Harmeet K. Dhillon

Office:  415.433.1700      

HarmeetHarmeet Kaur Dhillon
, is an experienced business trial lawyer, trusted boardroom advisor, and passionate advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life. She has been awarded the prestigious designation of Northern California Super Lawyer in business litigation by Thomson/West Publishing, an accolade reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the jurisdiction. From an early interest in constitutional litigation, to a stint at the Department of Justice, to a decade of practice at prestigious international law firms, to founding Dhillon & Smith in 2006, Harmeet’s legal career has been marked by a passion for justice, a zeal for attacking legal challenges, and an intense sense of satisfaction in helping her clients realize creative and practical solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

Following a clerkship with the Hon. Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Ms. Dhillon’s practice in New York, London, and the San Francisco Bay Area has focused on federal and state commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on unfair competition/trade secret misappropriation, intellectual property (including trademark litigation and internet torts), complex contractual disputes, and First Amendment litigation (including defamation, trade libel, right of publicity, and anti-SLAPP motions). Harmeet’s broad experience also encompasses securities, entertainment, employment discrimination and civil rights matters. Ms. Dhillon has developed a niche practice in representing clients across California in election and campaign law matters, ranging from general compliance and ethics representation for partisan and non-partisan contenders to ballot description contests and intellectual property matters pertaining to campaign communications. Dhillon & Smith is one of a handful of California law firms offering this expertise.

Harmeet has practiced before numerous state and federal courts and administrative tribunals across the United States, has successfully handled numerous trials (jury and bench), arbitrations, and mediations (including international arbitrations), and has resolved many business disputes prior to the initiation of litigation. Admitted to practice law in New York and California, she is also a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Harmeet’s clients at Dhillon & Smith have included e-Commerce leaders, private companies, entrepreneurs, celebrities, film and music artists, authors, advertising executives, franchisees, public utilities, educational institutions and nonprofits. She has won numerous awards and recognition for her pro bono legal work on behalf of domestic violence survivors, religious discrimination plaintiffs, and political refugees.

View Harmeet’s LinkedIn Profile
View Harmeet’s Avvo Profile


  • Of Counsel, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (San Francisco)
  • Senior Associate, Cooley Godward LLC (Palo Alto)
  • Associate, Shearman & Sterling LLP (New York, London)
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Paul V. Niemeyer (United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Baltimore)
  • Law Clerk, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Constitutional Torts Section (D.C.)



  • Dartmouth College, A.B. Classical Studies
  • University of Virginia, J.D. (Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review)


Practice Areas:

  • General and Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Campaign and Election Law
  • Intellectual Property (Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets)
  • Securities Litigation
  • Corporate Governance Issues
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • First Amendment (Right of Publicity, Slander, Defamation, Trade Libel, and anti-SLAPP)
  • Entertainment Transactions and Litigation


Selected Publications:

Punished for Politics: Viewpoint Discrimination    Daily Journal    2014
The Emergence of Sikh Advocacy   Civil Rights in Wartime   2009
The New Gold Rush? Wireless Opportunities for Colleges and Universities Through EBS Broadcast Spectrum Leases   University Business   2007
Brother Sister Legal Team Fights to Protect Bay Area Sikhs   The Recorder   2001
Preliminary Injunctive Relief in the Federal Courts   ALI/ABA publication   1996

Representative Speaking Engagements:

“What Korean Airline Crashes Can Teach Us About Diversity”   National Pacific American Bar Association Western Regional Conference   July, 2010
SLAPP Litigation – Free Speech in the Commercial and Political Context   Law.com CLE Presentation   June, 2010
“Ashcroft v. Iqbal” – The Importance of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Civil Rights Litigation   Bar Association of San Francisco CLE Presentation   June, 2010
Trade Secret Litigation: The New Method to Protect Theft of Intellectual Property   Minority Corporate Counsel Association 9th Annual CLE Expo (Chicago)   March, 2010
Reflections on Balancing a Career of Litigation, Pro Bono and Civic Involvement   SABA Sacramento Annual Gala   March, 2010
So You Think You Want to Run for Public Office   21st Annual NAPABA Convention (Boston)   November, 2009
A Conversation with New South Asians in Politics   NASABA Convention (Vancouver)   June, 2009
Panelist on Presidential Campaigns   Minority Bar Council Conference (Golden Gate Law School, San Francisco)   July, 2008
Ethical Issues: What Do You Do When Your Friend Crosses the Line?   NAPABA Convention (Seattle)   November, 2008
Running for Office as a South Asian Lawyer   NASABA Convention (Chicaco)   June, 2008

Civic Leadership:


Selected Awards:

  • "SALDEF Public Service Award" – Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), 2013
  • “Woman Leader in Law” – The Recorder, 2012
  • “Cornerstone Award” – North American South Asian Bar Association, 2012
  • “Northern California Super Lawyer” – Super Lawyers Magazine, 2011-2012
  • “Outstanding Attorney Award” – South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, 2010
  • “Best Lawyers Under 40” – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 2007
  • Centennial Foundation of Canada Distinguished Community Service Award, 2003
  • Minority Bar Council Outstanding Community Service Award, 2002