Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP > San Francisco, United States > Firm Profile

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
United States

Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - plaintiff Tier 1

A heavyweight of the plaintiff bar, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP has had and continues to play a leading role in many of highest-profile and significant mass tort/personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in the country caused by negligent conduct and defective products. The team is able to deploy attorneys with significant trial experience from its California headquarters and beyond, as well as drawing upon the complementary knowledge of non-lawyers, including investigators and registered nurses. Elizabeth Cabraser is recognized as a ‘great strategist’ and serves in court-appointed leadership roles in many high-profile civil disputes, including in relation to the opioids litigation and diesel emissions scandal. Other key practitioners include Robert Nelson, who is noted in particular for his environmental class action prowess; Lexi Hazam, who specializes in developing regulatory and epidemiological evidence and scientific experts in pharmaceutical and device cases; and New York-based ‘rock star’ Annika Martin, who is a ‘fierce advocate for victims of sexual abuse’ – as underscored by her involvement as co-lead class counsel representing women who were sexually abused at the University of Southern California. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco unless otherwise indicated.

Other key lawyers:


Elizabeth Cabraser is a great strategist.’ 

‘Elizabeth Cabraser is a dean of the class action bar.’

Elizabeth Cabraser has a blazing intellectual curiosity and an uncanny ability to expertly analyze complex legal situations and advocate her clients’ positions clearly and persuasively.’

Annika Martin is an absolute rock star and is a fierce advocate for victims of sexual abuse.’

Key clients

Cities, Counties, States, School Districts, Tribes, Third Party Payors, Health Organizations, and Native American Services-administered (NAS) Children harmed by the nationwide opioid crisis

Victims of fraudulent, deceptive and dangerous opioid drug marketing across the U.S., including cities, counties, native tribes and medical organizations

City of San Francisco, California

Owners of VW/Audi/Porsche/Bentley vehicles with fraudulently overstated fuel economy and fraudulent emissions certifications

Class of approx. 20,000 female students at USC subjected to sexual abuse by University gynaecologist George Tyndall

Native tribes, school districts, and a nationwide class of teens defrauded and injured by deceptive and dangerous youth-targeted e-cigarette marketing by Juul and Altria

HIV patients injured by inferior drugs forced on to the market by Gilead Sciences to maximize profits

Work highlights

  • Represented owners and lessees (of approximately 98,000 gasoline-powered Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Bentley vehicles sold and/or leased in the US) to resolve claims that the affected vehicles were equipped with software that, as calibrated, caused the vehicles to emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) and obtain worse fuel economy than was originally represented.
  • Representing as co-lead class counsel in groundbreaking student victim sexual abuse case against USC and Dr. George Tyndall over two decades of sexually abusive conduct under a cloak of gynaecological services.

Labor and employment > Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): plaintiff Tier 1

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is an established plaintiff firm, often representing employees in matters relating to discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability. In addition, it handles wage issues and whistleblower actions. Leading the practice is Daniel Hutchinson, who focuses on litigation regarding complex class actions. Kelly Dermody, who specializes in civil rights and employment class and collective actions, and Anne Shaver, with experience in antitrust class actions, are also noted. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Hutchinson

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Plaintiff class of current and former female employees of Google Inc.

Danielle Seaman

Plaintiff class of female Associates and Vice Presidents who worked for Goldman Sachs.

1,100+ plaintiff class of female employees of KPMG

Employees of rail equipment companies Knorr-Bremse and Wabtac Railway

Franchise employees of McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Papa John’s, and Jimmy Johns sandwich shops.

Americans incarcerated and families

Plaintiff class of African-American employees of Kaiser Permanente

Omondi Nyong’o

Work highlights

  • Represented Danielle Seaman in class action lawsuit charging that Duke and UNC entered into an express, secret agreement not to hire certain medical facility faculty and staff that they each employed, reducing or eliminating competition for skilled medical labor.
  • Represented plaintiffs in gender discrimination class/collective action lawsuit alleging that KPMG illegally pays and promotes female Tax and Advisory professionals less than similar men.
  • Represented plaintiffs in an aggregate “no-poach” employee antitrust litigation against rail equipment companies Knorr-Bremse and Wabtec Railway Electronics.

Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: plaintiff Tier 2

Representing plaintiffs in class actions in the area of labor, particularly regarding no-poaching and wage suppression, but also in the pharmaceuticals, technology, and securities sectors, is a strong suit of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP's antitrust practice. Practice head Brendan Glackin has vast experience acting in antitrust cases spanning price-fixing cartels and monopolization claims. As chair of the firm’s labor antitrust practice group, Dean Harvey regularly represents workers, consumers, and small businesses, often at the intersection of intellectual property with antitrust. Commercial litigation specialist Eric Fastiff's work encompasses the food, technology, finance, and natural resource industries. Lin Chan and David Rudolph are also recommended for their expertise in class action, including pharmaceutical and price-fixing cases. All mentioned attorneys are based in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Glackin

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The health and welfare fund of New York City’s largest public employee union (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees District Council 37 Health & Security Plan)

Class of U.S. purchasers of telescopes

The Hospital Authority of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee

Surgical Care Affiliates Medical Center employees

Union Trust Fund DC Municipal Employees Local 37 (for end-payor class indirect plaintiff purchasers of Allergan’s dry-eye drug Restasis)

