Eduardo Santacana is a partner in the Litigation Department of the San Francisco office. On behalf of his clients, he uses his diverse experience and advocacy skills to develop winning strategies in complex cases litigated in federal and state courts, in arbitration, and before immigration judges. He represents a broad range of clients, including public entities, technology companies, class action defendants, and pro bono clients.

Eduardo has served as an active member of several trial teams in commercial disputes, successfully representing clients in consumer fraud class actions and cases arising out of contract disputes and allegations of fraud. And, in 2018, he secured a complete victory in arbitration for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority against the Golden State Warriors for the Warriors’ refusal to pay $50 million in debt remaining on their stadium lease.

He has also represented a variety of innovative companies in intellectual property cases, including defending medical device companies in patent cases brought by competitors and successfully securing complete dismissal of a copyright suit against a video game developer. Eduardo devotes substantial time to his pro bono practice. He has successfully represented a San Francisco prisoner who was subjected to excessive force by prison guards, immigration clients and asylum seekers, and plaintiffs in a class action challenging the Trump Administration’s January 2017 “travel ban.”

From 2019 to 2021, Eduardo served as a commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial chartered body of San Francisco that hears appeals from city permitting decisions and certain city enforcement actions. Eduardo was appointed by Mayor London Breed and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors in 2019 and again in 2020.

He previously served as a law clerk for the Hon Jon S. Tigar of the Northern District of California and the Hon. Cornelia T.L. Pillard of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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  • The Recorder, Lawyers on the Fast Track, 2023
  • Daily Journal, Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers, 2023
  • Super Lawyers, Northern California Super Lawyer-Rising Star, 2020-2022
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2024
  • Board Member, Legal Aid at Work
  • Board Member, Urban Alchemy
  • Commissioner, San Francisco Board of Appeals (2019 - 2021)
  • Board Member, American Constitution Society, Bay Area Lawyer Chapter
  • Authored, “Beyond Fair Use: Legal Risk Evaluation for Training LLMs on Copyrighted Text”, for the International Conference on Machine Learning (July 29, 2023)
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Arista Networks, Inc.: Defended Arista Networks in this groundbreaking case which raised the important question of whether and to what extent functional computer commands merit copyright protection. Cisco accused Arista, run by a former Cisco vice president, of copyright infringement for the use of more than 500 commands used to configure network switches. Cisco also accused Arista of infringing two patents, one of which it dismissed before trial. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Arista’s favor on both the copyright and patent claims.
  • Golden State Warriors, Inc. v. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority: Represented the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority in this arbitration centering on the Golden State Warriors’ decision to leave the Oracle Arena without paying the remainder of the debt service owed under the lease. Our trial team secured a complete victory from the Arbitrator, ensuring the approximately $50 million in remaining debt will be paid by the Warriors.
  • Downey v. Public Storage and Perez v. Public Storage: Represented the United States’ largest self-storage operator, Public Storage, in two class actions filed in California alleging violations of Business & Professions Code Section 17200 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Obtained a complete victory in the trial court and again on appeal in Downey v. Public Storage, a consumer fraud class action. Defeated class certification in the Downey case in May 2018 and won a complete defense verdict in the Perez case at trial—one of only a handful of class action trials recently conducted in California.
  • Riot Games, Inc. v. Shanghai Moonton Technology Co. Ltd.: Represented Moonton, a Chinese video game developer, in a lawsuit filed by Riot Games asserting claims of copyright and trademark infringement relating to Riot’s League of Legends video game. A motion to dismiss based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens, argued that Riot should be required to pursue its claims in China because its lawsuit was intertwined with and inconsistent with a pending Chinese lawsuit filed by Riot’s parent company, Tencent. The Court granted the motion and dismissed the lawsuit.
  • Ethicon v. Intuitive Surgical: Defended Intuitive Surgical against patent infringement allegations targeting Ethicon’s surgical staplers and endocutters used with Intuitive’s Da Vinci robotic surgical systems.
  • LLE One LLC v. Facebook, Inc.: Defended Facebook against a putative class action alleging the company misled advertisers with erroneous advertiser metrics, and asserting claims for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, breach of contract, and common law fraud.
  • Glaukos v. Ivantis: Represented Ivantis, Inc., the maker of a revolutionary eye stent designed to treat glaucoma, in a case brought by competitor Glaukos Corporation alleging infringement of two of Glaukos’s patents. The case is pending in the Central District of California.

* These matters were handled prior to joining Willkie.



Harvard Law School, J.D., 2011 University of California, Berkeley, Exchange Program, 2011 Harvard College, B.A., 2008


Hon. Cornelia T.L. Pillard, United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit Hon. Jon S. Tigar, United States District Court, Northern District of California