Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Litigation - California


What the team is known for Compact but well-regarded boutique with an experienced team of litigators. Acts for both plaintiffs and defendants in matters such as entertainment, professional liability and IP disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I am very impressed with the firm. They are able counselors and litigators, with good common sense."

"You get a lot of experience on the ground floor. It's a very diverse and very open-minded firm."

"This is a great boutique." 

Work highlights Represented Freedom Communications in a contract dispute with fiber-optics service provider 360networks, which had been purchased by one of Freedom's competitors.

Defended Netflix and two of the company's executives against a defamation action brought by a former employee.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Caldwell is a respected trial attorney with experience at both federal and state level. His areas of focus include IP, entertainment, professional liability and employment disputes.

Significant clients CBS, Gap, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Charlotte Russe, Hunt Development Group.

What the team is known for Particular strength in the Bay Area but also acts in commercial and securities litigation cases across the state and on a national basis. Has a vibrant caseload in IP, class action and shareholder derivative cases, and carries out work for a number of technology, pharmaceutical and financial services clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They took initiative in options and setting directions to the case."

"Very strong performer in the area." 

Work highlights Advised Affymax on the defense of a securities class action case relating to the recall of OMONYS, an anemia drug.

Acted for Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, on a well-publicized class action arising from the company's $11.1 billion acquisition of Autonomy.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Neal is known for his trial skills and provides diverse litigation and counseling services to companies, boards and individuals facing various commercial and financial disputes. A commentator notes: "He is a highly regarded litigator with a broad practice. He could jump into any case which required a litigator and do a good job."

Michael Rhodes "has a great, well-deserved reputation," and is a litigator "worth shouting about," according to one source. His areas of focus include privacy and financial services.

Both civil and criminal matters feature in John Dwyer's caseload and he has experience in an array of litigation situations. He is partner-in-charge at the firm's Palo Alto office.

Significant clients eBay, Medivation, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, MannKind.

What the team is known for Plaintiff-focused group providing statewide coverage from three offices in California. Fields a number of experienced attorneys offering the full gamut of commercial litigation expertise.

Notable practitioners  

Plaintiff litigator Joseph Cotchett garners "a tremendous amount of respect" from market observers. He enjoys a high-level securities and general commercial litigation practice, and retains his reputation as "one of the leading plaintiff lawyers in the country."

What the team is known for Able to handle complex commercial disputes cases for large and sophisticated clients. Strong experience pertaining to industry sectors such as technology, healthcare, education and telecommunications.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are very technically competent at litigation but easy for a corporation to work with because of their business-savvy attitude."

"To be able to access advice from the whole firm is excellent because they are very service-oriented and very responsive."

"A smaller firm but really impressive." 

Work highlights Represented Lockheed Martin in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act alleging fraudulent underbidding on a contract for the development of rocket launching technology. The plaintiff claimed a damages award of $450 million and the final contract value of $883 million.

Defended Luxottica and EYEXAM against a claim that the businesses had contravened the California Business and Professions Code.

Notable practitioners  

The "strategic" Gregory Call is head of the firm's San Francisco office and the cochair of the litigation group. Clients particularly like his "excellent attention to detail."

Senior counsel Michael Kahn acts in many of the firm's high-profile cases. One impressed source observes: "He is a problem solver. He puts all the pieces together very quickly and figures the right approach to each piece."

Douglas Sullivan offers a diverse litigation practice with a particular focus on complex commercial disputes. "He immerses himself in the details of a dispute and works out how to handle these in a litigation context," comments an interviewee.

Significant clients The Regents of the University of California, Enterprise Holdings, UnitedHealth Group, General Motors, AT&T.

What the team is known for Global group with a significant presence in California, acting on cases inside and outside the state for clients in a variety of industries. Offers particular expertise in class actions, consumer fraud, product liability and antitrust, among other areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Their strength is their actual trial experience. There is no substitute for actually going to court or putting on a complex trial before a jury."

"They are super responsive and very practical. They do what is necessary but don't do a lot of extra fighting and run up bills."

Work highlights Acted for theater operator Nederlander Organization in a dispute over the control of a jointly owned company, Shorenstein Hays-Nederlander Theatres, and the status of the Curran Theatre.

Defended Monster Worldwide against a class action alleging that the company made automatic sales calls to cell phones without consent, in breach of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  

Notable practitioners  

William Oxley has recent experience in a range of commercial disputes including product liability litigation and business torts. He is described by interviewees as "a great trial lawyer."

Christopher Ruhland practices in general commercial and IP disputes. He attracts particular praise for his trial skills, with one source stating: "His cross-examination is superb."

The "terrific" Matthew Larrabee splits his time between the firm's San Francisco and New York offices and acts as chair of the firm's global litigation group. He focuses on commercial and securities disputes and is known in particular for his consumer class action and mutual fund work. One impressed source states: "He is very savvy with good courtroom judgment and skills."

Significant clients DHL Express, Union Carbide, Golden Living, Dow Chemical, Victoria's Secret.

