christopher wimmer, founding partner


For 13 years, Chris represented plaintiffs and defendants in an extensive range of complicated, high-stakes disputes. He advocated before state and federal trial and appellate courts and arbitration forums for clients operating in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa, and active in the technology, manufacturing, commercial, retail, private equity, financial services, and entertainment sectors. Chris dedicated a significant portion of his time to pro bono causes, including asylum petitions and Supreme Court amicus briefs on prisoners’ rights and police brutality. He also contributed writing to magazines, law reviews, and books on mental health, criminal sentencing, and civil procedure.

In 2018, Chris ceased to litigate, and began to mediate, using his experience as plaintiff and defense counsel in diverse contexts to help opposing parties find common ground and avoid the costs of litigation. Also in 2018, Chris cofounded a legal cannabis dispensary chain (ABW Retail Group) to pursue multiple permits in California, as well as a cannabis social club (San Francisco Social Club). Blending his entrepreneurship with his mediation practice, Chris exclusively mediates disputes in the cannabis industry, making him the only mediator in California working solely on cannabis disputes. 

Within the cannabis industry, Chris can mediate matters involving:

  • Partnership and shareholder disputes
  • Breach of contract
  • Business torts
  • Corporate dissolution, appraisal, and accounting

Chris is also director of franchising for a fitness equipment manufacturer and retailer.

Prior to founding Emergent in 2013, Chris practiced law with renowned firms in New York and San Francisco, including Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP, focusing on complex litigation. Chris also clerked for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Chris received his J.D. from Columbia University, where he was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Jacquelin A. Swords Scholar, Solomon I. Sklar Scholar, Jacob Berger Fellow, Charles Evans Hughes Fellow, and Greer Fellow, and received the Paul R. Hays Prize and Parker School Certificate in International Law.  He earned a dual B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology and Rhetoric (with Honors) from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chris is admitted to practice law in California and New York, and has appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, California Court of Appeal, Northern and Central Districts of California, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, District of Arizona, New York Supreme Court, Circuit Court of Cook County, and the Superior Courts of California for the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Solano, Glendale, and San Diego. He has arbitrated and appeared for clients in mediation before the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, and ADR Services. See more on Super Lawyers and LinkedIn, or email him at