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With over twenty-five years of practice, Steven N. Williams has handled successfully and with distinction, all aspects of litigation and trial in state and federal courts, and in private arbitration.

Steve has played a lead role in many of the most prominent antitrust class cases litigated in the United States over the last decade, including: In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, In re Static Random Access Memory Litigation, Precision Associates v. Panalpina World Transport, and In re Transpacific Air Transportation Litigation. Steve has helped recover more than $2 billion and has been responsible for new law, including ground-breaking decisions narrowing the scope of the Filed Rate Doctrine and permitting civil damage claims in E. & J. Gallo Winery v. EnCana Corp., 503 F.3d 1027 (2007) and Wortman v. All Nippon Airways, 854 F.3d 606 (2017), and a ruling that “umbrella damages” are available under California state law. County of San Mateo v. CSL, Ltd., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116342 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2014).

Steve—previously a long-time partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP—practices in the fields of litigation, trial, and client counseling, with an emphasis on representation of civil plaintiffs in antitrust matters. He has served in leadership positions in more than a dozen antitrust class cases throughout the United States. During his career, he has represented claimants in cases involving memory chips, pharmaceuticals, air passenger transportation, air cargo transportation, cathode ray tubes, capacitors, resistors, flash memory, lithium ion batteries, financial products and services, poultry, and water. He has been appointed to represent both classes and individuals. In non-class cases, he has represented the Chief Justice of California, the Judicial Council of California, Consumers Union of United States, Inc., the United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta, public pension funds, private investment funds, many cities and counties of California, and public utilities including water districts.

Steve has written and lectured on various topics including antitrust, multidistrict litigation, complex litigation, electronic discovery, MTBE litigation, regulatory developments in environmental law, contractual issues in environmental cleanups, and habeas corpus. He has spoken at many venues, including the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, the California State Bar Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section, the New York State Bar Association Antitrust Section, and the Consumer Attorneys of California. His articles include:

  • “A Practitioner’s Perspective: Why The Supreme Court Should Not Overturn Illinois Brick in Apple v. Pepper,” Competition, The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, Spring 2019;
  • “Should United States Courts Defer to Foreign Governments?,” Chambers and Partners’s Cartels 2019 global practice guide;
  • “‘Apple v. Pepper’ Will Enhance Private Antitrust Enforcement by Confirming Bright-Line Rule of ‘Illinois Brick,’” May 2019 The Recorder;
  • ‘Pepper’ as a Back Door to ‘Illinois Brick’ (and ‘ARC America’)?” and “Should ‘Hanover Shoe’ and ‘Illinois Brick’ Be Discarded?,” August 2018 The Recorder;
  • Antitrust Law Developments (Eighth), American Bar Association;
  • “Federal and State Class Antitrust Actions Should Not Be Tried in a Single Trial,” The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Fall 2014;
  • “Recoveries for Violations of Federal and California Antitrust Statutes Should Not Be Apportioned,” Competition, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, California State Bar, Fall 2014;
  • “Antitrust Whistleblowers Get Clarity,” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, 2013;
  • “Courts Rein in the Cost of E-Discovery When Lawyers and Their Clients Won’t,” California Lawyer, April 2012, and;
  • California’s 2009 E-Discovery Laws, Text and Analysis, LexisNexis 2009.

Steve was appointed by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) as a member of the California Discovery Subcommittee for revision of California discovery rules and statutes relating to electronic discovery and electronically stored information, 2007-2008. He has given yearly presentations to CAOC on topics of civil discovery in California. He is currently in leadership with the American Bar Association Antitrust Section and is a member of the International Cartel Task Force and the Executive Committee of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws. He is an advisor to the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association Section on Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law, and Privacy Law, and was chair of the 2017 Golden State Antitrust Institute. He is a Board Member of Public Justice and past Chairman of the Board of Community Gatepath, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of developmentally disabled children and adults. He received the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Federal Pro Bono Project 2020 Crystal Award for “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.” And in 2018, the JDC recognized him as an “Outstanding Volunteer.” In 2021, he was one of the speakers at a webinar co-sponsored by the JDC, the Asian Law Alliance, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: "What Can I Do as a Pro Bono Attorney in the Northern District?" In 2021, Super Lawyers magazine profiled his and the firm's pro bono success.

Mr. Williams has received numerous professional accolades during his legal career, including:

  • American Antitrust Institute: Honoree for Antitrust Enforcement Awards for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law for his key role in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation (2019);Benchmark Litigation: Ranked as “National Practice Area Star” and “Local Litigation Star” practice areas (2020-present);
  • Best Lawyers: Best Lawyers in America (2020-present);
  • California Daily Journal: Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California (2018-present); Top Antitrust Lawyers in California (2020-present);
  • Chambers USA: Band 1 (top ranked) or Band 2 plaintiffs’ antitrust attorney for “Antitrust: Plaintiff—USA—Nationwide” (2017-present) and “Antitrust: Mainly Plaintiff—California” (2015-present);
  • Lawdragon: 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (2019-present);
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent rating—Top Rated Lawyers (2002-present);
  • Super Lawyers: Super Lawyers Northern California—Antitrust Litigation (2005-present); Super Lawyers Top 100 Northern California (2016-present); and
  • Who’s Who Legal: Selected to and profiled in Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Competition publication (2019-2020); one of the top plaintiffs’ attorneys worldwide via Who’s Who Legal: Competition, a publication of Who’s Who Legal and Global Competition Review (2014-present); selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal: Commercial Litigation publication (2021).

Location

  • 601 California Street, Suite 1000
    San Francisco, CA 94108

Education

  • Fordham University, J.D.
  • New York University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • California, United States, California
  • New Jersey, United States, New Jersey
  • New York, United States, New York

Court Admissions

  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals - Federal, Second, Third, Fifrth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits
  • US District Court - Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
  • US District Court - District of New Jersey
  • US District Court - Eastern and Southern Districts of New York

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

  • Antitrust Law
  • Litigation - Antitrust
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs

Awards:

  • American Antitrust Institute: Honoree for Antitrust Enforcement Awards for “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law” for his key role in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation.
  • California Daily Journal: Selected and profiled 2018-present as one of the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California; selected 2020 as one of the Top Antitrust Lawyers in California
  • Chambers USA: Ranked as a Band 1 or Band 2 attorney for Antitrust: Mainly Plaintiff—California (2015-present) and Antitrust: Plaintiff—Nationwide (2017-present)
  • Lawdragon: Ranked 2019-present as one of its 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers
  • Martindale Hubbell: AV Preeminent since 2002
  • Super Lawyers: Designated 2005-present as a Super Lawyer and 2016-present as a Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters’s Super Lawyers publication
  • Who's Who Legal: Selected to and profiled in Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Competition publication (2019-present) and from 2014-present has been ranked as one of the top plaintiffs’ attorneys worldwide via Who’s Who Legal: Competition, a publication of Who’s Who Legal and Global Competition Review

Publications

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