What the team is known for Involved in a range of complex securities matters on behalf of companies and their officers as well as for brokers, auditors and funds. Offers clients a deep resource base and a broad geographical coverage, particularly in relation to Chinese business issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"A very strong diversified law firm with excellent domestic and international legal resources."

Work highlights Defended a class action and shareholder derivative litigation, involving misstated revenue allegations, on behalf of a former senior vice president of sales of energy solutions company Maxwell Technologies.

Argued on behalf of NuVasive in a motion to dismiss a claim asserting that the company had violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) following the receipt of a subpoena from the DHHS OIG. 

Notable practitioners  

Shirli Fabbri Weiss, a well-known and highly regarded securities litigator and investigations lawyer, is recognized as a top choice for corporate boards. "She is always in the important things," comments one interviewee. 

Significant clients Finisar, New Energy Systems Group, Yorkville Advisors, Dutchess Capital.

What the team is known for Midsized group headquartered in San Francisco with a loyal following from a blue-chip client base. Provides commercial litigation services, including class action representation, to companies in the technology, food and motor industries, among others. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I am very impressed with the firm; they produce extremely high-quality work, listen to the client, and offer practical sound advice along with top-notch legal skills."

"The attorneys we work with at Farella Braun are smart, strategic and responsive."

"They take a lot of care in what they do and give clients a lot of attention."

Work highlights Defended Ghirardelli Chocolate Company against a class action alleging that the labeling of a product contravened the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Business & Professions Code.

Represented defendants Assured Guaranty Municipal Corporation and Assured Guaranty Corporation in an action in which the plaintiffs claimed that an antitrust conspiracy existed to force the purchase of bond insurance.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Young is a well-known figure at the firm and his work is commented upon by a number of peers. He has a dual white-collar and civil litigation practice. One source notes: "He is real sharp and a very experienced litigator. He has real valuable insight."

Significant clients Coupons, Dell, Electrolux Home Products, Hewlett-Packard, Nestle Waters North America.

What the team is known for A new entrant to the securities table, and highlighted for its focus on the representation of technology companies. Acts for a number of household name clients in matters such as securities class actions, internal investigations and securities fraud cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"In complicated litigation you want lawyers who will devote their time to understand the business issues behind legal issues. That is where they excel and take time to listen. It is the most important skill a lawyer can bring to the table."

"They are among the best in practicality and substantive expertise for technology companies." 

Work highlights Acted for Immersion in a successful appeal after plaintiffs made a loss causation plea based on the fact that the company had announced disappointing earnings and an internal investigation.

Defended directors of Las Vegas Sands against a shareholder derivative suit in which the plaintiffs alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and securities laws.

Notable practitioners  

Susan Muck has an increasing profile in the securities enforcement and litigation field. She acts on a wide range of securities matters and attracts praise from peers and clients alike. An interviewee says: "She is skilled at speaking to different kinds of audiences. When having a discussion about a complicated question, she can talk about nuances and a level of detail that only an attorney would understand, or if speaking to a lay audience or a member of a board of directors, she can explain without the Latin and legalese."

Significant clients Hewlett-Packard, Diamond Foods, Cisco Systems, Symantec Corporation, Amazon.com.

What the team is known for Universally recognized as one of the top commercial and securities litigation teams in California. Fields an impressive group of well-known attorneys and a deep bench of litigators with a long history of achieving noteworthy results. Acts on cases such as securities class actions and complex commercial disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"A formidable litigation firm. They remain one of the preeminent firms in Southern California."

"They earn their money by delivering real results." 

"They did an exceptional job in the process and their preparation leading up to trial, and through trial, was great."

Work highlights Acted for Nike in a dispute with Oakley concerning endorsement agreements with Rory McIlroy, in which Oakley alleged Nike had intentionally acted to breach Oakley's right of first refusal.

Advised Microsoft and several senior executives on the defense of an alleged fraud-related securities class action regarding with the company's Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.

Continued to represent a number of financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, UBS, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, in a high-profile class action regarding Countrywide's sale of mortgage-backed securities prior to the financial crisis.

Notable practitioners  

Los Angeles-based Dean Kitchens has a reputation as one of the top securities litigators in the state and remains a senior figure in the commercial disputes arena. He attracts considerable praise, with sources naming him "a phenomenal trial lawyer" and "a pleasure to work with."

Wayne Smith is a securities lawyer with a broad range of experience litigating in both state and federal courts. He has particular experience in securities fraud cases.

Jonathan Dickey splits his time between the firm's New York and Palo Alto offices. He is a respected securities practitioner, with experience ranging from securities class actions and M&A litigation to SEC enforcement cases.

Meryl Young is based in the firm's Orange County office and specializes in securities and M&A litigation. She is well known for her "very deep subject matter expertise."

Christopher Chorba is a class action defense specialist and is known for his knowledge of Californian consumer class action law. One source notes: "He has a great presence and style and an incredibly strategic, chess-like approach to resolving cases."

