Firm Profile > Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP > Oakland , United States

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
United States

Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 4

California-based firm Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP has notable expertise representing clients in litigation matters connected to the design and construction of power facilities. James Wulfsberg and Gregory Aker represented the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power in a $150m dispute with an EPC contractor over design and manufacturing issues with a natural gas power plant; Timothy Colvig, David Hyndman and Todd Wulfsberg were also involved in this matter. James Wulfsberg, Colvig and David Rosenthal advised an architectural firm on negotiating Architect of Record agreements relating to the construction of a private sports arena and associated commercial development in the San Francisco Bay area.

From its inception in 1927, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP has specialized in corporate law and business litigation. Throughout its growth over the last nine decades, Burke has not only retained its roots in real estate and business law and litigation, but is also one of the pre-eminent California-based law firms in the fields of labor and employment law, public law and education law.

With the addition of the Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig law firm in 2014, Burke is home to a nationally-recognized construction law and litigation practice group. Its construction attorneys, headed by H James Wulfsberg, represent private developers, architects, contractors, engineers and public agencies in all facets of the construction process, including procurement and project delivery systems, the development of procurement, contract and consulting documents, the negotiation and administration of contract claims and the development of claims avoidance and dispute resolution strategies and procedures. Burke’s construction practice group’s attorneys have handled complex construction litigation and arbitrations in jurisdictions throughout California, the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Main areas of practice: Burke’s land use and real estate development practice, headed by Anna C Shimko and Gerald J Ramiza, has specialized transactional and litigation expertise in the areas of CEQA, NEPA, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, zoning, annexation, historic resources, air quality regulations, water supply, general plan amendments, environmental impact reports, eminent domain and inverse condemnation. Its land use and real estate attorneys have assisted private clients and public entities with building and expansion projects involving large shopping centers, hotels and resorts, mixed-use projects, stand-alone stores, golf courses, residential developments, quarries, animation studios, desalination plants and nuclear power plants.

Burke also has a significant group of labor and employment lawyers who represent employers in all aspects of employment and labor relations issues. These attorneys represent Fortune 100 and middle-market companies in defending actions alleging wrongful termination, employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and barriers for the disabled. Burke also offers a nationally renowned insurance coverage, litigation and appellate practice in first and third-party insurance matters, headed by Daniel W Maguire and Melissa M Cowan.

With over 100 attorneys and nine offices throughout California, Burke is prepared to fully meet your legal needs.

Department Name Email Telephone
Construction H James Wulfsberg
Construction Stephen L Cali
Education Jack P Lipton
Education John R Yeh
Insurance coverage and litigation Daniel W Maguire
Insurance coverage and litigation Melissa M Cowan
Labor and employment Timothy L Davis
Labor and employment Daphne M Anneet
Litigation Charlie E Slyngstad
Litigation Gregory R Aker
Public Eric S Vail
Public Gregory M Murphy
Real estate and business John J Welsh
Real estate and business Anna C Shimko
Environmental, land use, and natural resources Gregory J Patterson
Photo Name Position Profile
 Todd Wulfsberg  photo Todd Wulfsberg
 James Wulfsberg  photo James Wulfsberg
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 26
Total Staff : 104
Managing Partner : John J Welsh (
Partners : Eric S Vail (
Partners : H James Wulfsberg (
Number of Equity Partners : 24
Number of Income Partners : 52