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Dean Fealk

Dean Fealk


Co-Managing Partner, Northern California

Dean advises leading multinational companies on international legal, strategic, and public policy issues affecting business.

Dean Fealk advises leading multinational companies on legal, strategic, and public policy issues related to expansion and international business. He serves civic organizations in leadership capacities and has advised governments and politicians around the world in matter of public policy. 

Dean leads the Global Equity Practice at DLA Piper and frequently serves as managing international legal counsel for multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplined projects. He has considerable experience in cross-border equity-based compensation programs and international employment matters in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

He regularly counsels on international data privacy, immigration, intellectual property protection, choice of entity, tax, and corporate structure. He also advises on a broad array of international employment matters, from employee handbooks and independent contractor agreements to discipline and terminations, settlements, and release and waivers.

Dean has also provided counsel on more than US$35 billion in cross-border deals; among them mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and integrations. He has led over a hundred international expansion and structuring projects for companies across a spectrum of industries and jurisdictions, from emerging enterprises to Fortune 500 multinationals. Representative industries include high tech, financial services, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, life sciences, energy, media, manufacturing, and distribution. 

Bar admissionsCalifornia
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law
    Executive Editor of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review
    Piercy C. Towne Scholar


    M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science


    M.Sc., Fulbright Scholar, Korea


    B.A., Michigan State University


    Dean is a graduate of both Leadership San Francisco and Harvard Business School's Executive Leadership Program


The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal has selected Dean for its lists of California's "Top 20 Attorneys under 40" and "Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers." The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal has named him to its list of "40 Under 40" movers and shakers in the Silicon Valley who impact their businesses and communities. The US-Spain Council designated him among the next generation of American leaders. The New Leaders Council selected Dean for its "40 under 40 Leadership Award," celebrating young leaders across the nation for their involvement in entrepreneurship, advocacy, media and politics.

He has been designated an Honorary Senator of the German Economy, an Eisenhower Fellow to China, a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Marshall Memorial Fellow to the EU, a Fulbright Scholar to Korea, a Truman National Security Fellow and a Carnegie New Leader. He serves on the Finance Council of the California Democratic Party, the Executive Committee for International Law of the State Bar of California and the Council for International Trade of the California Chamber of Commerce.

  • Chambers USA
    • Band 3, California: San Francisco, Silicon Valley & Surrounds Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (2023)
      Clients say, "Dean is incredibly responsive and knowledgeable, I couldn't recommend him more highly."

Pro Bono

Dean is Pro Bono Partner for the San Francisco office and its 2012 pro bono award winner. He is also a recipient of the State Bar of California's Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.


  • Author, "Why North America Matters to the Next Generation," the Catalyst, Spring 2016
  • "Global Stock Options Overview: Middle East and South Africa," Global Tax Weekly, Wolters Kluwer (June 18, 2015) (Author)
  • "Global Stock Options Overview: Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia," Global Tax Weekly, Wolters Kluwer (May 7, 2015) (Author)
  • "Global Stock Options Overview: Western Europe," Global Tax Weekly, Wolters Kluwer (April 9, 2015) (Author)
  • "Global Engagement for International Clients," The Recorder (July 10, 2014) (Author)
  • "Global Civic Engagement For California Attorneys," Daily Journal (June 6, 2014) (Author)
  • ''Europe and the Bay Area: Investing in Each Other,'' Bay Area Council Economic Institute (April 2014) (Contributor)
  • "Going Global: Employment and Tax Considerations," ExecSense eBook (October 2013) (Co-Author)
  • "Incentives from a Foreign Land," Tax Advisor Magazine, (September 2013) (Co-Author)
  • "Tax Complications for Companies Using Equity-Based Compensation," Practical International Tax Strategies, Thompson Reuters (May 2013) (Co-Author)
  • "International Tax and Transfer Pricing Considerations for Equity-Based Incentive Compensation," DLA Piper White Paper (May, 2013) (Co-Author)
  • "California's 'Chinese Dream'," The Atlantic (April 26, 2013) (Author)
  • "When Jerry Went to China," San Francisco Magazine (April 22, 2013) (Profiled/Interviewed)
  • "Treaty spawns opportunities for US firms," Daily Journal (March 18, 2013) (Author)
  • "Employing workers in the US," HR Director (September 20, 2012) (Co-Author)