Significant clients Dole, HP, Allergan, Herbalife, Walmart.

What the team is known for Represents clients in industries such as telecommunications, life sciences and finance, including funds and private equity groups, in traditional securities class action and SEC work, as well as in fraud, M&A and mortgage-backed securities based matters. Often acts for clients with a national or international reach. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are making a real name for themselves in financial services litigation."

Work highlights Worked alongside partners in the firm's East Coast offices to defend Countrywide Financial in connection with a mortgage-backed securities damages claim for $13 billion brought by AIG.

Acted for engineering firm Tetra Tech in defense of a class action brought on the basis of alleged false and misleading statements.

Notable practitioners  

Forrest Hainline maintains a broad commercial litigation practice with a focus on food labeling and hospitality cases, product liability and consumer class actions, among other areas. He is known as a "very smart and thoughtful" litigator.

"Experienced" securities litigator and counselor Daniel Tyukody continues to work on an impressive range of cases, including acting for Countrywide in the highly publicized MBS litigation stemming from the financial crisis.

Significant clients athenahealth, Essex Property Trust, Fortis Advisors, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Woodlands Commercial.

What the team is known for Full-service securities group acting for a variety of clients including large public entities and significant investment funds. Carries out complex securities litigation and counsels on regulatory issues and investigations. Also noted for its solid track record in general commercial litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A very strong and capable firm." 

"We use them a lot. They are very good, very thorough and very professional."

Work highlights Defended StarKist in a case concerning allegations of violations of consumer protection statutes, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment, among others.

Notable practitioners  

Long-serving securities attorney Douglas Schwab enjoys a robust reputation for his litigation expertise. Over the course of his career he has defended clients in areas such as accounting, technology and consumer services, among others.

Significant clients Ernst & Young, United Health Care, Domain Associates, LabCorp, GK Films.

What the team is known for Comprehensive commercial litigation group closely integrated with the rest of the firm and acting for midmarket companies and large corporations. Areas of focus continue to include class action defense, product liability and toxic tort as well as antitrust and IP disputes.

Work highlights Represented Olympus-Calistoga, the former owner of a luxury resort, in a complex indemnity dispute with the resort operator.

Acted for Formosa Plastics in a $22 million False Claims Act claim relating to sales of resin and materials to J-M Manufacturing Company.

Notable practitioners  

San Francisco-based Matthew Vafidis leads the firm's West Coast litigation group.

Significant clients MB Financial Bank, Signature Flight Support, City of Ontario, RCP Partners.

What the team is known for Particularly recommended for its excellence in securities litigation, while also earning strong market endorsement for commercial litigation work. Clients include companies and high-profile individuals in the technology and pharmaceutical industries, among others.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are super smart and efficient and very bright people. They are very organized and tenacious."

"The bottom line is that they walk on water. They are creative, encyclopedic, organized, dogged and respectful."

"Highly responsive and skilled." 

Work highlights Appointed by the DOJ to act for a litigation trust which included the DOJ and the Navajo Nation, among others, in the extensive Tronox v Anadarko Petroleum environmental bankruptcy litigation. The dispute stemmed from the bankruptcy of Kerr McGee, now a subsidiary of Anadarko.

Represented Angelo Mozilo in the DOJ investigation into Countrywide's sale of RMBS between 2005 and 2008.

Acted for CoreLogic Valuation Services, formerly eAppraiseIT, in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) case relating to allegedly improper and negligent appraisal reports.

Notable practitioners  

"Top securities lawyer" David Siegel is known as a "smart, strategic thinker," who has an excellent reputation for his litigation work. His caseload includes the representation of prominent companies and individuals. One interviewee describes him succinctly: "He is obviously fantastic and really effective and persuasive."

Significant clients Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Corinthian Colleges, Tesla Motors, TowerBrook Capital Partners.

What the team is known for Large statewide team able to draw on significant national resources to provide clients with a complete commercial litigation service. Engaged by clients in numerous sectors and on cases such as contract disputes, class actions, product liability claims and false advertising litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Very professional and personable. They are good litigators with sound legal and strategic judgment."

"They know how to fight in court and deal with the top level of management."

Work highlights Advised BSH Home Appliances after a consumer class action was brought against the company, founded on allegations of breaches of implied warranties in relation to Bosch and Siemens washing machines.

Acted for Expedia, Hotels.com and Hotwire in a transient occupancy tax case brought by Californian counties and cities involving the fees charged by online travel companies.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Mittelstaedt is "well known and highly regarded" by market commentators. His litigation experience encompasses antitrust, Alien Tort Statute and IP cases, among others.

The firm's head of litigation in Los Angeles, Rick McKnight, enjoys an "excellent reputation." According to one source, he is "often brought in on the biggest cases."

Significant clients AECOM, Chevron, Experian Information Solutions, Lennar, Micron Technology.

