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David Sanford is the Chairman and co-founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP. He has recovered more than one billion dollars for individual clients and the United States government since 2004.

David represents C-suite executives and non-managerial hourly employees throughout the US. He has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous qui tam cases around the country and represented more than 100 general counsel and attorneys (in-house and outside counsel) in contract disputes, employment matters, and severance packages.

Within the past year, David was lead counsel in a $14.25 million class action settlement against Rabbi Freundel and other defendants on behalf of women surreptitiously videotaped while performing a religious cleansing ritual; and David settled a $4 million gender discrimination case on behalf of female members of Forest Laboratories’ national sales force. David was lead trial counsel for a professor at Columbia University Business School in a sexual harassment/retaliation matter, which culminated in a $1.25 million jury verdict after a three week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

David is lead counsel currently representing more than 15 female partners at BigLaw firms throughout America. On behalf of three female partners, he recently settled a case alleging gender discrimination and pay inequity against Chadbourne & Parke (now Norton Rose Fulbright). He also recently settled a gender discrimination matter on behalf of female partner at Proskauer Rose and Sedgwick. For his work in bringing cases and discussing the issues surrounding gender equality in law firms, the American Lawyer had chosen David as a finalist for its 2018 Attorney of the Year award.

He is also class counsel in ERISA matters pending against Morgan Stanley, Home Depot and General Electric. David has also settled gender discrimination class actions with extensive class-wide relief against Novartis, Daiichi Pharmaceuticals, Qualcomm, Publicis, and Alcon Pharmaceuticals.

David was inducted into the National Law Journal’s “Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame” and named among the top 100 trial lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers. He is recognized as a “Top Employment Lawyer” by American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and the National Law Journal; and rated “Band One” by Chambers. Recognized by Law360 as an “Employment Lawyer MVP” and as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” David has also been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in both Washington, DC and New York. Since 2006, he has been AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given to an attorney by judges and attorneys nationwide.

He sits on the Board of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and on the Board of Corps Africa. David is a member of the advisory board of the Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources, a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the plaintiffs’ employment bar and raising public consciousness about workers’ rights; is on the advisory board of Aernos; and is an advisory forum member of the Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession.

Contact & Links

Locations

  • 1350 Avenue Of The Americas, 31st Floor
    New York, NY 10019
  • 111 Sutter Street, Suite 975
    San Francisco, CA 94104
  • 2550 Fifth Avenue, 11th Floor
    San Diego, CA 92103
  • 611 Commerce Street, Suite 3100
    Nashville, TN 37023
  • 111 S. Calvert Street
    Suite 1950
    Baltimore, MD 21202
  • 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20003

Education

  • Stanford University , J.D., graduated 1995
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B.D., graduated 1985
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.A., graduated 1984
  • Vassar College, B.A., graduated 1980

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1997
  • District of Columbia, 1998
  • New York, New York

Affiliations

  • Aernos - Advisory Board Member
  • Board of Corps Africa - Board Member
  • Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources - Advisory Board Member
  • Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem - Board Member
  • Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession - Advisory Forum Member

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1998)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (2016)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2017)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (2010)
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois (2006)
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1998)
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland (1998)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (2006)
  • United States Supreme Court (2005)

Federal Clerkships

  • United States District Court

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Employment Law - Individuals

Awards:

  • 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year
  • 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights & Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability
  • 2018 Law360 Employment MVP
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
  • Chambers USA 2017-19 Leader in the Field
  • 2019-21 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2018 National Law Journal Trailblazer Plaintiffs' Lawyer
  • 2018 Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer
  • 2018-20 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer
  • 2018-20 Lawyer of Distinction
  • Top 25 Class Action Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers AssociationTop 10 Wage & Hour Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers AssociationElite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee, The National Law JournalTop Rated Employment Lawyer by the American LawyerTop Rated Employment Lawyer by Corporate Counsel2014-16 Employment MVP by Law360Employment Advisory Board by Law3602014 Law360 Titan of the Plaintiffs BarTop Rated Employment Lawyer by National Law JournalMartindale-Hubbell Top Rated LawyerDC and NY Super Lawyer
  • 2018 Law360 Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar
  • 2018 Attorney of the Year Finalist, The American Lawyer
  • 2020 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights, Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability.
  • 2018 Washington, DC's Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiffs
  • 2019 Washington, DC's Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiffs
  • 2020 Washington, DC's Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiff
  • 2019 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice areas of Civil Rights & Human Rights, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Product Liability

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