Gregory P. O'Hara

Greg O’Hara is a partner in Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office. He previously served as the Silicon Valley office managing partner. He has a diverse practice that includes corporate advisory, complex litigation, outside investigations and implementing compliance programs. Greg’s role with clients is as a business advisor as well as a legal advisor.

What do you focus on?

I focus on technology and energy companies from startup to middle market. In addition, I advise clients on all aspects of corporate, finance and IP matters.

What do you see on the horizon?

Clients want and deserve value from their lawyers, not just legal advice. Our clients will use us more and more because we provide solutions in the context of their business and add to the success of their company.

Representative Litigation Matters

  • Pierced the corporate veil of related companies with commingled books and operations
  • Defended accounting firm regarding claims of improper professional practices
  • Investigate fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and improper loan activities for bank in state of Washington
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of partnership accounting claim against national law firm
  • Investigate improper lending practices and director/officer negligence for bank in Southern California
  • Tried to defense judgment claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty made by shareholders against officers and directors of SEC-reporting REIT
  • Defeated class certification and defended underlying lawsuit in asbestos toxic tort action
  • Defended directors and officer of technology company in lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty and fraud brought by former employees
  • Advise officers and directors of fiduciary obligations in an insolvent company
  • Advise officers and directors of duties to creditors and others in corporate reorganization
  • Defend corporate affiliates against allegations of piercing the corporate veil
  • Defend real estate construction loan against allegations brought by investors for violation of Sarbanes-Oxley, fraud, and deceit
  • Defense judgment of business tort/contract lawsuit on behalf of national advertising company
  • Defense judgment of age discrimination and contract lawsuit on behalf of securities brokerage firm
  • Defense trial of harassment and workplace violence lawsuit on behalf of electronics manufacturer
  • Represented a truck manufacturer in personal injury lawsuits
  • Represented numerous businesses in class action toxic tort lawsuit
  • Represented title insurance company in trade secrets theft litigation
  • Represented national auto leasing company in trade secrets litigation
  • Represented national hotel chain in trademark infringement litigation
  • Represent CEO and director in multi-million dollar commercial litigation matter involving breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty allegations concerning a venture-funded startup
  • Represented the board of directors and president of an SEC-reporting real estate investment trust and obtained a defense judgment against allegations of securities fraud, common law fraud, and violation of the California Corporations Code
  • Represent a courier-service corporation in a jury trial involving allegations of fraud, bias, and wrongful termination
  • Represent a water pipe manufacturer involving allegations of breach of warranty, negligence, breach of contract, and Unfair Business Practices.
  • Represent officers and employees in defense of trade secret and Unfair Business Practices allegations in litigation
  • Represent a technology company in defense of a jury trial involving employment termination
  • Represent construction company in defense of court trial regarding complex development and construction agreements
  • Represent CEO and director in contract dispute concerning IP development agreement, including allegations of corporate ultra virus acts
  • Represent founder and shareholder of venture finance consulting company in shareholder dispute concerning ownership and buy-sell agreement
  • Represent technology startup in litigation with former CEO regarding breach of fiduciary duty and usurping corporate opportunity
  • Represent founder of distribution company defending allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and fraudulent transfer of corporate assets
  • Represent chemical manufacturer in complex litigation involving international trade agreement with foreign corporation
  • Represented several minority shareholders in contentious corporate litigation to remove CEO controlling shareholder

Representative Corporate Matters

  • Corporate formation and venture financing for startup companies
  • Structure and negotiate mergers and acquisitions
  • Negotiate term sheets for venture financing
  • Develop and implement strategies for roll-ups
  • Structure, negotiate, and document ESOP buyouts
  • Down round and washout financing rounds
  • Negotiate management buyouts
  • Negotiate and structure strategic investments
  • Negotiate and structure executive employment agreements
  • Counsel directors regarding fiduciary obligations
  • Counsel businesses in corporate governance and IP
  • Negotiate and complete sales of private companies to public companies
  • Negotiate NRE contracts
  • Negotiate workouts with institutional lenders
  • Develop and draft strategic alliance and marketing agreements for technology companies
  • Counsel companies regarding trade secret protection
  • Draft trade secret compliance programs


  • “Trade Secret Protection: An Analysis of the Concept Efforts Reasonable Under the Circumstances to Maintain Secrecy,” 5 Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal 321
  • “Minimizing Exposure to Environmental Liabilities for Corporate Officers, Directors, Shareholders and Successors,” Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Journal
  • “Parent Corporation and Shareholder Liability,” The Environmental Counsel
  • “The Emerging Law of Nuisance Liability for Landowners Arising from Contamination,” Shepard’s California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter
  • “Environmental Compliance is the New Cost of Doing Business,” San Jose Business Journal
  • “Management Can Reduce Risk With a Compliance Audit,” San Jose Business Journal
  • “Selecting an Environmental Consultant for Commercial Real Estate Transactions,” Commercial Real Estate Institute Journal Books
  • Clean Air Act Compliance & Enforcement Manual (with W. Hamel), Shepard’s, 1993
  • California Environmental Law and Land Use, (Contributing author), Matthew Bender, 1992

Starbucks Can Use Agency Finding To Defend Prop 65 Suit

Law360 | July 15, 2020

This article covering recent developments in CERT v. Starbucks, et al., mentions San Francisco Complex Commercial Disputes partner Greg O’Hara and counsel Lauren Michals for representing Kroger and Ralphs Grocery in the case. During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge denied motions for summary adjudication, explaining that defendants can use a recent California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment regulation to defend against allegations they violated a state cancer warning requirement.


Gregory P. O'Hara


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8248

Fax: 866-294-5752

Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, B.S., cum laude


Gregory was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 in the field of Energy Law. Gregory has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Greg has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in the 2014 Northern California Super Lawyers magazine and in previous years since 2008. Inclusion in Super Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey. Greg has also received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

Greg is a Committee Member of Second Harvest Food Bank; Board Member of Sacred Heart Community Service; Member, National Tool and Machine Association Rotary Club of San Jose. Other affiliations include:

  • Member, Board of Advisors, Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal
  • Instructor, University of California at Santa Cruz, Extension Course, 1995–2004
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter
  • Member (former Chair), Executive Committee, Environmental Law Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association
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