What the team is known for Compact litigation boutique with an outstanding reputation for trial work. Established reputation as a go-to firm for commercial disputes, particularly for technology groups, and also offers a securities litigation practice for financial services companies and individuals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Excellent firm; very practical and focused on efficiency, with top-notch lawyers at every level. Keker & Van Nest was a true ally in litigation."

"Tremendous litigation in the courtroom overall." 

Work highlights Acted for the San Diego County Water Authority in its water rates litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Successfully defended Intuitive Surgical against a securities class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the company had issued misleading and falsified performance predictions.

Lead defense counsel to Major League Baseball in a suit filed by the City of San Jose regarding alleged unfair business practices.

Notable practitioners  

Founding partner John Keker is lauded as "the finest trial lawyer in California, if not the USA," with sources noting that he "communicates effectively with juries and is a genuinely warm man who cares about clients." His broad practice encompasses complex commercial, white-collar, antitrust and securities litigation.

Robert Van Nest is recognized by peers for his litigation practice which encompasses commercial disputes and IP work. His clients include leading technology companies.

Significant clients Genentech, Impax Laboratories, Intel, Intuitive Surgical, Amyris.

What the team is known for Wide geographical coverage and broad expertise across the commercial litigation spectrum. Advises clients in industries ranging from entertainment to pharmaceuticals and remains strong in the defense of large-scale class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"When you need a heavy hitter they are the perfect firm. They are very creative in their thinking on class issues."

Work highlights Advised Energy Future Competitive Holdings and affiliates in the litigation aspects of the largest operating Chapter 11 case ever filed in Delaware.

Defended Lincoln National Corporation against a class action involving the disclosure of life-settlement options and alleged unfair business practices.

Notable practitioners 

Mark McKane is a key litigation contact in the San Francisco office.

Significant clients Boeing, DIRECTV, Facebook, Pfizer, Raytheon.

What the team is known for Global firm with the capacity to handle diverse and challenging commercial litigation, including IP cases and financial disputes. Additionally skilled in contentious securities matters, including shareholder litigation and accounting liability claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They have positioned themselves at the forefront of significant litigation."

"They are quite creative in defending securities litigation matters."

"Broad capabilities across the USA, with the ability to tailor litigation and strategy to local courts and judges."

Work highlights Represented the National Football League Players Association and NFL players in the defense of an action brought by former NFL players alleging that the union and licensing body breached their fiduciary duties.

Defended the former CEO and Chairman of sTec, Manouch Moshayedi, in an insider trading case brought by the SEC alleging misleading statements regarding a secondary offering of $267 million worth of the company stock.

Acted for Eduardo Solorzano Morales, Walmart Latin America's former CEO, in a well-publicized investigation and litigation arising from alleged contraventions of the FCPA.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Wald is known for his work in civil securities litigation matters and comes highly recommended by sources. He is known as a "very, very smart guy" who "knows the landscape exceptionally well."

Significant clients Allergan, Ernst & Young, US Airways, ConocoPhilips, Apple.

What the team is known for Growing team with significant amounts of trial and alternative dispute resolution experience. Skilled in consumer class actions in several areas, as well as in disputes relating to entertainment, real estate, healthcare, retail and financial services.

Work highlights Defended AMC Theaters against a class action relating to the failure of the company's 45 California theaters to provide suitable seating to their employee ticket sellers.

Acted for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in a large case relating to alleged underpayments by the company for care given in hospitals operated by Prime Healthcare Services.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Kanny chairs the firm's litigation group.

Significant clients Blue Shield of California, Del Taco, Dignity Health, IMAX, Walmart.

What the team is known for Takes on complex commercial cases and fields a bench of experienced trial lawyers. Key sectors in which the team works include healthcare, technology, IP, energy, financial services and alcohol.

Work highlights Engaged by Universal Health Services to represent the company in a federal False Claims Act case relating to alleged improper billing.

Advised sportswear and accessories company Under Armour after it was sued for alleged false advertising and unfair business practices.

Notable practitioners  

Dan Alberti and Tom Ryan are key contacts in the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles offices respectively.

Significant clients Bank of America, Bright Source Energy, First Regional Bancorp, Quality Home Loans, Terra-Gen Power.

What the team is known for Respected firm offering a depth of resources and expertise to clients seeking general commercial and securities litigators. Covers the full gamut of securities work for auditors and large companies. Also acts in commercial disputes for clients of varying sizes and in numerous sectors including healthcare, technology and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The firm is very large and has the ability to devote substantial resources to a legal matter and does so with great attention to detail."

"One of the best known firms in this area." 

What's new? Several former Bingham McCutchen attorneys, including Donn Pickett, David Balabanian, Dale Barnes and Charlene Shimada, joined the department in November 2014.

Work highlights Completed a long-running breach of contract case against Starbucks on behalf of Mondelez International.

Advised Jones Lang LaSalle on a putative class action regarding alleged breaches of securities regulations brought by investors who sought damages of $15 million.

Defended ITT Corporation in an alleged groundwater contamination case brought by the Orange County Water District.

