Cedric Chao is the U.S. head of the global international arbitration practice of DLA Piper, a global firm of 4,200 lawyers. Cedric, a former federal prosecutor, has a unique skill set, having first-chaired numerous U.S. jury and court trials (business and criminal), as well as international arbitration disputes. He has represented clients, as first chair, in five business disputes where the amount in controversy exceeded $1 billion, and in multiple others where the amount in controversy was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. His clients have spanned many industries and countries.

Cedric has appeared in U.S. District Courts in a number of federal judicial districts and in the trial courts throughout California. He has argued thirteen times before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including once to an en banc panel, once before the U.S. Supreme Court, and four times before the California State Court of Appeal. He has second-chaired four additional arguments before the Ninth Circuit and one additional argument in the U.S. Supreme Court. Cedric has led teams in international arbitration proceedings under the rules of the ICC, ICDR, LCIA, UNCITRAL, AAA, and JAMS, and has represented parties in court proceedings to enforce or set aside arbitral awards. Cedric has sat as an arbitrator under the rules of the ICC and SIAC.

Cedric is a U.S. member of the ICC Arbitration Commission, and serves on the ICC Arbitrator Nominating Committee for the U.S. He also serves on the American Arbitration Association/ICDR Council. He is one of 31 Advisors to the American Law Institute project to draft the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investment Arbitration. In 2017, he served on the California Supreme Court International Commercial Arbitration Working Group that studied and made recommendations to the Supreme Court regarding allowing foreign and out-of-state attorneys to represent parties in international arbitrations seated in California.

Cedric is a former chair of the U.S. Magistrate Judge Screening Committee of the Northern District of California and of the California State Bar Litigation Section. He is a former member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all presidential nominees to the federal judiciary (representing the Ninth Circuit).