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Christopher Tom



Christopher Tom is an associate with experience counseling municipalities, public agencies, and private developers on a broad range of land use, real estate, environmental and regulatory matters involving:   

  • the Planning and Zoning Law;
  • the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA);
  • the Clean Air Act and California air regulations;
  • takings and eminent domain;
  • vested development rights and development agreements;
  • the Clean Water Act;
  • the Endangered Species Act;
  • the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the California Public Records Act (CPRA);
  • transfer of development rights (TDR) programs; and
  • building and seismic safety
In addition, Chris has experience handling regulatory matters within the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission.  He has also drafted agreements and documents for real property purchases and sales, land use project development, secured transactions, and real estate finance workouts.  Chris has represented clients in federal district court and administrative proceedings and has advised clients regarding election laws, open meeting laws, government ethics codes and potential conflicts of interest. 

Chris maintains an active pro bono practice.

Community Involvement

  • Family Bridges, Inc., Board of Directors

Related Employment

  • Bingham McCutchen LLP, Associate, 2011; Summer Associate, 2009
  • Extern to Hon. Cathy Seibel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2009
  • Extern for the New York City Law Department, 2009
  • Intern for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, 2008
  • Chief of Staff to Oakland City Councilmember Pat Kernighan, 2005 - 2006
  • Aide to Oakland City Councilmember Danny Wan, 2002 - 2005


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 2010
    Managing Editor, Columbia Journal of Asian Law;
    Executive Editor, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law
  • Princeton University, M.P.A., Public Policy, 2010
  • Brown University, A.B., Political Science, magna cum laude, 2002

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


  • Chinese - Mandarin
  • Chinese - Cantonese