Our professional liability group is thoroughly familiar with the professional liability and business aspects of the practice of law.  We represent law firms ranging from large international firms to small local firms, as well as individual lawyers, in professional liability matters arising out of representations in areas including securities transactions, formation and management of entities created as investment vehicles, real estate transactions, tax planning, intellectual property litigation, and commercial litigation.

Our representation of lawyers and law firms includes matters that arise not only from the their professional relationship with clients, but also from the relationship among attorneys within a law firm, from firms’ commercial relationships with non-clients, and from investments and participation in business ventures that go beyond the practice of law.  We have extensive experience representing law firms and lawyers in all of types of matters, including:

  • Fee disputes with former clients and with third parties responsible for payment of attorneys’ fees, ranging from simple collection suits to bad faith actions against insurers.
  • Malpractice and other professional liability claims.
  • Disputes between attorneys and clients, former clients, or putative clients regarding business dealings, including claims brought under Rule 3-300 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Ethical and disciplinary matters.
  • Anti-SLAPP motions.
  • Malicious prosecution claims.
  • Disputes relating to the structure and management of law firms, including attorney departures, formation of competing firms, and internal disputes regarding compensation and partners’ fiduciary duties.
  • Claims arising from the dissolution of law firms or the departure of partners, including claims brought by bankruptcy trustees or creditors, and claims concerning the duties of partners or former partners to each other and to the law firm.
  • Disputes with law firms’ landlords, commercial lenders, and other service providers.
  • In re Qualcomm Sanctions Proceedings, Southern District of California: We represented numerous attorneys in high-profile sanctions proceeding that received national attention due to findings in the underlying case that important evidence had been withheld in discovery.  The firm was successful in exonerating all of the attorneys who were subject to potential sanctions, demonstrating that the attorneys conducted a reasonable investigation, acted in good faith, and appropriately relied on the representations and assurances made by their client.
  • Successfully defended a group of nearly 100 lawyers who were partners in a San Francisco law firm that had declared bankruptcy from claims of cut-through liability by the landlord of a regional office.
  • Prevailed on behalf of several major law firms on professional liability claims exceeding $100 million.
  • Defended a founding partner of a nationally prominent plaintiffs’ antitrust firm, which had recently received several multi-million dollar contingency fees, from breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by the estate of the other founding partner over the allocation of profits among the firm’s partners. After a six-week bench trial in the Superior Court of San Francisco, our client prevailed on all claims and the court reversed an earlier ruling regarding the applicability of the rule in Jewel v. Boxer, on which the claimant relied.