Lori Liu

Lori Liu

Senior Associate


Identified as a 2016 Woman of Power by San Francisco Magazine, Lori Liu possesses the unique skills of an experienced attorney and passionate public servant. Ms. Liu has over 10 years of experience in the fields of commercial, real estate and financial institutions litigation. Ms. Liu represents and advises California public agencies and non-profits in all aspects of labor and employment litigation. She defends employers in litigation claims for wage and hour collective actions, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and other employment and tort claims. She has experience in various aspects of litigation before federal and California state courts, and in responding to EEOC/DFEH charges.

Her litigation experience includes eminent domain and inverse condemnation, land use and environmental matters, landlord-tenant and purchaser-seller disputes, trade secret and employee recruitment matters, mechanic’s liens, unlawful detainer, and securities class actions.

Along with second-chairing two jury trials and handling numerous cases prior to trial, Ms. Liu has handled a variety of arbitrations and mediations.

  • Poletti v. City of South San Francisco, San Mateo County Superior Court (No. CIV 444706). In this 2005 trial, as second chair, Ms. Liu obtained a $617,000 jury verdict for inverse condemnation on behalf of a commercial property owner in a matter related to the City’s storm drain upgrade project.
  • Uno Fratelli v. Citibank, Napa County Superior Court (No. 26-35442). In this 2008 trial, as second chair, Ms. Liu represented a financial institution tenant in a lease dispute with its landlord arising out of the landlord unreasonably withholding its consent to assignment.
  • Client v. Doe, Santa Clara Superior Court. In this 2007 lawsuit, Ms. Liu represented a shopping center developer in a leasing dispute with its anchor tenant arising out of the tenant’s breach of the covenant of continuous operations.  As lead associate, Ms. Liu prepared the case for trial and obtained a settlement in excess of $4 million.
  • Nunez v. Reilly, San Mateo County Superior Court (No. CIV 467117). As lead counsel, Ms. Liu obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, freezing $85,000 held in an escrow account, on behalf of a restaurant business that was defrauded into purchasing a business.


Mayor and Councilmember, City of Brisbane

Prior to joining Renne Public Law Group, Ms. Liu served for four years on the Brisbane City Council.  She was elected in 2013, served as Mayor Pro Tempore in 2015-2016, and as Mayor in 2016-2017.  An avowed champion of education, children, the arts, recreation, economic development, the environment, and volunteerism in civic engagement, Ms. Liu helped to govern the City of Brisbane with integrity and dedication.  During her term as Brisbane Mayor, she led the City Council public hearings and deliberations related to the Brisbane Baylands Project and Council’s decision-making regarding the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Baylands Development, contributed to the adoption of the City’s first ever Precise Plan for Parkside at Brisbane Village, and supported preparation efforts to construct the City’s new Brisbane Library.

During her term, Ms. Liu served on the City’s Economic Development Subcommittee, Fiscal & Administrative Policy Subcommittee, Planning Issues Subcommittee, Public Information and Technology Subcommittee, Health and Safety Issues Subcommittee, and School/City Subcommittee. While on the City Council, she served as a representative to a number of regional government organizations, including the League of California Cities, Association of Bay Area Governments, City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG), the Peninsula Clean Energy Board of Directors, the County Library JPA Governing Board, Airport Community Roundtable, and San Mateo County Council of Cities Executive Board. Prior to elected office, Ms. Liu served on the City of Brisbane’s Open Space and Ecology Committee, the Board of Directors of the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Directors of the Landmark at the Ridge Homeowner’s Association.

