Chris Ghazarian | DreamHost
General counsel

Chris Ghazarian

In a very short amount of time, Chris Ghazarian has seen his career transform from a legal intern to a trusted advisor for his CEO and board at DreamHost, a Los Angeles-based web hosting, domain, and cloud company with over 400,000 customers. Just three years after starting his job while in law school, the board of directors at DreamHost offered Ghazarian the general counsel position in 2016. He had the following to say about being appointed to this position at the age of 28: ‘It was a vote of confidence from my board; they trusted me to lead the legal team and take part in high-level deals. This transition from an intern to general counsel forced me to think more like a leader rather than just a lawyer, and I quickly implemented new ideas to cut costs, grow my team, and positively affect the rest of our company’. Just one year later, DreamHost publicly opposed a search warrant from the Department of Justice that demanded, among other things, 1.3 million IP addresses of internet users who visited a website organising protests against President Trump’s inauguration. The story gained international attention, and Ghazarian with his team successfully argued in D.C. Superior Court against the overbroad nature of the demand and its effect on 1st Amendment protections. Ghazarian also successfully defends DreamHost against patent trolls and continues to refuse settlements for the typically-exorbitant amounts of money they demand for dubious patents, choosing instead to fight back against them and prevail. In 2018, he was tasked by the CEO to lead DreamHost’s international marketing and expansion initiatives, in another example of the trust the organisation places in his legal business skills. Ghazarian is also credited with growing the legal team and handling most cases in-house while developing smart solutions. ‘This has allowed me to cut our legal costs an average of 45% per year since starting at DreamHost, freeing capital for bigger projects’, he explains. Commenting on the growing influence of in-house professionals, Ghazarian had the following to share: ‘In-house counsel are seeing an evolution in the scope of their role. More and more general counsel are now valuable partners for their CEOs and boards, and can shape the company vision and long-term strategy. We’re directly contributing to the future of our companies, which is powerful and energising for business-minded attorneys’.

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