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Labor and employment Star

Practice area:

Civil rights and human rights
Labor and employment
Product liability and recall

David Sanford is the Chairman and co-founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP. He has served as lead counsel in more than 50 employment class actions around the country and has represented scores of general counsel and attorneys in employment matters. He also represents C-suite executives and non-managerial hourly employees from coast to coast. David has recovered more than one billion dollars for individual clients through trials and settlements and for the U.S. government under the False Claims Act statute over the past 15 years. 

Recently, David has brought gender discrimination class actions against BigLaw, including Jones Day, Ogletree, MoFo, Chadbourne, Proskauer, and Sedgwick. These matters have heightened public awareness about gender discrimination in BigLaw and its negative effects on women’s advancement to roles of leadership and influence in law firms. His innovative approach of filing employment claims under the Equal Pay Act, state and city Civil and Human Rights Acts, and/or the California Labor Code’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) has been influential in discrimination and class litigation. 

David has also brought Title IX and Equal Pay Act cases against universities, including Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, NYU and the University of Arizona. 

In 2010, David was lead counsel for a class of women pharmaceutical sales representatives against a major pharma giant. After a 6 week trial in federal court in New York, the jury returned a verdict of $253 million. Today it still stands as the largest gender employment discrimination class action verdict in the U.S. The case ultimately settled for $175 million. 

In addition to the firm’s employment litigation, the firm has also waged and won lawsuits that 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). 

David was inducted in The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame; was an American Lawyer 2018 Attorney of the Year finalist; was the 2018 and 2019 Benchmark Litigation Employment Attorney of the Year; and has been recognized by Law 360 as an Employment MVP and Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar, and by The National Law Journal as 2018 Plaintiffs’ Trailblazer. He has been recognized by Chambers USA as a Leader in the field for Labor & Employment for the past four years. David has also been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell for the past 15 years. 

Last updated Sep 2020