Chris Delfino

Partner—Corporate Law, Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Organizations, Higher Education


Chris Delfino has developed a successful practice serving as general and corporate counsel to numerous businesses and nonprofit/tax-exempt organizations.

He advises these organization’s boards of directors and officers on corporate governance, fiduciary duties and conflict of interest matters. He also is lead counsel on a wide variety of transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate finance and complex commercial agreements. Chris brings business-oriented approaches and solutions to the legal and transactional matters facing his clients. He works hard to understand his clients’ business, goals, strategy and vision. In doing so, Chris has become a trusted advisor and a critical resource for his clients’ management teams.

Chris started his legal career in Washington, D.C. in the General Counsel’s office of the U.S. Department of Commerce working with and assisting the former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe in their transition from a centrally planned to a market-based economy. This experience taught Chris the value and significance of long-term planning and strategy coupled with the importance of executing the immediate elements of the plan in order to achieve the long-term strategy. In addition, after the experiences negotiating with both the communist country governments and the US Government, there is very little that surprises Chris when it comes to negotiating deals for clients.

Assistant: Jennifer Wyley

Representative Experience

General Counsel/Corporate Governance
  • Serves as outside corporate counsel to the University of the Pacific, advising the Board of Regents and administration on corporate, tax-exempt, compliance and general business matters.
  • Serves as outside general counsel to one of Northern California’s largest diversified petroleum distribution companies.
  • Serves as outside general counsel to one of the largest homeowner associations in the State of California.
  • Serve as outside general counsel to one of the largest competitive youth soccer organizations in California.
  • Counseled numerous for-profit and nonprofit clients’ boards of directors on all matters of corporate governance and nonprofit and tax-exempt compliance matters including the proper handling of potential conflict of interest transactions.
Transactional Matters
  • Lead counsel for client in serial acquisitions of similarly situated companies totaling 10 separate transactions in an approximately 24 month period.
  • Lead counsel for borrower on its $75 million dollar credit facility.
  • Negotiated and drafted $50 million dollar software service implementation agreement on behalf of a leading international software services and consulting company.
  • Conducted successful merger of two nonprofit charitable social services organizations.
  • Counsel clients in the negotiation and drafting of all manner of agreements including vendor and contractor agreements, joint venture agreements, affiliation agreements, grants, software implementation agreements and licensing agreements.

Professional Affiliations

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

Second Vice Chair and Member of Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Chair, Governance Committee and Member, Board of Directors, Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Member, Board of Directors, Impact Foundry
Member, International Advisory Board, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
Senior Fellow, Class XIV, American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter
Former Co-Chair, California State Bar Corporations Committee

Honors And Rankings

Selected to Best of the Bar, Corporate Attorney, Sacramento Business Journal 2013, 2014 and 2015
Selected to Top Lawyers List for Business/Corporate Lawyers, Sacramento Magazine, 2020
Awarded Business Volunteer of the Year, Sacramento Arts and Business Council, 2005


LL.M., The George Washington University Law School, 1996
J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1993
B.A., University of California at Davis, 1989

Bar Admissions

California, 1993
District of Columbia, 1994, Inactive

News & Publications

Speaking Engagements / Events

Delfino Madden Nonprofit/Exempt Organization Client Update and Executive Roundtable: Navigating the New Normal

Negotiating and Drafting Software Implementation Agreements, Association of Corporate Counsel, Sacramento Chapter

Strategies for Maximizing the Board’s Value in a Large Not-for-profit Organization, National Association of Corporate Directors

“Serving on a Non-profit Board,” Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, Southern California Chapter

“Conflicts Issues for Business Lawyers,” Sacramento Bar Association, Tax Section

“Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures in the United States,” Madrid, Spain, Spanish-American Chamber of Commerce/PromoMadrid Conference

2002, 2003, 2005
“How to Form a Nonprofit Organization,” The Learning Exchange

“Public International Law,” University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and University of California, Davis School of Law
Guest Lecturer

“Ethical and Practical Issues for Lawyers Serving on Nonprofit Boards,” Sacramento County Bar Association, Business Law Section

“Association and Philanthropic Foundations,” California Society of Association Executives

“Public International Law,” University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Adjunct Faculty Member

2000, 2001
“Annual Legislative Update of California Business Law,” Sacramento County Bar Association, Business Law Section

2000, 2001
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team
Faculty Advisor

“Agreements, Institutions and Functions of the World Trade Organization,” U.S. Embassy-Cairo, Egypt

“U.S. and International Trade Law and Policy,” Kiev State University for Trade and Economics, Kiev, Ukraine

The American University, School of International Service, Washington, D.C.
Professional Lecturer in International Law


August 2001
Serving on a Nonprofit Board – Are You at Risk for Penalty Taxes? – Co-Author
Business Law Alert

January 2001
Giving Away the Company: Employee Stock Options and Repricing Considerations – Co-Author
Business Law Alert