Sanford Heisler Sharp


Head Office Address:
17 State Street, Suite 3700
New York, NY 10004
United States

Telephone:+1 646 402 5650
Fax:+1 646 402 5651


Sanford Heisler Sharp is a nationwide, plaintiffs-side law firm that was founded in 2004 by David Sanford and Jeremy Heisler to litigate public interest and social justice cases that make a significant difference in society. In 2017, Kevin Sharp, a former Chief Judge of the United States District for the Middle District of Tennessee, joined the firm as its third named partner.

David Sanford has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous significant qui tam fraud cases; he has represented over 100 general counsel, in-house counsel, and lawyers in claims against their law firms and companies. Over the course of his 42-year legal career, Jeremy Heisler has achieved notable success in employment, civil rights, and consumer class actions and complex multiparty and multistate litigation, producing hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to class members and individuals. Judge Sharp has nearly 30 years of experience litigating and/or presiding over complex civil litigation cases, qui tam and whistleblower matters, products liability claims, malpractice cases, class action matters, ERISA claims, and civil rights matters. 

The firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville, and Baltimore. The firm has recovered over a billion dollars for its clients, and continues to move the needle in high-profile, precedent-setting litigation not only by winning significant compensation, but also through achieving real change in companies and institutions to create a more equitable environment and enlightened management policies.

The firm is committed to helping and giving a voice to disadvantaged groups and individuals, assisting whistleblowers litigate their claims, representing employees seeking relief from employers’ retirement fund mismanagement and abuses, and advocating for employees and executives in a wide range of employment disputes, including severance negotiations, wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour violations, sexual harassment, and gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, and disability discrimination. The firm also promotes social and economic change by increasing media awareness and stimulating public dialogue.

The firm’s lawyers are successful in protecting plaintiffs’ rights in federal and state courts, in settlement negotiations, and in arbitrations nationwide. The firm has forged ahead, often against the odds, and achieved success against major technology firms, including Oracle, Western Digital, and Alaska Communication Systems; pharmaceutical giants like Merck, Novartis, Sanofi, and others; premier law firms in the United States such as Chadbourne & Parke (now Norton Rose Fulbright), Sedgwick, Morrison & Foerster, and Proskauer Rose; and top universities, including Dartmouth College, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Arizona. The firm has waged and won lawsuits that have protected thousands of employees’ rights to have their 401(k) retirement plans appropriately managed as required by the federal Employee Retirement Income Insurance Security Act (“ERISA”). 

The firm excels at holding institutions accountable when they cause harm, consistently advocating for victims of discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault, including employees at Fortune 500 companies, attorneys in Big Law, and university faculty and students, and routinely pursue cases against institutions such as schools, daycares, and religious institutions that fail to keep children safe from sexual abuse. Most firms would shy away from challenging the most powerful interests in society. Sanford Heisler Sharp has taken on the largest corporations in the world and has succeeded.

Among the Firm’s Notable Successes: 

Representing Lawyers: Over the past ten years, the firm has taken a leading position in representing partners and associates in law firms and general counsels and in-house counsels, bringing discrimination and retaliation cases based on gender, pregnancy and maternity status, unequal pay and promotion, and disparate compensation policies and transparency in pay decisions. 

In a case that gained worldwide media attention, the firm reached a $14 million settlement for a class of female student-employees at Dartmouth College, which ended the students’ Title IX lawsuit. This closely watched case included $1 million dedicated to establishing a diversity recruitment fund and other substantial institutional reforms to prevent future abuses of and discrimination against females at the Ivy League institution.

Another case gaining international media attention was a high-profile trial victory in California on behalf of 22 young women suing the website (“GDP”), for defrauding them and coercing them into pornography. After a lengthy trial, the judge ruled GDP and its affiliates committed intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, false promises, unfair and deceptive business practices, and fraudulent transfer, awarding the plaintiffs over $20 million after a 99-day bench trial in California Superior Court.

United States Marshals Service:
The firm represents a certified class of African American United States Marshals in a race discrimination matter that includes hundreds of United States Marshals throughout the country.

In 2021, Navistar Defense and Navistar International agreed to pay the United States $50 million to resolve claims that the company systematically overcharged the military for Mine Resistant, Ambush-Protected (“MRAP”) vehicles from January 2007 to January 2012. The settlement resolved a 2013 qui tam complaint. The firm represented Duquoin Burgess, the relator in the False Claims Act case. According to the complaint, Navistar violated the FCA by defrauding the government in its contract to produce the MRAP vehicles.

Chen v. Western Digital
In 2021, the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted final approval of a $7.75 million class and collective action settlement in our case against Western Digital Corporation and Western Digital Technologies, Inc. on behalf of a class of 1,863 female employees alleging sex discrimination and unequal pay. Western Digital is a computer data storage company and one of the largest hard disk manufacturers in the world.

The firm plays an instrumental role in representing government entities across the nation, seeking compensation for the high cost of the opioid epidemic by suing the companies responsible. To date, the firm has filed some 60 lawsuits for cities and counties in Virginia, Texas, Vermont, and California.

The firm represents employees invested in 401(k) retirement plans against their employers with a variety of claims, including failure to monitor and remove poorly performing investment options from their retirement plans, selecting multiple poorly performing funds, allowing investment advisers to charge its employees unreasonable fees, or turning a blind eye to a kickback scheme between an investment advisor and a 401(k) plan’s recordkeeper. 

Updated Sep 2023