Notable practitioners  

Donn Pickett enjoys a broad practice encompassing areas such as antitrust, securities and IP litigation. He has been retained by a number of household name clients in significant commercial disputes.

With over 40 years of experience, David Balabanian is a senior figure in the commercial litigation world. His areas of expertise include antitrust and energy litigation.

David Schrader serves as managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office and attracts particular praise for his "real tremendous trial persona" and advocacy skills. He handles class actions, manufacturing disputes and product work, among other matters. 

Dale Barnes specializes in securities litigation and is described as "fantastic, very responsive and hard-working, very smart and a real pleasure to work with." He has an in-depth knowledge of accounting issues and disclosure.

Charlene Shimada continues to act in complex securities cases, as well as in broader commercial and regulatory matters. One impressed source comments: "What makes her unique among senior lawyers is that she really digs into the case. She rolls up her sleeves and gets into the weeds. I have full confidence in her ability to be thoughtful and think outside the box."

Significant clients Asahi Kasei Pharma, Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank, Toyota.

What the team is known for Major player in the securities and commercial litigation spheres with the capacity to take on national and international cases. Adept at handling high-profile disputes for clients in a range of industries, including healthcare, financial services and pharmaceuticals. Retains strength in securities class action work as well as investigations and derivative actions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are able to staff any matter appropriately so they can bring in huge resources whether that be back office or front office support, the right research, or the right drafting."

"They have done an outstanding job in handling a large matter with multiple elements."

Work highlights Advised BlackBerry, and the company's former CEO and CFO, in a class action securities litigation relating to company statements and finances regarding the BlackBerry 10.

Defended a shareholder derivative claim on behalf of DaVita HealthCare Partners and a number of company officers involving alleged breaches of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act (FCA).

Notable practitioners  

The "terrific" Arturo González works on a range of commercial litigation and counts a number of trade secrets matters among his cases. He is the chair of the firm's commercial litigation and trial practice group.

Jordan Eth's top reputation is commented upon by peers and clients alike. He has a national securities litigation practice and appears on "really significant cases." One source notes: "He has excellent clarity of thought which results in crisp presentation."

Significant clients Altera, Ernst & Young, First Solar, McKesson, Yahoo!.

What the team is known for Impressively deep bench with the capacity to provide a full service to clients facing commercial and securities litigation. Frequently handles complex securities cases for well-known clients and appears for international corporates in large commercial disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Their briefing is always excellent. They come up with, in some cases, very creative ways to prevail at briefing level and cut off a case early."

"One of the lions of litigation firms here. They bring a lot of intellectual power to a case."

"They're very professional and they're a very good, top-notch law firm."

Work highlights Represented NaturEner in an action against San Diego Gas & Electric concerning the building of a windfarm and an agreement to buy renewable energy credits.

Defended Bank of America in a high stakes mortgage-backed securities fraud litigation brought by AIG and others.

Acted for Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Line Cinema in an arbitration seeking a declaration from Miramax Film NY that Miramax is not entitled to back-end participation in any movie based on 'The Hobbit', other than the first 2012 film.

Notable practitioners  

Brad Brian is universally regarded as one of the leading litigators, both in California and nationwide. His recent experience includes high-profile cases for large corporates. One interviewee states: "He is one of the most impressive lawyers I've ever come across."

John Spiegel offers a broad commercial practice, but is particularly recognized for securities litigation work, for which he is described as "pretty terrific" and "an amazing practitioner." Another source describes his "very strategic" approach to litigation.

Marc Dworsky is based in the firm's Los Angeles office and acts in various pieces of financial and securities litigation. He recently acted for several high-profile institutions including Bank of America.

The "fantastic" Ronald Olson is described as "the father of the firm" by one commentator. Olson has decades of commercial litigation and counseling experience and is well known and respected by peers throughout the state.

Significant clients Intel, Tokyo Electric Power Company, Transocean, Wells Fargo, Causeway Capital Management.

What the team is known for Offers high-quality advice on both commercial and securities matters to clients across a wide range of sectors such as technology, financial services and the automotive industry. Continues to advise a number of companies based in China on securities class actions.

Work highlights Acted for Skechers USA in the defense of a derivative suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty.

Defended the former CEO and CFO of Powerwave Technologies against a number of derivative actions and other securities cases filed in the Central District of California.

Advised ACE Insurance in a dispute with Unocal concerning contested clean-up cost contributions with regards to Avila Beach, California.

Notable practitioners  

Chair of the business trial and litigation group Daniel Petrocelli is picked out as a leading litigator by peers. He frequently acts on disputes within the media and entertainment sphere.

Los Angeles-based Seth Aronson is universally recognized as one of the top securities litigators in the state by interviewees. He works on a number of high- stakes securities defense matters.

Matthew Close is a new entrant to the securities litigation table and has an increasing presence in the state. He has has led matters for some of the group's key clients.  

Significant clients Amylin Pharmaceuticals, FedEx, Quiksilver, Trader Joe's, Verizon Communications.

