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Asa Markel, Chair of the firm's Commercial, Competition & Trade practice group, is a dual-qualified U.S. attorney and non-practicing English solicitor. His experience includes civil litigation, including first chair jury and bench trials, appellate argument and arbitrations. Asa’s courtroom work ranges from business disputes to professional liability, admiralty and transportation, construction and employment law matters. He also advises foreign and domestic companies regarding their supply contracts, distribution arrangements, customs matters, export regulatory compliance, government contracts and protection of trade secrets.

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In his second decade of practice, Asa is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Corporate, Finance & Acquisitions groups and Chair of the Commercial, Competition & Trade practice. He also leads the firm’s International Trade & Logistics team. Diligent and always prepared, Asa is totally focused on continuously offering his clients strategic options and viable paths to achieving their objectives. Asa knows, from hands-on experience, how contracts and regulations will be enforced, which has given him an edge when negotiating and documenting agreements for his clients. A Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Asa brings diverse experience, practical legal advice and creative solutions to every matter.

Prior to joining the firm, Asa practiced maritime and transportation law in California, where he advised on cargo damage claims, the professional liability of forwarders and customs brokers, marine insurance coverage issues for American, British and Japanese insurers, and international sales contracts. He originally worked for a respected civil litigation law firm in Arizona.

Practice Areas


  • University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, J.D., 2003
  • Northern Arizona University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2000


  • California
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Arizona
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • England & Wales, (non-practicing)


Successfully represented a major machine tool importer on prior disclosure to U.S. Customs for $10 million worth of entries.

Successfully obtained a discovery order in U.S. district court against a major Silicon Valley consumer technology company on behalf of a publicly listed Japanese company for use in Tokyo District Court litigation.

Facilitated the set-up of U.S. branch for U.K.-based IT firm.

Oversaw discovery in multiple states for California litigation involving a major domestic freight carrier.

Represented a multistate developer of apartment complexes in several commercial and employment disputes.

Successfully defended a real estate brokerage at trial against negligence claims by a defaulting home seller.

Represented U.S.-based freight forwarder in a settlement with an international aluminum trader.

Obtained a summary judgment dispensing with punitive damages claim in an infant wrongful death case for a major commercial landlord in federal district court.

Obtained a dismissal under head of state immunity doctrine of commercial dispute involving a foreign cabinet minister.

Successfully reversed a trial judge's discretionary certification of a partial judgment in a $50 million construction dispute.

Advised an international steel trader on U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations.

Facilitated a software technology firm’s response to a data breach incident, including the preparation of data breach notification letters for compliance with the laws of multiple U.S. jurisdictions.



