 300 articles in legal publications on topics ranging from civil procedure to environmental law.

Stanford UniversityBA 1976University of Michigan Law SchoolJ.D. 1980
American Bar AssociationStanford Law SchoolSanta Clara County Bar AssociationSanta Clara County Superior Court

Case History

  • Three-month jury trial defending energy industry client against claims of fraud, breach of contract and environmental pollution. Resulted in complete defense verdict and award of client’s costs. In a subsequent action, the client’s legal fees and expert witness expenses were recovered from the opposing party under an indemnity agreement. The National Law Journal listed the case among the top twenty defense verdicts in the United States in the year in which the case was tried.
  • Six-week jury trial representing real estate owners in action against lessee who had polluted the client’s property with industrial waste. The National Law Journal featured the case as the most significant environmental trial of the year, with national significance on issues relating to environmental torts.
  • Three-week jury trial representing a real estate developer against its liability insurer to recover environmental cleanup costs and lost profits resulting from construction delays caused by a soil remediation project. The opposing party stipulated to a judgment in favor of the client while the jury was deliberating after the presentation of evidence and closing argument.
  • Defended a wind energy developer in a federal court lawsuit involving a dispute over the allocation of profits from a wind energy project; succeeded in obtaining partial dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) and judgment on all remaining claims under Rule 56; judgment for the client was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
Regulatory and Transactional Matters
  • Compliance with legal requirements for brownfield developments on industrial and former oil-producing sites
  • Compliance with hazardous waste disposal regulations
  • Identifying and allocating environmental liabilities in the purchase and sale of businesses and the leasing of commercial property
  • Investigation and remediation of soil, groundwater and indoor air affected by hazardous substances

Office Location

3150 Porter Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1212
United States

Practice Areas

Environmental Law
Litigation - Environmental