Sayuri P. Espinosa
Sayuri is an Associate in Rutan’s Corporate & Employment departments. She has experience defending against harassment and discrimination cases, as well as wage and hour actions. As a litigator and experienced employment law attorney, Sayuri is a zealous advocate with a unique eye for minimizing risk. Sayuri’s corporate practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, general corporate transactions, and corporate governance. Sayuri’s practice touches a variety of industries including hospitality, apparel and beauty, financial services, food and beverage, health, wellness and fitness, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and entertainment.
She has experience in a wide variety of corporate transactions, including:
- Representing acquirers and target companies in equity and asset acquisitions, with a focus on the middle market (transactions between $5 million and $500 million).
- Assisting funders in litigation finance transactions.
- Drafting influencer agreements, non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, and proprietary information and assignment of inventions agreements.
- Drafting and negotiating employment agreements and equity incentive agreements.
- Drafting cease-and-desist letters to enforce restrictive covenants and trade secret laws, including non-solicitation, non-disclosure, and confidentiality obligations.
- Drafting and negotiating non-competition agreements, including in connection with sales of businesses.
- Drafting employee handbooks, workplace policies, and separation agreements.
- Serving as a day-to-day resource for corporate clients regarding transactional and governance matters.
An active member of her community, Sayuri provides pro bono legal services through the Public Law Center and serves as a Board Member of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association Foundation, Co-Chair of the Public Law Center Silent Auction Committee, and Past Chair of the Orange County Association of Business Trial Lawyers Young Lawyers Division.
Sayuri is fluent in Spanish.
Areas of Expertise
- Corporate/Securities Law
- Defense of California Wage & Hour and PAGA Claims
- Defense of Harassment and Discrimination Claims
- Defense of Wrongful Termination and Retaliation Claims
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Litigation Funding
- Corporate Governance
- Contract Negotiation
- Non-Disclosure, Confidentiality, and Proprietary Information Agreements
- Influencer Agreements
- Employment Agreements
- Cease and Desist Letters
- Wage and Hour Diligence
- A.B. 1825 Sexual Harassment Training (Spanish & English)
- Represented acquirers and target companies in equity and asset acquisitions, with a focus on the middle market.
- Represented funders in various litigation finance investment transactions.
- Represented company in connection with capital raises.
- Drafted influencer agreements for fashion retailer partnering with social media influencers.
- Defended communications company and multiple individual defendants against claims of fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty, among others, and ultimately obtained pre-discovery dismissal of entire action.
- Defended construction company in hotly contested putative wage-and-hour class action involving more than 11,000 employees. Defeated plaintiffs’ bid for class certification, and further obtained a “walk-away” (no money paid to plaintiffs) settlement of plaintiffs’ individual claims.
- Defended hospital against retaliation and wrongful termination lawsuit in multi-day arbitration. Obtained arbitration decision in favor of hospital on all claims.
- Represented restaurant client against former employee in wage claim asserting claims of unpaid wages and waiting time penalties before the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and obtained decision in favor of restaurant, awarding the plaintiff $0.
News & Insights
- “New COVID-19 Related Orders for Los Angeles City Employers,” Rutan & Tucker, LLP E-Alert, April 2020
Awards & Affiliations
Memberships & Affiliations
- Board Member, Orange County Women Lawyers Association (Present)
- Board Member, Orange County Women Lawyers Association Foundation (2022)
- Chair, Public Law Center, Volunteers for Justice Silent Auction Committee Member (2022-Present, served on Silent Auction Committee since 2019)
- Chair, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, YLD Committee (2019-2021)
- Member, State Bar of California (Labor and Employment Law Section)
- Member, Orange County Bar Association
- Member, International Bar Association
Awards & Honors
- Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, 2023
- Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for 2022-2023
- Rutan & Tucker, LLP Excellence in Pro Bono Services Award, 2021