Chris is a trusted advisor for clients in business, sports and entertainment.
Chris serves as outside general counsel for his clients, coordinating the right team of expert advocates to find solutions and achieve objectives while adding value. Much like a quarterback, Chris helps develop the game plan and strategy, whether clients are seeking to protect intellectual property, securing legacy through non-profit formation or estate planning. He leads the charge with the end-goals in mind. Chris represents clients using his dispute resolution experience paired with his legal team’s diverse practice strengths—a multi-faceted combination that meets his clients’ unique needs.
Chris’ clients range from start-up entrepreneurs to nationally recognized athletes and businesses. He is committed to pro bono work and leads the firm’s inclusion & diversity initiatives. Chris is co-chair of Fredrikson & Byron’s Sports & Entertainment Group.
Sports & Entertainment
- Represent collegiate athletes in connection with name, image, and likeness (NIL) matters.
- Represent Olympic track-and-field athlete in connection with contract matters.
- Represent NBA players in connection with estate planning, non-profit organization formation, drafting/negotiating prenuptial agreements, limited liability company formation and reviewing/negotiating marketing agreements.
- Represent sports medicine facility with various contract disputes.
- Represent start-up tech company, mobile bar companies, and restaurants.
- Represent multiple recording artists in connection with reviewing Record Label Agreement, Management Agreement, Licensing Agreement and Production Agreement.
- Serve as corporate counsel for professional athlete management company, and national entertainment and management company.
- Represent private security companies with licensing and employment matters.
- Represent hospitality clients in connection with liquor licensing, intellectual property protections, partnership agreements, lease agreements, and franchise agreements.
- Advise national DJ pursuing intellectual property protections.
- Represented multi-platinum recording artist in an action for False Endorsement and False Designation of Origin under the Lanham Act and violation of the right of publicity.
- Represented apparel company in connection with licensing agreement with NFL player.
- Represented client in connection with Life Story Option Agreement.
- Procured favorable settlements/dismissals in connection with state court lawsuits on behalf of the estate of a world-renowned, music icon.
- Defended nightclub/concert venue against claims of alleged fraud and breach of contract.
- Defend global company in copyright infringement lawsuit involving alleged damages of over $1 billion.
- Defend public company in breach of contract and negligence lawsuit involving alleged damages over $1.5 million.
- Represent claimant in FINRA Arbitration involving claims of unsuitability and unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and negligence.
- Served as counsel for Special Litigation Committees retained by public companies, and private, family-owned company.
- Obtained dismissal of $100+ million shareholder derivative claim in FINRA Arbitration.
- Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of client involved in a complex, multi-party, dispute with parallel proceedings – arbitration and state court – regarding alleged claims of fraud, defamation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, conversion, and tortious interference.
- Procured favorable resolution on behalf of client in connection with a Minnesota Department of Commerce investigation relating to a customer complaint for alleged unauthorized transactions.
- Successfully obtained expungement of certain references to client’s registration records maintained by the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”).
- Defended client in shareholder derivative lawsuit involving claims of alleged sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and breach of fiduciary duty, and ultimately obtained dismissal following the issuance of the Special Litigation Committee Report.
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law, J.D., 2009, cum laude
- Chapman University, M.A., 2006
- University of Minnesota, B.A., 2004
- Minnesota, 2009
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2009
- 40 Under 40 Honoree, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2021
- Attorney of the Year, Group Recognition, Minnesota Lawyer, 2019
- Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leader, Diversity MBA Magazine, 2019
- Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2018
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Rising Star — Securities Litigation, 2015-present
- North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013-2018, 2021
- Diversity Award, Hennepin County Bar Association, 2013
- Leonard E. Lindquist Pro Bono Award, 2013
- Pro Bono Spirit Award, 2012
Civic & Professional
- University of Minnesota Law School, Adjunct Professor, Sports & NIL Clinic
- Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter, Co-Vice President, Diversity Committee
- American Bar Association, Member
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
- Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Member
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Board of Trustees, 2018-present
- Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Board of Directors, 2011-2017, 2022-present; Emerging Leaders Group, Co-Chair, 2011-2017; and Member, 2011-present
- Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Volunteer Attorney, 2012-present
- University of St. Thomas Law Mentor Program, Mentor, 2019-present
- Greater Twin Cities United Way, Leadership Council, 2021-present
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Access to Justice Subcommittee Member, 2020-present
- Legal Access Point, Legal Clinic Volunteer, 2019-2022
- YouthLink, Legal Clinic Volunteer, 2010-2020
- Hennepin County Housing Court Project, Legal Clinic Volunteer, 2010-2020
- Cookie Cart, Board of Directors, 2012-2015
- Volunteer Lawyers Network, Letters to Creditors Volunteer Attorney, 2012-2014
- Tubman Safety Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2012-2014
- YMCA, Downtown Community Board of Directors, 2011-2014
News & Insights
Publications & Presentations
Quoted, “For new workers in Minnesota, networking is all part of the game,” Star Tribune, November 13, 2022
Presenter, “IP Spotlight – The University of Minnesota’s New Sports and NIL Clinic,” 2022 Midwest IP Institute CLE, September 29, 2022
Featured, “Breaking the Ice: Networking events connect diverse professionals,” Minnesota Lawyer, September 15, 2022
Quoted, "High school athletes' new sponsorship options kick up debate among coaches," MPR News, August 24, 2022
Panelist, “Community Conversation: AAPI Heritage Month,” Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, May 20, 2021
Quoted, “The Future of Work,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, April 22, 2021
Featured, “2021 40 Under 40: Fredrikson & Byron's Chris Pham is advocate for inclusion, equity,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, April 20, 2021
Speaker, “Nonprofit Board Service: What New Lawyers Need to Know,” Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter, April 20, 2021
Panelist, “Diversity and Working through Difference,” Hennepin County Bar Association Institute for Leadership in the Legal Profession, March 31, 2021
Co-Presenter, “Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace: Going Beyond a Policy!” Fredrikson & Byron’s Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 27, 2020
Featured, “Keeping the Fire Going,” Minnesota State Bar Association Bench & Bar, December 30, 2019
Featured, “Pro Bono Case Leads to Changes in St. Paul Schools,” Minnesota Lawyer, December 18, 2018
Featured, “Profiles in Practice,” Hennepin Lawyer, November/December 2018
Featured, “Minnesota Attorney Christopher Pham Helps Elevate Your Network,” Rollingout, February 5, 2018
Co-Author, “The Effects of New York’s New Cyber Security Law," FredNEWS: Bank & Finance, September 1, 2017
Featured, “How This Young Attorney is Bringing Professionals Together in the Twin Cities,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, August 15, 2017
Featured, “The Future is Diverse. Is Your Company?” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, July 21, 2017
Panelist, “Diversity in Business,” Minneapolis-St. Paul Business JournalForum, July 13, 2017
“New York’s New Cybersecurity Regulation: What’s the Impact?,” FredNEWS: Investment Management, May 2017
Panelist, “Annual Meeting Panel Discussion,” Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, April 12, 2017
Panelist, “Diversity and Working Through Difference,” Hennepin County Bar Association Law Firm Leadership Program, April 2017
Co-Author, “Lien-In: The Use and Abuse of Marital Liens,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota, July 2013
“Championing Diversity in the Twin Cities,” Minneapolis University Rotary Club, July 1, 2013