What the team is known for Engaged by an impressive roster of clients to litigate a wide array of commercial and securities disputes. Industry-specific expertise pertaining to a range of sectors including energy and technology. Offers strength in securities class actions, accounting fraud and investigations work, among other areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They did a very good job of laying out alternatives and showing the pros and cons of different tracks and putting forward a recommendation."

"Their securities litigation practice is top-notch. They are responsive, smart and efficient."

"In class action securities litigation, the key issue is to get motions to dismiss and summary judgment and they are highly effective in that regard."

Work highlights Acted for DISH in a well-documented defense of various copyright and contact claims by ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in relation to DISH's commercial-skipping and primetime viewing features.

Represented David Sambol, Countrywide Financial's former president, against a number of shareholder derivative actions, RMBS claims and other litigation.

Counsel to Credit Suisse Securities USA in its defense of several claims brought by insurers and trustees of RMBS trusts.

Notable practitioners  

The "really impressive" Marshall Grossman is a senior figure at the firm. He has over 40 years of experience of litigating complex commercial cases for defendants and plaintiffs and often acts on cases with a media element.

The "highly effective" Michael Torpey is noted for his securities class action expertise. He is a managing partner of the firm.

Michael Tu is a securities litigation partner in the firm's Los Angeles office and has a range of expertise, including the defense of securities class actions and M&A litigation. Sources recommend him for the fact that he "takes a macro approach and looks very far down the line," and has "a good oratory style."

Significant clients PwC, L'Occitane, Chevron, Chesapeake Energy, Deckers Outdoor.

What the team is known for Operates from offices across the state and offers securities and commercial trial expertise for clients such as investment groups and healthcare, technology and energy companies. Frequently retained to act in class actions and M&A litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Excellent quality of research and writing - the work product generally is outstanding."

"They are extremely thorough, they turn over every rock - there is a total war approach."

"They have made a good effort to be client-centric. They have very good litigators."

Work highlights Acted for Kolon Industries in a bet-the-company litigation with DuPont involving trade secrets regarding aramid fiber technology.

Represented the board of Jacobs Engineering Group after a shareholder derivative action was brought under the Dodd-Frank Act challenging executive compensation.

Successfully acted for Intrawest Resorts Holdings in its defense of a claim that the company did not comply with the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

Notable practitioners  

William Sullivan chairs the firm's Los Angeles litigation department. He is highly regarded by peers and clients alike, one of whom states: "He is a very thoughtful and effective lawyer. He is unshakable, even when getting presented with tough questions. His calm, persuasive and agreeable style is effective."

Significant clients UBS, L'Oréal USA, General Electric, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley.

What the team is known for Strong group of accomplished trial lawyers who litigate commercial and securities cases across the country. Maintains a top reputation for complex commercial issues, including IP, financial services and class action litigation. Best known in the securities field for leading plaintiff work, but also carries out defendant work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"We consider them to be class A, Cadillac litigators." 

"They are one of the go-to firms for plaintiff and defendant work. They are very well respected and talented."

Work highlights Continued to act for Samsung in its highly publicized patent infringement litigation with Apple. Apple was awarded only a small fraction of the $2.2 billion claimed.

Acted for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance in its 12 claims for statutory recovery sums against underwriting banks and company officers relating to RMBS purchases worth over $2 billion.

Represented trustee US Bank National Association in a series of litigations in Minnesota, New York and Delaware. The cases, against major investment banks, concerned RMBS trusts. Each dispute alleged that the banks had breached warranties regarding the credit characteristics of the securitized loans and had not honored contractual obligations to repurchase loans.

Notable practitioners  

John Quinn is an expert in several areas of litigation, including IP and antitrust, as well as more general commercial matters. He is universally recognized as a leading practitioner and one impressed source comments: "He is a terrific lawyer, there is no question about it. He is at the top of the list."

Bill Price brings his experience to bear in numerous bet-the-company cases. His trial skills are worthy of particular mention, with one source remarking: "He does great cross examinations and he is very good in court."

William Urquhart operates from both Los Angeles and Washington, DC where he covers a wide range of complex commercial disputes. He offers expertise in class action, IP and securities matters, among other areas.

Securities department cochair Harry Olivar attracts praise for his "highly accomplished" representation of plaintiffs in securities cases. He is particularly noted for his wealth of recent experience in mortgage-backed securities matters.

Significant clients Google, Samsung, Marvell Technology Group, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Qualcomm.

What the team is known for Handles commercial disputes from offices across the state for well-known clients. Class action defense work and cases in entertainment, employment and insurance, among other areas.

Work highlights Defended Volkswagen Credit and South Bay Motors against a class action alleging infringements of California's Automobile Sales Finance Act and unfair competition laws.

Acted for FilmDistrict in a case surrounding the 2011 movie 'Drive' in which a plaintiff claimed she had been duped into seeing the film by the trailer.

Notable practitioners 

Lorenzo Gasparetti cochairs the firm's US commercial litigation group.

