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Gordon C. Young

Gordon C. Young
Education
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1991
B.A., St. Mary’s College, 1988
Partner

Gordon Young is a seasoned trial lawyer with three decades of experience litigating cases for Fortune 500 companies, banks, trustees, individuals, and investment advisors. These cases include securities, trusts & estates, probate, employment, unfair competition, trade secret, and personal injury cases in court and arbitration.  Gordon has been recognized every year since 2007 as a Northern California SuperLawyer for his work in securities litigation, since 2012 by Best Lawyers for his work in products liability litigation, and he has been peer rated AV Preeminent (the highest rating possible) by Martindale Hubble for more than 15 years.  Gordon has successfully handled hundreds of cases and tried or arbitrated more than 80 cases to conclusion.  

Before forming Barr & Young with his longtime friend Loren Barr, Gordon spent more than two decades practicing with an international law firm in San Francisco, where he served in various leadership roles. 

Gordon graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1988 where he served as student body vice president and played four years of collegiate rugby. He graduated in December 1991 from the University of San Francisco School of Law. While at USF, Gordon was chosen by a panel of judges that included California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin, Ninth Circuit Judge Cecil F. Poole, and USDC for the Northern District of California Vaughn R. Walker as the winner of the school-wide moot court competition.

Gordon resides in Orinda with his wife and five children. He has served on the advisory boards of Santa Maria Catholic Church in Orinda, St. Perpetua School in Lafayette and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Oakland-East Bay.

Representative Matters

  • Defended a 13-day bench trial defending a national insurance brokerage against unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secret claims brought by a competitor.  The court dismissed the trade secret case at the conclusion of the competitor’s case, and ultimately awarded the competitor damages representing fewer than 5 cents on the dollar of the amount requested in closing.
  • Prosecuted a breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful termination claims in trust-related litigation involving a 9-figure trust that owned a regional bank.
  • Defended a FINRA registered representative who was being investigated for alleged false statements on his Form U-4 and U-5.  The matter closed with no penalty, fine or censure.
  • Prosecuted a trust claim on behalf of two beneficiaries resulting in a temporary restraining order against the trustee who subsequently resigned after allegedly squandering $1.9 million of trust funds.
  • Obtained a defense award in a FINRA arbitration on behalf of a national broker-dealer in a claim arising from a public customer’s substantial investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock.  In addition to ruling in favor of the broker-dealer, the FINRA arbitration panel also recommended expungement of the claim from the professional records of the two licensed professionals named in the claim.     
  • Litigated a multi-million dollar trust dispute in Contra Costa County on behalf of two young adult beneficiaries who alleged the trustee mismanaged trust investments and was refusing to pay school tuitions.  The case was resolved in a settlement for the beneficiaries that included the trustee’s resignation and replacement with a professional fiduciary.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in the United States in a breach of contract claim where the Plaintiff sought $1.32 billion in alleged lost profit damages. Gordon argued the successful motion for summary judgment.
  • As lead counsel, Gordon obtained a defense award in a AAA arbitration on behalf of one of the largest banks in the United States in a $3.7 million claim arising from allegations that the bank’s trust/investment management department had breached its fiduciary duty by over-concentrating an irrevocable trust’s multi-million investment portfolio in market linked structured notes and other risky investments.
  • As lead counsel, Gordon obtained a defense award on behalf of a broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration in San Francisco arising from alleged losses of $1.2 million from alleged mismanagement of a publicly traded municipal bond mutual fund. In addition to ruling in the client’s favor, the arbitration panel also recommended expungement of the claim from the professional records of the broker-dealer’s licensed employees, including the mutual fund’s manager.
  • As lead counsel, Gordon led a team that obtained a directed verdict/dismissal on behalf of a Wall Street firm in a FINRA arbitration mass action in San Francisco arising from a failed investment in a high-tech Silicon Valley start-up. Claimants had sought damages of more than $2 million from the client.

Speaking Engagements

Communications with the Public for Broker-Dealers

  • National Society of Compliance Professionals
    San Francisco, California (March 2014)

Arbitration Practitioners Workshop: Strategies from the Front Lines

  • Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Law & Compliance Annual Seminar
    Phoenix, Arizona (March 2013)

Complex Products: Appropriate Cautions and Considerations

  • National Association of Compliance Professionals
    Chicago, Illinois (April 2012)

Arbitration Practitioners Workshop: Strategies from the Front Lines

  • SIFMA Law & Compliance Annual Seminar
    Miami, Florida (March 2012)

The New Fiduciary Standard

  • American Conference Institute
    New York, New York (March 2011)

Arbitration in the Current Environment

  • SIFMA Law & Compliance Annual Seminar
    Phoenix, Arizona (March 2011)

Education

J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1991

B.A., St. Mary’s College, 1988

Professional Membership

California State Bar Association

SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society

Contra Costa Bar Association

Community Involvement

Advisory board of Santa Maria Catholic Church in Orinda

Advisory board of St. Perpetua School in Lafayette

Advisory board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Oakland-East Bay

Past Employment

  • Partner at Keesal, Young & Logan in San Francisco
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