  • "California Employment Law Briefing," January 15, 2019 (San Francisco), January 17, 2019 (Silicon Valley) and January 31, 2019 (Los Angeles)
  • Introductory Remarks, Opportunities in Information Technology, Entrepreneurship, & Sustainable Development in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Palo Alto, March 31, 2016
  • Speaker, Annual Employment Law Briefing, DLA Piper, San Francisco/Palo Alto, January 14 and 21, 2016
  • Introductory Remarks, Wharton Entrepreneurs Summit, Palo Alto, November 12, 2015
  • Presenter, Transatlantic Innovation and Investment, sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung think-tank that included members of the Bundestag, the head of the German IT association (BITCOM), technology CEOs and academics, October 28, 2015
  • Speaker/Panelist, Current Trends in Business and Transactional Law, Hastings Business Law Journal sponsored event, October 21, 2015
  • Speaker/Panelist, Leadership 101: Learn What it Takes to Be a Lawyer Leader, Bar Association of San Francisco and Barristers Club, August 4, 2015
  • Discussion Leader, Wharton Capital Summit, San Francisco, July 15, 2015
  • Introduction, "Addressing Domestic Violence in International Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention," DLA Piper Marbury Institute, May 12, 2015
  • Moderator, "Democracy Asia: the Call for Strategic Cooperation Between Japan and Korea," with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, at Halifax International Security Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 22, 2014
  • Host/Presenter, "Global Leadership in a Hyper-Connected World," with Club de Madrid and Transatlantic West, October 9, 2014
  • Moderator, "The Intersection of Technology and Geopolitics," with Bay Area Council, San Francisco, September 12, 2014
  • Presenter, "Global Employment Law and Equity Compensation: Developments to Watch In 2014," Bar Association of San Francisco, August 26, 2014
  • Co-presenter, "Global Employment Law and Equity Compensation: Developments to Watch In 2014," Association of Corporate Counsel, Austin, Texas, June 19, 2014
  • Speaker, "Hot Topics for Start-up Companies in Global Employment Law and Equity Compensation," Austin HR Roundtable, April 16, 2014
  • Moderator, "Unleashing the Potential of the Transatlantic Business Relationship," Transatlantic West, co-sponsored by the German Marshall Fund, the Wharton Club and DLA Piper, October 17, 2013
  • Host, M & A Trends in Silicon Valley for 2013, Wharton Club of Northern California, March 20, 2013
  • Speaker, "Expatriate and Mobile Employees: Corporate and Legal Considerations," Webinar with High Street Partners and Regus, December 13, 2012
  • Speaker, "Hot issues for multi-jurisdictional starts-ups," International Bar Association, Santa Clara California, November 5, 2012
  • Host, "Protecting the Attorney-Client Privilege Within the Law Firm," UC Hastings, November 1, 2012
  • Co-Host, "Local Solutions to Global Challenges," The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, San Francisco, September 6, 2012
  • Co-Host, US Ambassador to APEC address on global economic statecraft, with Bay Area Council, June 14, 2012
  • Speaker, "Careers in International Law," American Bar Association / Golden Gate University, February 12, 2012

Media Mentions

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Dean practiced at leading international law firms in both Silicon Valley and Asia.

Earlier in his career, Dean  served as a consultant to the World Bank and taught as an adjunct professor or guest lecturer at law schools in the US and abroad. While in law school, Dean was the first US citizen to clerk at the Constitutional Court of Korea. He also externed for Chief Federal District Judge Bernard A. Friedman and at the US Department of Justice.

Civic and charitable

He has served as a consultant to the World Bank on issues of regulatory reform and business climate and has taught as an adjunct professor or guest lecturer at the law schools of UC Berkeley, UC Hastings, Santa Clara University and Kyunghee University.

  • Member, California Workforce Development Board
  • Board of Directors, Bay Area Council
  • Board of Directors, California Business Roundtable
  • Advisory Board, GlobalSF
  • Member, past chair, Northern California District Export Council, US Department of Commerce
  • Member, Industry Trade Advisory Committee, USTR and US Department of Commerce
  • DLA Piper National Pro Bono Committee

Memberships And Affiliations

  • The Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Halifax International Security Forum
  • Aspen Institute, Socrates Program