Skip to Main Content

Asa Markel is a dual-qualified U.S. attorney and non-practicing English solicitor. His experience includes civil litigation, including first chair jury and bench trials, appellate argument and arbitrations. Asa’s courtroom work ranges from business disputes to professional liability, admiralty and transportation, construction and employment law matters. He also advises foreign and domestic companies regarding their supply contracts, distribution arrangements, customs matters, export regulatory compliance, government contracts and protection of trade secrets.

Learn More

In his second decade of practice, Asa is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Corporate, Finance & Acquisitions groups and Chair of the Commercial, Competition & Trade practice. He also leads the firm’s International Trade & Logistics team. Diligent and always prepared, Asa is totally focused on continuously offering his clients strategic options and viable paths to achieving their objectives. Asa knows, from hands-on experience, how contracts and regulations will be enforced, which has given him an edge when negotiating and documenting agreements for his clients. A Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Asa brings diverse experience, practical legal advice and creative solutions to every matter.

Prior to joining the firm, Asa practiced maritime and transportation law in California, where he advised on cargo damage claims, the professional liability of forwarders and customs brokers, marine insurance coverage issues for American, British and Japanese insurers, and international sales contracts. He originally worked for a respected civil litigation law firm in Arizona.

Practice Areas


  • University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, J.D., 2003
  • Northern Arizona University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2000


  • California
  • New York
  • Arizona
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • England & Wales, (non-practicing)


Successfully represented a major machine tool importer on prior disclosure to U.S. Customs for $10 million worth of entries.

Successfully obtained a discovery order in U.S. district court against a major Silicon Valley consumer technology company on behalf of a publicly listed Japanese company for use in Tokyo District Court litigation.

Facilitated the set-up of U.S. branch for U.K.-based IT firm.

Oversaw discovery in multiple states for California litigation involving a major domestic freight carrier.

Represented a multistate developer of apartment complexes in several commercial and employment disputes.

Successfully defended a real estate brokerage at trial against negligence claims by a defaulting home seller.

Represented U.S.-based freight forwarder in a settlement with an international aluminum trader.

Obtained a summary judgment dispensing with punitive damages claim in an infant wrongful death case for a major commercial landlord in federal district court.

Obtained a dismissal under head of state immunity doctrine of commercial dispute involving a foreign cabinet minister.

Successfully reversed a trial judge's discretionary certification of a partial judgment in a $50 million construction dispute.

Advised an international steel trader on U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.



