Gary Benton is an internationally recognized Arbitrator with over thirty years major law firm and in-house experience in both corporate/commercial transactions and litigation/arbitration practice. He focuses on US and international business contract disputes, corporate investment, technology, intellectual property and emerging growth matters. He has handled hundreds of cases around the world and serves on the panels of the leading arbitral institutions in the US, Europe and Asia.
In addition to his arbitration practice, Gary is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Santa Clara University where he lectures on international arbitration law and practice and he has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University where he taught US arbitration law.
Gary is the founder and currently serves as the Chairman of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC), a non-profit educational foundation in Palo Alto, California serving the global technology sector. He is also the founder and President of California Arbitration (CalArb.org), a non-profit educational foundation supporting international arbitration in California.
Gary was previously a partner with the international law firms Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Coudert Brothers LLP. He served as the head of Coudert Brothers’ West Coast International Arbitration Practice and its Northern California Technology, Media and Telecoms group. At Pillsbury, he co-chaired the Silicon Valley international team. In addition, he served as Chief Legal Officer of a cloud and mobile cybersecurity company supporting US national security interests.
As a practicing attorney, his focus has been on US and international business contracts and commercial matters, corporate and securities transactions, private equity and venture capital investment, emerging growth financing, IT and Internet, biotech and pharmaceuticals, alternative energy, technology development, sales, marketing and distribution, competition, IP licensing and infringement disputes. Gary’s technology law career includes managing international legal projects for Fortune 500 technology companies, venture financing Silicon Valley tech startups, handling US and international M&As and IPOs, and extensive experience litigating trade secret, patent, copyright and other IP disputes.
Gary is one of only a few arbitration experts with a background in technology and international business law. He has significant experience as both a litigation partner and a corporate transactions partner. He is one of only a few technology arbitration experts with experience as both a partner in a major law firm and as a General Counsel in an emerging technology company. As well, he is one of only a few Silicon Valley arbitration experts with extensive international arbitration experience. Gary’s training as a U.S. and international litigator and arbitration counsel, coupled with his transactional expertise in emerging technology, make him uniquely suited for resolving complex private investment, technology development/distribution and international business disputes.
Gary has substantial experience as a single, presiding and panel arbitrator for U.S. and international commercial arbitrations focused on US and international business, commercial transactions, corporate transactions, private investment, accounting/valuations, intellectual property licensing and infringement, technology transactions (including technology financing, technology development, sales and distribution), licensing, joint ventures (joint development and collaboration agreements), cryptocurrency/DeFi, life sciences, biotech, telecommunications, IP infringement (trade secret, copyright and patent), data breach/cybersecurity, telecommunications and satellites, alternative energy and executive employment disputes. His international arbitration experience includes counsel and neutral services involving common law, civil law and developing country matters. He has significant experience with non-US style arbitration.
He is a member of the the ICDR International Panel; the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Commercial Panel (Large & Complex Cases, Corporate Law, Securities, High Technology, Communications & Telecom, Contract Law; General Business Commercial; Intellectual Property; Cybersecurity, Data Security & Privacy specialty panels); the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals (General & Tech); the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Panel; the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Panel of Arbitrators and the IP Panel; the Korea Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) International Panel; the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Panel; the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) Panel; and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Panel, and serves as President and sole Arbitrator on matters before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration and the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI). He has also served as counsel on matters before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and various other EU and Asian regional arbitral institutions, as well as in UNCITRAL proceedings.
Gary is a Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (F.CIArb);a Fellow, Director and Executive Committee member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (F.CollArb), and an Academy Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN).
Gary is the Co-chair of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) International Arbitration and ADR Subcommittee and he served as Co-Chair of the first California International Arbitration Week (CIAW) held in 2022 and Co-Lead of the 2023 CIAW Planning Committee. He is a member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), the International Bar Association (IBA), the N. Cal International Arbitration Club, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the American College of e-Neutrals (ACESIN). He is also a member of the Alliance for Equality, Racial Equality for Arbitration Law (REAL) and various other U.S. and international arbitration and legal associations. He is an Accredited Dispute Resolution Expert with the India-based Mediation and Conciliation Network. He has been recognized many years as a Super Lawyer – ADR and is listed in Who’s Who in the World. He served on the Queen Mary Univ. of London International Dispute Resolution Survey Task Force and Pepperdine/IMI International Task Force on Mixed Mode Dispute Resolution. He also chaired the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Arbitration Consent Subcommittee. He is a Global Arbitration Review (GAR) listed Arbitrator and an invited Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Gary was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 25 ADR Trendsetters and Visionaries in the US. He is also named in the IAM 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists. He is peer-vetted to the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center Tech List – The List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals.
In addition to his arbitration work, Gary was trained by the American Arbitration Association as a Mediator. He assists parties in negotiating business-practical resolution of US. and international business and technology disputes. He handles administered mediations through the American Arbitration Association. In addition, he serves on the US District Court Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) Panel.
He received his undergraduate degree with honors from Washington University in St. Louis (Earth & Planetary Sciences, Political Science and International Development) and his law degree with honors from Tulane Law School, and engaged in additional legal studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and international studies at Stanford University.
Gary is qualified as a U.S. lawyer and an English solicitor. He is admitted in California and the District of Columbia and is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and various federal district courts.
Gary has handled international commercial matters in over 80 countries around the world: in Asia (including extensive work in China and India), Europe, Israel, Australia, the US and Central/South America.
He serves as an Arbitrator and Mediator throughout the US and internationally in administered and ad hoc proceedings. As well, he speaks frequently and writes regularly on topics concerning technology law and international dispute resolution.
Available for in person and videoconference matters.