FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
David Sanford

David Sanford

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Washington, DC, USA


David Sanford is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville, and Baltimore. He has recovered more than one billion dollars for individual clients and the United States government since 2004.

Mr. Sanford has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous qui tam fraud cases around the country, and has represented more than 100 General Counsel and attorneys (in-house and outside counsel) in contract disputes, employment matters, and severance packages. Additionally, Mr. Sanford represents female partners in BigLaw firms seeking equity in compensation and leadership opportunities.  He recently settled the most prominent of these cases against Chadbourne & Parke/Norton Rose Fulbright, and currently is lead counsel on cases filed against Proskauer Rose, Ogletree Deakins, and Morrison & Foerster. In addition to the filed litigation, he represents more than a dozen female partners in BigLaw who are challenging their law firms on matters of compensation.

David Sanford was inducted into the National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame and he is listed among the top 100 trial lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers. He has been recognized as a “Top Employment Lawyer” by American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and the National Law Journal; is rated Band One by Chambers and Partners; was recognized by Law 360 as an Employment Lawyer MVP in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Since 2006, Mr. Sanford has been AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating given to an attorney by judges and attorneys throughout the United States.

Among many other victories, Mr. Sanford served as lead counsel representing approximately 7,000 female employees in Velez v. Novartis, where he secured the largest gender discrimination employment verdict ($253 million) in United States history. In July 2011, the United Nations recognized the Novartis case as among the top 10 cases in the world advancing women’s rights, and is the only case from the United States so recognized by the UN. Mr. Sanford also served as lead counsel in a wage and hour case against Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, which settled for $99 million on behalf of sales representatives who were not paid overtime wages.

Mr. Sanford received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1995. Before founding his firm in 2004, Mr. Sanford opened and was the managing partner of the Washington, DC, office of a civil rights firm from 1998 through 2003. Mr. Sanford served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and as a law clerk in the White House Counsel’s Office under President Clinton.

David Sanford is associated with the following items:
Live Seminar  Live Seminar Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2018: The California Difference, Thursday, September 13, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Live Webcast  Live Webcast Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2018: The California Difference, Thursday, September 13, 2018, San Francisco, CA
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