The Charles Schwab Corporation and several of The Charles Schwab Family of Funds and the Bay Area Toll Authority

Purchasers of medium and heavy trucks in the European Union from 1997-2011 (European Trucking Cartel Litigation)

Work highlights

  • Representing Nashville General Hospital (the Hospital Authority of Metropolitan Government of Nashville) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 37 Health & Security Plan in a case against defendants Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz, Inc., for their alleged price-fixing of enoxaparin, the generic version of the anti-coagulant blood clotting drug Lovenox, a highly profitable drug with annual sales of more than $1 billion.
  • Won a $54.5 million settlement representing a class of over 5,000 academic doctors in a federal class action against Duke University and the UNC Health Care System alleging that their agreement not to compete for certain of each other’s employees (a “No-Hire” pact) illegally suppressed employee compensation.
  • Served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in a class action charging Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar in a widespread conspiracy to suppress the pay of over 60,000 technical, creative, and other salaried employees.

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: plaintiff Tier 3

Industry focus > Environment: litigation

Headquartered in California, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP stands out for its strong track record of acting for plaintiffs, including consumers, homeowners and small businesses, in litigation involving the discharge of toxic chemicals, dangerous pesticides and other hazardous materials into the air, water, land and drinking water supplies. Elizabeth Cabraser, Robert Nelson, Lexi Hazam are the key points of contact.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, is a 100-plus attorney AV-rated law firm founded in 1972 with offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Munich. We have a diversified practice, successfully representing plaintiffs in the fields of personal injury and mass torts, securities and financial fraud, employment discrimination and unlawful employment practices, product defect, consumer protection, antitrust, environmental and toxic exposures, False Claims Act, digital privacy and data security, and human rights. Our clients include individuals, classes and groups of people, businesses, and public and private entities.

Lieff Cabraser has served as Court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Lead or Class Counsel in state and federal coordinated, multi-district, and complex litigation throughout the United States. With co-counsel, we have represented clients across the globe in cases filed in American courts. Lieff Cabraser is among the largest firms in the United States that only represent plaintiffs.

Described by The American Lawyer as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms,” Lieff Cabraser enjoys a national reputation for professional integrity and the successful prosecution of our clients’ claims. We possess sophisticated legal skills and the financial resources necessary for the handling of large, complex cases, and for litigating against some of the nation’s largest corporations. We take great pride in the leadership roles our firm plays in many of this country’s major cases, including those resulting in landmark decisions and precedent-setting rulings.

Lieff Cabraser has litigated and resolved thousands of individual lawsuits and hundreds of class and group actions, including some of the most important civil cases in the United States over the past four decades. We have assisted our clients in recovering over $124 billion in verdicts and settlements. Twenty-eight cases have been resolved for over $1 billion; another 55 have resulted in verdicts or settlements at or in excess of $100 million.

The National Law Journal has recognized Lieff Cabraser as one of the nation’s top plaintiffs’ law firms for fourteen years, and we are a member of its Plaintiffs’ Hot List Hall of Fame, “representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs’ bar and demonstrating unusual dedication and creativity.” The National Law Journal separately recognized Lieff Cabraser as one of the “50 Leading Plaintiffs Firms in America.” In December 2019, The American Lawyer included Lieff Cabraser in its “Top 50 Litigation Departments in the U.S.,” the only all-plaintiff-side litigation firm included among the firms recognized. In March of 2020, Benchmark Litigation named Lieff Cabraser its “California Plaintiff Firm of the Year” for the second year in a row, and we were finalists the previous year for the publication’s national “Plaintiff Law Firm of the Year” award.

In September of 2019, Law360 named Lieff Cabraser a “California Powerhouse” for litigation after naming our firm its “Class Action Firm of the Year” in January 2019. In July of 2019, Public Justice awarded Lieff Cabraser its “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. Lieff Cabraser has 21 lawyers named to the “Best Lawyers in America” 2020 listing, and The National Law Journal awarded our firm its 2019 “Elite Trial Lawyer” awards in the fields of Consumer Protection and Cybersecurity/Data Breach. We had 38 firm lawyers named to the 2019 Super Lawyers “Super Lawyer” and “Rising Star” lists, and were named the Daily Journal’s “California Lawyers of the Year 2018” as well as having eight lawyers named to Benchmark’s “40 and Under Hot List 2018.”

U.S. News and Best Lawyers has selected Lieff Cabraser as a national “Law Firm of the Year” six times in the last nine years, in categories including Mass Torts Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Employment Law – Individuals. In 2017, Lieff Cabraser’s Digital Privacy and Data Security practice group was named “Privacy Group of the Year” by Law360, and the firm’s Consumer Protection practice group was named “Consumer Protection Group of the Year” by the publication as well.

In 2016, Benchmark Litigation named Lieff Cabraser to its “Top 10 Plaintiff Firms in America” list, The National Law Journal chose our firm as one of nine “Elite Trial Lawyers” nationwide, and Law360 selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the “Top 50 Law Firms Nationwide for Litigation.” The publication separately noted that our firm “persists as a formidable agency of change, producing world class legal work against some of the most powerful corporate players in the world today.”

San Francisco Office Managing Partner Kelly Dermody415.956.1000