David Sanford is the Chairman and co-founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP. Since 2004, Attorney Sanford has recovered more than $1 billion for individual clients and the United States government.
David Sanford is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (ABD), and B.A. from Vassar College.
David clerked for Judge Gladys Kessler on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
David was inducted into The National Law Journal’s “Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame” and selected as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers.
David was named an “Attorney of the Year Finalist” in 2018 by The American Lawyer, a “Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer” in 2018 by The National Law Journal, and the “Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year” in 2021 and 2019 by Benchmark Litigation.
David is recognized as a top employment lawyer by The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, and The National Law Journal; and he has been ranked a “Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment: Mainly Plaintiffs Representation” by Chambers and Partners.
David has also been recognized as an “Employment MVP” and a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” by Law360, one of the leading plaintiff employment lawyers in America by Lawdragon, and as a “Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney” in both Washington, DC and New York by Super Lawyers.
Every year since 2006, David has been AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given to an attorney by judges and attorneys nationwide, and he has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America by Best Lawyers.
David is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
David and the attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp represent individuals in claims against corporate entities. Most cases are resolved through confidential and private mediation and before any matter is publicly filed.
David represents C-suite executives and non-managerial hourly employees throughout the United States. He has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous whistleblower and qui tam cases.
David has represented more than 100 general counsel and attorneys (in-house and law firm counsel) in contract disputes, employment matters, and severance negotiations.
David won as lead counsel the largest employment verdict in United States history, a $253 million dollar verdict on behalf of 6,000 women in Velez v. Novartis after a six-week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also was lead counsel in a $99 million dollar settlement against Novartis in a wage and hour class action on behalf of pharmaceutical representatives.
David has settled gender discrimination class actions with extensive class-wide relief against Daiichi Pharmaceuticals ($8.2 million), Qualcomm ($19.5 million) (named one of the top settlements in California in 2016 by TopVerdict.com), Sanofi Pharmaceuticals ($15 million), Alcon Pharmaceuticals ($8 million), and Western Digital ($7.75 million). Other gender discrimination settlements include matters against Merck, Publicis Groupe, Forest Laboratories, and General Electric. Most matters are settled before a matter is publicly filed.
David was lead class 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.
David has been lead counsel for more than 100 women general counsel and partners at BigLaw firms throughout America. For example, on behalf of three women partners, he recently settled a case alleging gender discrimination and pay inequity against Chadbourne & Parke (now Norton Rose Fulbright). He also recently settled gender discrimination matters on behalf of woman partners at many AmLaw 100 firms. The vast majority of BigLaw cases have settled confidentially before a lawsuit was filed.
David was lead counsel in a $28 million wage and hour class settlement against Pac Bell, Bell South, and SNET; co-lead counsel in a $16 million race discrimination settlement against Kroger; class counsel in a $14 million settlement against Dartmouth in a Title IX and hostile environment matter; lead counsel in a $8.7 million settlement in a race discrimination class action against Cracker Barrel; and many other matters both public and private.
David was lead trial counsel for a professor at Columbia University Business School in a sexual harassment and 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. The verdict was named one of the top civil rights violation verdicts in the United States in 2018 by TopVerdict.com.
David is class counsel in ERISA matters pending against Home Depot, General Electric, Walgreens, and Allstate. He was class counsel in ERISA matters that recently settled against Eaton Vance and Transamerica.
David was co-counsel in a $762 million settlement between the United States government and Amgen. Amgen allegedly defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental health care programs by promoting “off label” uses of certain prescription drugs and paying kickbacks to doctors and other health care providers.
David has been a board member of the Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem since 2011; a board member of CorpsAfrica since 2010; an advisory board member since 2014 of the Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession; an advisory board member since 2011 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; and a member of the advisory board of AerNos.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers in America||2022|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers in America||2021|
|Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year||Benchmark Litigation||2021|
|Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer||Lawdragon||2021|
|Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment||Chambers & Partners USA Guide||2021|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2021|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers in America||2020|
|Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment||Chambers & Partners USA Guide||2020|
|Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer||Lawdragon||2020|
|Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star||Benchmark Litigation||2020|
|Washington, DC’s Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiffs||Washingtonian Magazine||2020|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2020|
|Best Lawyer||Best Lawyers in America||2019|
|Fellow||American Bar Foundation||2019|
|Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year||Benchmark Litigation||2019|
|Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment||Chambers & Partners USA Guide||2019|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2019|
|Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star||Benchmark Litigation||2019|
|Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer||Lawdragon||2019|
|Washington, DC’s Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiffs||Washingtonian Magazine||2019|
|Law360 Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar||Law 360||2018|
|Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment||Chambers & Partners USA Guide||2018|
|Trailblazer Plaintiffs' Lawyer||National Law Journal||2018|
|Top Rated Lawyer||Martindale-Hubbell®||2018|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2018|
|Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer||Lawdragon||2018|
|Lawyer of Distinction||Lawyer of Distinction||2018|
|Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star||Benchmark Litigation||2018|
|Attorney of the Year Finalist||American Lawyer||2018|
|Employment MVP||Law 360||2018|
|Washington, DC’s Best Lawyers: Employment Plaintiffs||Washingtonian Magazine||2018|
|Leader in the Field in New York for Labor & Employment||Chambers & Partners USA Guide||2017|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2017|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2016|
|Employment MVP||Law 360||2016|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2015|
|Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee||National Law Journal||2015|
|Employment Advisory Board||Law 360||2014|
|Titan Of The Plaintiffs Bar||Law 360||2014|
|Top Rated Employment Lawyer||National Law Journal||2014|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers||2014|
|Top Rated Employment Lawyer||American Lawyer||2013|
|Top Rated Employment Lawyer||Corporate Counsel||2013|
|Employment MVP||Law 360||2013|
|AV Preeminent Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||N/A|
|Top 100 Trial Lawyers||National Trial Lawyers Association||N/A|
|Chairman||Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP||2004 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession||Advisory Forum Member||2014 - Present|
|Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem||Board Member||2011 - Present|
|Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion, and Resources||Advisory Board Member||2011 - Present|
|Board of Corps Africa||Board Member||2010 - Present|
|Aernos||Advisory Board Member||N/A|
|William B. Bryant Inn of Court||Member||1996 - 2006|
|Stanford Law School||JD - Juris Doctor||1995|
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||ABD||1985|
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||MA - Masters||1984|
|Vassar College||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1980|
|United Nations Conference||Women's Rights||2011|
|In re Novartis Wage & Hour Litig., S.D.N.Y.||$99 million settlement|
|Amy Velez, et al., v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.||$250 million in punitive damages|
Posted by anonymous
September 9, 2020