Significant clients Bank of New York Mellon, California Public Employees' Retirement System, Bard, Deutsche Bank, Endo Health Solutions.

What the team is known for Consistently identified as one of the top plaintiff-oriented groups in California and especially recognized for plaintiff-side securities class action work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The preeminent plaintiff firm." 

"I think of them as tough, well-capitalized litigators. Some of their lawyers are superb."

"They have good stature with the courts and a very deep bench." 

Notable practitioners  

Darren Robbins attracts a range of praise from commentators, all of whom view him as "one of the leaders of the plaintiff Bar." Robbins maintains a broad securities disputes practice.

The well-known and highly respected Patrick Coughlin is described as "a dean of the Bar" and "a super individual" by enthusiastic interviewees. He focuses on securities litigation and has acted for a number of household name clients.

What the team is known for Well-known group which litigates commercial disputes in state and federal courts. Sector-specific experience pertaining to a range of industries including technology and banking.

Notable practitioners  

Fred Puglisi and John Yacovelle co-head the firm's business trial practice group.

What the team is known for Regularly tackles complex business disputes, such as contract and unfair trade practice work, for well-known clients across a range of industries. Also offers skilled representation for businesses facing securities litigation including SEC investigations and derivative actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Impressive and solid. I have a high degree of confidence in them."

"They are very strong in the accountancy side of things. A terrific team, top to bottom."

Work highlights Represented Flextronics in their defense of breach of contract, fraud and unfair competition claims brought by chip manufacturer Xilinx.

Advised independent board members of Alphatec Spine in a securities class action and derivative claims following the company's merger with Scient'x.

Acted for Charles Schwab in a number of civil cases concerning high frequency trading. Allegations included fraud, market manipulation and front running.

Notable practitioners  

Norman Blears is known as a "spectacular" attorney and a particularly "intellectual lawyer." He regularly handles securities class actions and investor lawsuits.

Sara Brody is recognized for her expertise in securities litigation and government investigations. She attracts particular praise for her excellent judgment, with one source observing: "She embodies all that is good about the securities litigation Bar in San Francisco."

Michael Mallow is a consumer class actions specialist, which he handles as part of a broader commercial dispute practice. He is based in Los Angeles.

Significant clients Dendreon, Diamond Foods, J.P. Morgan Securities, Equity Office Management, Random House.

What the team is known for Lauded as one of the top securities litigation teams in California and across the country. Significant trial experience, allied with an impressive record of success, contributes to the group's reputation as a valued choice for both commercial and securities disputes. Offers broad skills in a number of areas, including pharmaceuticals cases and class actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"At the trial level they have top-notch trial lawyers and they are supported by a very good group of litigators who think creatively when it comes to approaching litigation. They are very effective and diligent."

"They are truly the best in class for securities litigation." 

Work highlights Defended Purdue Pharma against civil enforcement actions relating to the marketing and sale of painkillers. The plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $4 billion.

Defended DuPont in connection with a shareholder derivative suit alleging various breaches of fiduciary duty.

Acted for UBS Real Estate Securities in a defense of a breach of contract claim brought by three trusts alleging that UBS had an obligation to repurchase specific mortgage loans.

Notable practitioners  

Raoul Kennedy is of counsel in the firm's Palo Alto office and has many years of experience in trials and appeals in a huge span of civil litigation. One happy source observes: "He is a seasoned litigator who is also very proactive and digs into the issues."

Thomas Nolan is a "formidable adversary," who concentrates on an extensive range of topics, including civil and criminal litigation. One of his proponents describes him as an "experienced, savvy trial lawyer who understands the courts and the plaintiffs and knows how to defend a company."

Allen Ruby has a dual commercial and white-collar litigation practice. He attracts high praise from a number of sources, one of whom remarks: "He is one of the best trial lawyers that I have seen. He is very strategic all of the time and has a lot of insights, both from managing a litigation and at trial. He is able to handle a trial and connect with jurors."

Eric Waxman enjoys a robust reputation among peers. He represents directors and corporates in a variety of securities and commercial matters, including derivative actions and SEC investigations.

Significant clients Thermo Fisher Scientific, Red Bull, National Football League, Barclays Bank, AmericanWest Bank.

What the team is known for Particularly broad representation of a variety of clients in areas such as contract disputes, antitrust matters and other commercial litigation. Adopts a multidisciplinary approach to provide clients with expertise in a diverse range of disciplines.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They perform in a way that belies their size." 

"An outstanding law firm." 

Work highlights Represented Amgen in litigation in California and Delaware stemming from its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals.  

Defended Enbridge against an allegation by Energy Transfer Partners that Enbridge had unlawfully interfered with an oral contract regarding a joint venture between Energy Transfer Partners and Enterprise Products Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Sacks, managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office, has "a fantastic profile in California" and is "very, very talented," according to market sources. He has an established securities litigation practice, in addition to a wealth of commercial disputes experience.