Foreign Trade Association of Southern California
Inter-Pacific Bar Association
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
U.S. Commerce Department Grants Product-Specific Exemptions to Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
This past week, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it will be excluding 42 steel products on behalf of seven different companies…
California Court of Appeals Confirms that One Class Action is Enough
Executive Summary The California Court of Appeal’s decision in Shine v. Williams-Sonoma reiterates that all claims relating to…
GDPR and Overseas Businesses: Beware the Standard Contractual Clauses
Most businesses should be aware by now that the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) takes effect this week in the territory of the…
U.S. Announces Suspension of Tariffs on Chinese Goods
This Sunday (May 20, 2018), U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the U.S. will suspend the imposition of Tariffs on…
Public Comment Deadline for Chinese Import Tariffs Closing
This Friday (May 11, 2018), the deadline will have passed for public comments to the U.S. Trade Representative’s list of approximately…
Facebook Privacy Litigation: U.S. Style Data Regulation
As the month of March ended, Facebook faced at least sixteen separate lawsuits relating to or spurred by the revelations concerning…
Overview of 2018 U.S. Tariffs
During 2018, President Trump has ordered three separate tariffs on products imported into the United States: Section 201 “safeguards” for…
Trump Directs U.S. Trade Representative to Propose Tariffs on Chinese Imports
This Thursday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) concluded his seven-month investigation into whether the Chinese government unfairly…
Update on Country Exemptions from U.S. Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be temporarily suspended…
Department of Commerce Gives U.S. Importers New Procedures for Exemptions to Trump Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) began taking applications from interested parties in the…
Status of U.S. Import Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum
The United States will assess import duties of 25% and 10%, respectively, of the value of all steel and aluminum imported on or after March…
Litigation Update for April 2017
California Supreme Court Rules on Fee Awards in Forum Selection Clause Dismissals This past week, the California Supreme Court weighed in…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - January 2017
Wage and Hour - All Of Our Employees Are Paid A Salary By Frank J. Del Barto As we begin 2017, it is often valuable to review lessons…
Federal Regulator to Accept Comments on Proposed Curbs to Late Charges for Containers
Less than a year after the West Coast ports of the United States recovered from labor disputes that resulted in significant transportation…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - November 2016
Human Resources Professionals Beware - Antitrust Laws Don't Just Apply to Sales Terms By Nancy E. Sasamoto Your company has trained your…
U.S. Federal Judge Refuses to Alter Bankruptcy Orders Protecting Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.
Recent Events The federal district court in New Jersey recently denied an appeal by maritime creditors of Hanjin to lift bankruptcy…
Emergency Appeal in Hanjin Shipping Case Highlights Disconnect between Bankruptcy and Maritime Law in the United States
A number of towage and bunker suppliers in the Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. chapter 15 case have requested the intervention of a district court…
UNCITRAL Model Law Assists in Flow of Hanjin Containers during Bankruptcy
This past weekend, Hanjin vessels commenced unloading operations on the U.S. West Coast for the first time since Hanjin filed its…
Hanjin Shipping Now Under U.S. Bankruptcy Protection: Options for Shippers and Intermediaries
Yesterday afternoon in Newark, New Jersey, Judge John K. Sherwood of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court granted Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.'s request…
The Gap is Closing on Vessel Seizures in the Hanjin Emergency
The Wall Street Journal has recently observed that if Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. fails in its attempts to reorganize and emerge from…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - May 2016
New Act, New Remedies: DTSA To Provide Additional Protection for Trade Secret Owners and Whistleblowers By Nancy Sasamoto With President…
California Court Allows Equitable Defense to Enforcement of Guaranty in Spite of General Waiver
Shortly before the new year, California's Fourth District Court of Appeal, sitting in Riverside, delivered some clarity to California's law…
Ninth Circuit Allows Online Shoppers to Ignore Arbitration Agreement
In several earlier updates, we reported on Seventh Circuit cases striking down arbitration agreements in both the consumer and commercial…
California Employment Law: Anatomy of a Court of Appeal Case
Employment law changes through two primary methods: legislation and appellate court decisions. However, reading and interpreting either a…
California: Payment of Final Pay
The United States is unique in the developed world in allowing businesses to hire workers on an at-will basis. This at-will employment…
California: Employers Can Defend Findings of Discrimination by Proving Separate Legitimate Reasons
In its recent decision in Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. S181004 (Cal. Feb. 7, 2013), the California Supreme Court held that the…
CALIFORNIA – 2013 Changes to California's Employment Laws
Employers will need to comply with at least six new laws for their California-based employees beginning in January 2013: AB2103: Salaried…
Speaking Engagements
"U.S. Electronic Discovery Update 2018," Kitahama Law Firm/FRONTEO/Masuda Funai co-hosted seminar in Tokyo, Japan (July 11, 2018)
2017 Employment, Labor & Benefits Group Complimentary Seminar
EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS GROUP COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Trump Administration's…
2016 Annual Complimentary Employment, Labor & Benefits Seminar
2016 ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS LAW SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. TOPICS: Employee Benefits Update Avoiding…
"Japanese Judgments and the Common Law of Preclusion" - Law & Practice, vol. 8, p. 235, Waseda University, August 2014
"English Court Paves Way For Primacy of American Fuel Supplier Claims" - International Transportation Committee Newsletter, No. 4, p. 4, American Bar Association, July 2011


  • Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2012-2017