American Bar Association
Foreign Trade Association of Southern California
Inter-Pacific Bar Association
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
Planning for Disputes in Cross-Border Commercial Contracts
Negotiating the dispute resolution clauses to be included in a commercial agreement has often been described as discussing the divorce…
Data: The Contract Term That's Here to Stay
Businesses have become used to reviewing commercial agreements that cover issues such as warranties, indemnities, liquidated damages, and…
The U.S. Market is Still a Hostile Place for Chinese Goods
In April of this year, the U.S. Court of International Trade sided with the U.S. Government in the case of HMTX Industries, the lead case…
US States Increasing Regulation of Personal Information
As of January 1, 2023, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) now affects the personal data of not only consumers but also employees…
California Regulation of Employee and B2B Data to be Decided Before 2023
California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 has been the most sweeping state-level legislation affecting individuals’ personal data…
USJTA Benefits For Japanese Manufacturers
The 2020 global pandemic overshadowed a major development for Japanese suppliers to the U.S. market: the entry into force of the U.S.-Japan…
Top Three U.S. Developments in Commercial, Competition and Trade Law
Supplier Issues: Suppliers of materials and goods into the United States may be getting some relief in 2022 from container shortages and…
Three Key Clauses to Know When Negotiating Tough Supply Contracts
Suppliers of components to the automotive and electronics industries have long had to deal with brand name buyers with much more…
Increasing U.S. Action on International Shipping Costs
Executive Summary Companies shipping their products overseas during the past year have witnessed astronomical increases in freight…
China's Recent Export Control Blocking Rules: The Latest Paper Tiger
China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) issued its latest blocking statute against U.S. export controls at the beginning of this year…
Possible Rolling Deadlines for Import Tariff Challenges
There may still be time for importers to seek refunds of certain Section 301 duties paid on Chinese imports. On September 10, HMTX…
The Near Future of U.S. / China Trade
Many companies doing business with China or sourcing materials, parts or products from China, have been hoping for the past two years that…
U.S. Increases Restrictions on Transactions with China
The lockdown of several economies in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 has distracted many from recent changes in U.S. export control…
The International Trade Landscape for 2020
On December 13, 2019, the U.S. Government announced the general terms of a “Phase One” trade agreement with China. Under the terms of this…
U.S. Technology Controls for 2020
At the end of 2019, the U.S. Government enacted two additional restrictions on transactions involving foreign technology products…
Trump's Comments Highlight Confusion Over Huawei Ban
The United States currently has three bans in place concerning (or potentially concerning) Huawei products: Congress’ ban on the purchase…
U.S. Begins Process of Banning Huawei
President Trump’s May 15, 2019 executive order entitled “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain,”…
U.S. Releases Second List of Exclusions from Section 301 Tariffs
This week the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a second list of items that will be excluded from the 25% tariff otherwise imposed…
U.S. Commerce Department to Expand Scope of Export Controls
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is expected to publicly propose new regulations…
U.S. Imposes List 3 Tariff on Chinese Goods
This week the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the final version of its third list of Chinese origin goods subject to a 10% import…
U.S. Tariffs on Chinese Goods Continue
Many companies have already begun reviewing their supply chains to determine if it is possible to avoid or minimize the use of Chinese…
U.S. Allows Importers to Obtain Exclusions to Tariffs on Chinese Goods
U.S. importers of Chinese goods and components should be aware that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has posted instructions…
U.S. Commerce Department Grants Product-Specific Exemptions to Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
This past week, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it will be excluding 42 steel products on behalf of seven different companies…
California Court of Appeals Confirms that One Class Action is Enough
Executive Summary The California Court of Appeal’s decision in Shine v. Williams-Sonoma reiterates that all claims relating to…
GDPR and Overseas Businesses: Beware the Standard Contractual Clauses
Most businesses should be aware by now that the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) takes effect this week in the territory of the…
U.S. Announces Suspension of Tariffs on Chinese Goods
This Sunday (May 20, 2018), U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the U.S. will suspend the imposition of Tariffs on…
Public Comment Deadline for Chinese Import Tariffs Closing
This Friday (May 11, 2018), the deadline will have passed for public comments to the U.S. Trade Representative’s list of approximately…
Facebook Privacy Litigation: U.S. Style Data Regulation
As the month of March ended, Facebook faced at least sixteen separate lawsuits relating to or spurred by the revelations concerning…
Overview of 2018 U.S. Tariffs
During 2018, President Trump has ordered three separate tariffs on products imported into the United States: Section 201 “safeguards” for…
Trump Directs U.S. Trade Representative to Propose Tariffs on Chinese Imports
This Thursday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) concluded his seven-month investigation into whether the Chinese government unfairly…
Update on Country Exemptions from U.S. Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be temporarily suspended…
Department of Commerce Gives U.S. Importers New Procedures for Exemptions to Trump Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) began taking applications from interested parties in the…
Status of U.S. Import Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum
The United States will assess import duties of 25% and 10%, respectively, of the value of all steel and aluminum imported on or after March…
Litigation Update for April 2017
California Supreme Court Rules on Fee Awards in Forum Selection Clause Dismissals This past week, the California Supreme Court weighed in…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - January 2017
Wage and Hour - All Of Our Employees Are Paid A Salary By Frank J. Del Barto As we begin 2017, it is often valuable to review lessons…
Speaking Engagements
"U.S. Electronic Discovery Update 2018," Kitahama Law Firm/FRONTEO/Masuda Funai co-hosted seminar in Tokyo, Japan (July 11, 2018)
Complimentary Webinar - California Law: Significant Leave Law Change Updates and Reminders For 2021
On September 17, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed SB 1383 into law significantly expanding eligibility for family care and medical…
2017 Employment, Labor & Benefits Group Complimentary Seminar
EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS GROUP COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Trump Administration's…
Masuda Funai Ranked as Best Law Firm and Seven Attorneys Selected as Best Lawyer for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recently released 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings and gave Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd…
Masuda Funai Elects Two Equity Principals
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. is proud to announce Asa W. Markel and David J. Stein as the firm’s newest equity principals…
Asa Markel Authored an Article in the JCCC Newsletter
The article "New Higher Tariffs in Ongoing U.S. / China Trade War" featured in the June 2019 JCCC Newsletter provides insights regarding…
Masuda Funai Hosts 2019 Litigation Practice Group Seminar
On April 18, 2019, Masuda Funai hosted its Litigation Practice Group seminar to assist clients in protecting their company assets, both…
"Possible Rolling Deadlines for Import Tariff Challenges" - BizBuddy, October 2020
"The Near Future of U.S. / China Trade" - BizBuddy, August 2020
"U.S. Increases Restrictions on Transactions with China" - BizBuddy, June 2020
"Japanese Judgments and the Common Law of Preclusion" - Law & Practice, vol. 8, p. 235, Waseda University, August 2014
"English Court Paves Way For Primacy of American Fuel Supplier Claims" - International Transportation Committee Newsletter, No. 4, p. 4, American Bar Association, July 2011


  • Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2012-2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2021