Michael Steinberg maintains a broad commercial litigation practice. One impressed interviewee states: "He is very passionate and is a real advocate. He believes in your case at least as much as you do. He is very smart, thoughtful and experienced."

Significant clients Dole Food, Amgen, AT&T, Collective Brands, Philips Oral Healthcare.

What the team is known for Los Angeles-based group acting for national or international companies, often on high-profile business litigation. Backed by deep firm-wide resources and offering particular expertise in class action and data privacy work.

Work highlights Acted for Gerber Products and Nestle USA in the defense of a class action relating to the labeling of baby food products.

Following recent work for Time Warner Cable, the team defended The Los Angeles Lakers against a consumer class action involving antitrust issues and television subscription costs for Time Warner Cable's sports networks.

Notable practitioners  

Bryan Merryman is a specialist in consumer class action work but also acts in various other business disputes, such as antitrust, contract and securities cases. "We have been very happy with his work," notes one client.

Significant clients SCC Acquisitions, SunCal Management, Argent Management.

What the team is known for Particular strength in Northern California and an extensive caseload of securities litigation work. Offers extensive expertise in the defense of shareholder class actions, but also covers areas such as investigations and FCPA work and continues to act for clients on a range of business litigation.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Great securities defense firm." 

Work highlights Represented Cypress Semiconductor in their motion to dismiss a shareholder action stemming from the company's acquisition of Ramtron.

Acted for AFCV Holdings and Summit Partners in their defense of a class action brought against the companies after their acquisition of Answers, which operates Answers.com.

Notable practitioners  

Keith Eggleton works on commercial and securities litigation, including consumer fraud, false advertising and securities actions and investigations. His recent experience includes representing a number of technology companies.

Market observers describe Boris Feldman as "an absolute star" of the securities litigation world and "as good as they get." He remains a popular choice for technology, banking and software companies.

Nina Locker is praised for her client manner as well as her skills in court, with one source remarking: "She is really good in complex litigation and is an outstanding advocate." She works on cases such as shareholder class actions and guides clients through internal and SEC investigations.

Steven Schatz continues to defend clients against shareholder class actions and to represent companies in dealings with the SEC and DOJ. He acts for a diverse range of clients, particularly those in the technology industry.

Significant clients Align Technology, Cyan, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Netflix.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Michael Matthias of Baker & Hostetler LLP is a commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution specialist with a financial services focus. He is well versed in various areas including privacy, unfair trade and real estate disputes.

John Pernick is now of counsel at Bergeson LLP, having joined from Bingham McCutchen in late 2014. His caseload includes shareholder and class actions and SEC matters. A complimentary commentator states: "He is a fantastic trial lawyer, with the ability to break down complex matters easily and effectively to a judge."

Joseph Tabacco founded the San Francisco office of Berman DeValerio and is known as "one of the leaders of the plaintiff Bar." His broad practice encompasses antitrust, IP and commercial matters. He has a number of institutional clients.

Maxwell Blecher of Blecher Collins Pepperman & Joye, P.C. is known as "a legend" of the commercial disputes Bar. He has a wealth of antitrust expertise.

David Bayless operates from the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling LLP. He acts for directors, managers and companies to steer them through complex commercial and securities litigation and investigations.

The "very talented" Patricia Glaser of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro, LLP acts in complex commercial disputes for a range of clients. Her areas of focus include entertainment, IP and real estate. 

John Hueston is one of the founding partners of new firm Hueston Hennigan LLP and acts for household name clients on a large range of litigation, including business, IP, securities and white-collar matters. His diversity earns him accolades from sources, one of whom comments: "He is emerging as a top go-to lawyer in a whole variety of matters."

Bruce Vanyo of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has gained a wealth of expertise over his decades in practice. He is adept at handling complex securities defense cases for international companies and is known to be "very savvy in the shareholder litigation space."

Larry Feldman of Liner LLP has over 35 years of jury trial experience. His practice encompasses real estate, personal injury, professional malpractice and entertainment cases.

Edward Johnson is in charge of the Palo Alto office of Mayer Brown LLP. He works on commercial, antitrust and IP disputes. One source comments: "He is a very smart guy and a tough opponent."

Michael Hennigan is described as "the flag bearer" at McKool Smith and is highly regarded by many sources for his business litigation prowess. One interviewee notes: "He is a classic trial lawyer. He sees very well which elements will resonate and uses the arguments to good effect."

Jonathan Shapiro is currently head of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC's West Coast litigation group. The main bulk of his work is securities and commercial defense and his clients include Orthofix International and National Life Insurance Company. One admiring source states: "He is one of the sharpest litigators out there. He has the ability to see the long game from the outset."

Los Angeles-based Daniel Woods of Musick Peeler & Garrett is highly regarded for his work in jury and non-jury trials. Areas of expertise include trade secret, real estate and employment disputes.

Michael McNamara remains the national group leader of Steptoe & Johnson LLP's professional liability team. He has a robust reputation for a range of general commercial disputes, and is described as "intelligent, compassionate and responsive."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.