William J. "Zak" Taylor

William J. "Zak" Taylor

San Francisco, California

William "Zak" Taylor is both a business and trial lawyer. He has the rare distinction of being recognized by San Francisco Magazine on its listing of "Super Lawyers" in three areas: business litigation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and business transactions. Super Lawyers designation includes peer review input and is limited to the top 5% of lawyers in Northern California. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation only peer reviewed honorary trial lawyer organization.

Zak received his B.A. from Yale, magna cum laude with Exceptional Distinction in Economics, and the Robert E. Lesser, Jr.  University prize.  After service in the US Army, he received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude, serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.  He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Tax Court, the Ninth Circuit, District Court for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts; and all California Courts.  Zak is a former partner of two large, top-tier law firms:  Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

For someone whose background is in large commercial law firms, Mr. Taylor possesses an atypical breadth of experience.  Over the years he has handled a broad range of civil, criminal defense, bankruptcy and administrative matters as well as a wide range of business, trust, and real estate transaction matters.  Zak is both a trusted corporate and personal adviser and an accomplished trial lawyer.  He has successfully handled a variety of appeals including appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court.

He is also an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, the American Health Lawyers Association, Forum and the Kaiser Office of Independent Administrator.  He also has contributed to a number of books on legal topics and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Golden Gate University.

In his nine years at Tsao-Wu & Yee LLP he has focused on Asian American clients representing businesses and individuals from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and India as well as Asian Americans.  His work includes acting as outside general counsel to start ups and handling business transactions of all sorts.  His litigation work has focused on trademark and business tort litigation, real estate litigation, internal corporate disputes and recoveries for EB-5 visa holders who were defrauded in addition to other civil and administrative matters.

"Zak Taylor is an extremely knowledgeable attorney and he has helped  our business on several occasions. He understands both our business needs and objectives as well as getting great results at trial.  He is trust worthy, reliable and gets the job done. I would highly recommend him and his firm." 

He can be reached by email at:  [email protected]

Areas of Practice

  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Bankruptcy
  • Immigration and Asylum
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Commercial and Residential Leases
  • Real Estate and Construction Litigation
  • Corporate Formation
  • General Business Transactions
  • Health Care

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California


  • Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • J.D. cum laude - 1976
    • Law Review: Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Editor-in-Chief
  • Yale University, New Haven
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1970
    • Major: Economics


  • Golden Gate University School of Law, Antitrust Law, Adjunct Professor

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Award of Merit, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Recipient, Jean Waldman Child Advocacy Award, Legal Services for Children, Inc.
  • Recipient, California State Legislature Certificate of Recognition for Rebuild LA Insurance Cases, pro bono litigation
  • Legal Impact Award, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of LA
  • Listed, Northern California Super Lawyer
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The State Bar of California, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Health Lawyers Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Clerk
  • Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP, Partner
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Partner

Pro Bono Activities

  • Legal Services for Children, Former Board Member, Past President
  • Berkeley Law Foundation, Former Board Member
  • Numerous pro bono litigation cases for Children's Rights and Prison Newspaper editors


  • English