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Shawn M. Christianson

Shawn M. Christianson



  • Insolvency & Financial Law Group
  • Litigation
  • Class Actions

WSG Practice Industries


California, U.S.A.


Shawn M. Christianson focuses her practice on insolvency, receiverships, and complex litigation with an emphasis on technology related issues. She represents financial institutions, secured and unsecured creditors, technology companies, receivers, and bankruptcy trustees. Her practice spans the state, federal and bankruptcy courts, as well as out of court proceedings and mediation. She argued, at every level from the trial court through the Ninth Circuit, a seminal case on the topic of perfection of security interests in unregistered copyrights, In re: World Auxiliary Power.

Ms. Christianson is a former member of Buchalter’s Board of Directors, as well as the former Managing Shareholder of the Firm’s San Francisco office. Ms. Christianson was elected to and served two terms on the Board of Directors as a Director-At-Large of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and is a former Co-Chair of the Northern California Network of IWIRC. She has served on several boards and committees, including the California Receiver’s Forum, the Bay Area Chapter of the California Receiver’s Forum, where she also served as Vice President, the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum (“BABF”), BABF’s Program and Finance Committees and the organizing committee of the California Bankruptcy Forum’s Fifth Annual Conference. She was appointed to a three-year term as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and served on the Northern District of California’s Local Rules Committee which addressed both the District and Bankruptcy Court’s Local Rules. She is a trained mediator and has acted as a Resolution Advocate on the Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Panel in the Northern District of California since that Panel’s creation. She served as both Chair and Vice-Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Commercial Law and Bankruptcy section, and was a founding member of the Barrister Club’s Speakers Bureau. She is a frequent lecturer and author, and has been profiled in the Receivership News.

Ms. Christianson served two terms as Mayor of the Town of Hillsborough, California, from 2018-2020. She is an active participant in numerous community and civic organizations, including having been elected in November 2005 to the Hillsborough City School District’s Board of Trustees, serving as President of that Board in 2009, serving on the Hillsborough City Council commencing in 2012, and acting as Hillsborough’s Vice Mayor from 2016-2018. Additionally, in 2016, Ms. Christianson was selected by the Cal Alumni Association Board of Directors and the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees to receive the Spirit of 1868 Volunteer Award, which acknowledges alumni and friends who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer leadership and accomplishments in support of the university’s philanthropic and outreach efforts.

Ms. Christianson, who is AV Preeminent rated, has been selected as Super Lawyers Top Rated Lawyer in Northern California since 2005 and as one of Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys Northern California, an honor she has received since 2016, and to Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. She has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights and Insolvency and Reorganization Law, an honor she has received since 2016. Most recently, Ms. Christianson was recognized as 2022 Lawdragon 500 leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers, an honor she has received since 2020.

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Boston College
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Areas of Practice

Class Actions | Insolvency & Financial Law Group | Litigation


Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: San Francisco Moves to Lowest COVID Tier in California, Begins Process of Reopening Non-Essential Offices; Other Bay Area Counties Slower to Follow
Buchalter, November 2020

On October 20, 2020, San Francisco County was upgraded to the “minimal” tier within the California COVID-19 tracking system, meaning it has the fewest restrictions on reopening all businesses as promulgated by the State of California. In order to qualify for the “minimal” tier, a county must have an infection rate of less than one daily new positive COVID case per 100,000 residents and have a positive test rate of less than 2% for two consecutive weeks...

Additional Articles

  • What Every Technology Company Needs to Know About Assumption, Assumption and Assignment, Or Rejection Of Its Contracts In Bankruptcy
  • Insolvency: What Every Technology Company Needs to Know About Claims Against Bankrupt Customers And Business Partners
  • Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Buchalter’s Shawn Christianson
  • Introduction to California Receivership Law

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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