Koray J. Bulut, a partner in Goodwin’s Employment practice and a leader of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Employee Mobility + Non-Competes group, focuses his practice on employment law, with an emphasis on litigation matters. He is experienced litigating cases in both state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies, in a wide variety of disputes, including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unfair competition, enforcement of non-competes and other restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, wrongful termination and breach of contract.
With more than a decade of experience collaborating with employers ranging in size from start-ups to large public companies, Koray advises employers on all facets of employment relationships, including establishment of employment policies and contracts, classification of employees, family and medical leave, workplace investigations, risk assessment of harassment and discrimination claims, terminations, reductions in force and post-termination protection of trade secrets. He is experienced in conducting onsite sexual harassment and discrimination training for clients as well as in conducting training on internal investigations for human resources professionals.
Koray previously served as Co-Chair of Pride@Goodwin.
Koray’s client work has included:
- Defending, through trial, a Fortune 50 client in a closely watched pregnancy and discrimination and retaliation action brought by a member of the client’s executive team claiming over $40 million in damages.*
- Winning summary judgment in a disability and age discrimination case on behalf of a large semiconductor client.*
- Achieving a complete defense verdict in a breach of contract and fraud case brought by a founder and former chief executive against several venture capital firms and board members.*
- Representing a large pharmaceutical company in its prosecution of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and breach of non-compete claims brought against a departing executive who formed a competitive joint venture.*
- Obtaining an injunction for a start-up company preventing a founder and chief technology officer from working for a large public competitor or using the client’s trade secret information.*
- Winning a motion to dismiss claims alleging theft of non-trade secret information, resulting in a strongly worded, and often-cited, federal opinion that the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act comprehensively preempts tort claims arising from theft of confidential information.*
- Advising client through large-scale employee misclassification audit conducted by state and federal agencies.*
- On behalf of a large Bay Area technology company, obtaining dismissals with prejudice of suits brought by both the alleged harasser and the alleged harassment victim for wrongful termination.*
- Authoring California Supreme Court petition for review and appellate briefs in Reid v. Google Inc. relating to summary adjudication of age and disability discrimination claims. 50 Cal. 4th 512 (2010).*
*Denotes experience prior to joining Goodwin.
Prior to joining Goodwin, Koray was a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. Previously, he practiced at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for nearly a decade.
Koray served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Mary E. Hannon of Minnesota District Court.
Koray is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and the California Bar Association.
University of Minnesota Law School
Recognition & Awards
- Koray was named an Employment Law Trailblazer for 2022 by National Law Journal.
- Koray has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2020 to 2023, where clients praise Koray as “excellent,” stating that he “offers exceptional quality of answers, guidance and commercial awareness.”
- Koray was named a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer for 2020-2023 by the Daily Journal.
- Koray was recommended by the Legal 500 in Trade Secrets, Workplace and Employment Counseling in 2023. Koray was also recommended in Trade Secrets and Shareholder Activism: Advice to Boards by the Legal 500 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
- Koray has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Employment Law in 2022 and 2023.
Koray's recent publications have included:
- Quoted, “Caste in California: Tech giants confront ancient Indian hierarchy,” Reuters (August 15, 2022)
- Author, “Supreme Court Ruling Narrows Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.” Goodwin Client Alert (June 9, 2021)
- Co-author, “New California Law Will Require Increased Diversity on Public Boards,” Goodwin Client Alert (October 14, 2020)
- Co-author, "COVID-19 Litigation and Government Investigations in the U.S.: What We Are Seeing Now, And What the Future Holds," Goodwin Client Alert (April 24, 2020)
- Quoted, “Gig Worker Law Spawns Dozens of Bills by California Lawmakers,” Bloomberg Law (March 10, 2020)
- Author, "How Uber and Other On-Demand Startups Can Protect Themselves From Worker Lawsuits," Forbes (September 28, 2015)
- Author, "Labor Pains May Just Be Starting For Uber And Other 'On-Demand Economy' Companies," Forbes (July 14, 2015)
- Author, "Get on Board With On- and Offboarding Procedures" San Francisco Daily Journal (January 21, 2015)
- Author, "Advances for LGBT Employees in 2014" San Francisco Daily Journal (December 18, 2014)
- Quoted, “Proceed Cautiously on Excluding Applicants with Criminal Records,” Society for Human Resource Management Magazine (December 30, 2014)
- Quoted, "Putting the Plug on Trade Secret Leaks," San Francisco Daily Journal (November 28, 2014)
- Author, "New California Paid Sick Leave Law is Nothing to Sneeze At," Orange County Business Journal, (September 29, 2014)