Some of the City of Brisbane matters on which Ms. Liu provided policy direction include:

  • Brisbane Baylands Final EIR Review under CEQA (proposed project for 4,400 housing units on site with environmental and other issues)
  • Precise Plan for Parkside at Brisbane Village, a 20-acre area to include 230 units of housing
  • Update to Housing Element of General Plan
  • Construction of new library
  • Construction of new skatepark
  • Brisbane Marina dredging project
  • Update to Green Building Ordinance
  • Creation of Public Arts Ordinance
  • Ordinance regulating smoking in multi-unit housing and e-cigarettes
  • Ordinance regulating massage establishments
  • Update to water and sewer rates
  • Appeals of Planning Commission decisions regarding commercial and residential building applications
  • Ballot measures regarding business license fees
  • Labor negotiations with City’s bargaining groups
  • Litigation claims against the City arising from business license fees, real property damage and other matters
  • Joining Peninsula Clean Energy and opting the City’s municipal accounts to ECO100, the 100% renewable energy option, for all municipal electric accounts

Litigation Attorney

Prior to elected office, Ms. Liu was a litigation associate for over eight years at Buchalter Nemer, where she represented private sector clients in federal and state courts in a broad variety of commercial and real estate litigation matters.  Prior to that, Ms. Liu was a litigation associate for two years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she represented clients in complex commercial and securities litigation.  During this time, she also provided pro bono representation through the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she successfully represented a family in political asylum proceedings before the Immigration Court in San Francisco.

During law school at Northwestern University, Ms. Liu served as Senior Manuscript Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review, and authored a law review article on the interpretation of the Convention Against Torture under In re S.V. She also served as a Judicial Intern to Judge Sidney Schenkier of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and interned with the Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center. She participated in the Bluhm Legal Clinic on Juvenile Justice, where she advocated for juveniles’ constitutional rights. During her first year of law school, she received the CALI Award for the highest grades in Legal Process, and Legal Analysis and Writing.


  • California Democratic Party – AD 22, elected delegate 2014-2016; appointed delegate 2017-2018, 2019-2020
  • Emerge CA (Democratic women leadership training program), Class of 2008 alumni
  • Brisbane School District Parcel Tax Campaign 2018, Team Leader
  • Brisbane Elementary School, Public Speaking Club, Founder and Volunteer Teacher
  • Brisbane Elementary School, Site Council Member
  • Brisbane Lions Club, member
  • Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, former Secretary, Board of Directors
  • Landmark at the Ridge Homeowners Association, former Secretary, Board of Directors
  • City of Brisbane, Open Space and Ecology Committee, former member
  • Brisbane Baylands Draft Environmental Impact Report Citizen’s Committee, former member
  • Brisbane Baylands Community Advisory Group, former member
  • Commercial Real Estate for Women (CREW), former member


  • “Legislative Round-Up – New California Legislation,” Presentation to California Special District Association, November 1, 2018
  • “Government’s Support for Innovation in Brisbane and Silicon Valley,” Keynote Speaker at 2017 Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair, City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute Opening Ceremony, Chengdu, China, June 23, 2017
  • “Title Insurance and Mechanic’s Liens Issues Relating to the Problem Construction Loan,” Presentation to Bridge Bank, April 2, 2009
  • “Construction Lenders Confronting Rising Number of Mechanic’s Liens and Stop Notices,” California Real Estate Journal, September 22, 2008
  • “Protecting Against Mechanic’s Lien Filings and Foreclosure,” Presentation to Investors Resource Center of America (IRCA), August 21, 2008
  • “Where Will Cleantech Go?” The Registry Real Estate Journal, February 2008
  • “Employer Update: Homeland Security Appeals Ruling and Attempts to Delay ‘No-Match’ Letter Court Proceedings,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, January 2008
  • “Employers Take Note: New Ruling on Social Security ‘No-Match’ Rule, The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, November 2007
  • “Businesses Beware: ‘No Hire’ Provisions in Consulting Contracts May Be Unenforceable,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, September 2007
  • “Wrongful Termination: Reporting Workplace Violence,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, August 2007
  • “Expectations – Workplace Privacy,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, July 2007
  • “Three Steps to Protecting Your Company from Corporate Raiding,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, June 2007
  • “At-Will Employees,” The Luminary, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, May 2007


  • Northwestern University School of Law, JD
  • Tufts University, BA, Cum Laude with High Thesis Honors


  • California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Federal District Court for the Northern District of California

Our Team

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Ruth Bond
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Ryan McGinley-Stempel
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