FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Philip S. Warden

Philip S. Warden

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

San Francisco, CA, USA

Philip Warden focuses on commercial law, and related litigation, the rights of creditors, and controversies involving allegations of unfair business practices.

Mr. Warden was an associate at Meserve, Mumper & Hughes in Los Angeles from 1972-73 in that firm's business litigation department. Prior to that, he served in the United States Navy from 1965-69 in the Weapons Department aboard the U.S.S. New Jersey and was awarded the Secretary of the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V and Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry. Mr. Warden attained the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

From 1973-83, Mr. Warden worked for Dinkelspiel & Dinkelspiel in San Francisco, beginning as an associate and being promoted to partner in 1979.

Mr. Warden represented the indenture trustees for seven municipal bond issues totaling $1,850,000,000 in litigation with the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California in the Executive Life Insurance Company case. In that case, the Commissioner sought to classify the indenture trustees' claims in such a fashion that they would be paid nothing. Mr. Warden was the lead counsel for a team of Pillsbury attorneys and paralegals that successfully pursued declaratory judgment in the Los Angeles Superior Court, which determined that the claims of the indenture trustees are insurance policies and entitled to share whatever dividend insurance policyholders are paid. In other words, the guaranteed investment contracts were classified as insurance products. Mr. Warden's clients have to date been paid approximately $1,700,000,000. Mr. Warden has also been active in numerous lengthy hearings on the Plan of Reorganization in the Executive Life case and successfully argued to the California Court of Appeal that the state insurance commissioner's Plan should be ruled unlawful (Commercial Nat'l Bank in Shreveport v. Superior Court). This is the first time an insurance commissioner's confirmed plan has been rejected by a court of appeal.

Mr. Warden has been involved in significant financial restructuring and insolvencies around the United States and in Asia including Storage Technology Corporations, Daon Corporation, MiniScribe Inc., System Integrators, Inc., Cumberland Farms, Inc., El Paso Refinery, Harbor Bay Isle Associates, CHS Electronics, Inc, MicroAge, Inc., Priam Corporation, First Lenders Indemnity Corp, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and California Power Exchange, Inc.

Mr. Warden has been involved in significant CPR and AAA arbitration matters. He was lead petitioners' counsel in a CPR arbitration arising out of the acquisition of the manufacturing division of a New York Stock Exchange company. The Honorable Robert Bork was the lead arbitrator in that case.

Mr. Warden was selected to be on the Peer Assistance Panel for the Northern District of California to provide litigation advice to inexperienced lawyers. Mr. Warden has also offered his legal experience to the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance and helped obtain zoning variances for a drug treatment center. He was previously a trustee of the San Francisco Mental Health Association and president of the Management Center. Mr. Warden was the Chairman of the American Bar Association Bankruptcy Litigation Subcommittee.

Mr. Warden has regularly participated in Practicing Law Institute and California CEB panels, including PLI's Annual Institute for Intellectual Property Law, for the last several years.

Mr. Warden was one of just 90 lawyers in the country identified as a member of the BTI Consulting "Client Service All-Star Team." BTI Consulting recently interviewed over 200 corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies throughout the U.S. and requested the names of individual lawyers at law firms who stand out for providing "superior client service."

Honors & Awards

  Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy (for 25+ years)

  PLC Which Lawyer?, Bankruptcy & Corporate Reorganization-San Francisco & Silicon Valley (2011-2012)

  BTI Client Service All-Star (2004)

  Super Lawyers (2004-2011)


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1972, Order of the Coif, Thurston Honor Society
A.B., Dickinson College, 1965


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