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About me

Steve served as lead counsel for the largest settlement in world history against Big Tobacco, the largest antitrust settlement, the largest ERISA settlement and, at the time, the largest U.S. securities settlement in U.S. history.

Steve Berman represents consumers, investors and employees in large, complex litigation held in state and federal courts. Berman’s trial experience has earned him significant recognition and led The National Law Journal to name him one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the nation, and to repeatedly name Hagens Berman one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country.

Berman co-founded Hagens Berman in 1993 after his prior firm refused to represent several young children who consumed fast food contaminated with E. coli—Steve knew he had to help. In that case, Steve proved that the poisoning was the result of Jack in the Box’s cost cutting measures along with gross negligence. He was further inspired to build a firm that vociferously fought for the rights of those unable to fight for themselves. Berman’s innovative approach, tenacious conviction and impeccable track record have earned him an excellent reputation and numerous historic legal victories. He is considered one of the nation’s most successful class-action attorneys.


  • Consumer Rights:
    - Represented 20 million class members against Toyota for its sudden unintended acceleration defect and subsequent economic loss to vehicle owners, achieving the largest settlement ever against an automotive company – $1.6 billion.
    - Fought against Apple and five of the nation’s top publishers for colluding to raise the price of e-books, securing a settlement of at least $400 million, with the potential to repay class members twice the amount of damages suffered.

  • Big Oil:
    - Represented clients against Exxon Mobil affected by the 10 million gallons of oil spilled off the coast of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez (multi-million dollar award)

  • Big Pharma:
    - Represented clients against Big Pharma in various actions ranging from price-fixing schemes to antitrust activities (more than $1 billion in aggregate settlements)

  • Wall Street:
    - Class-action securities case against Charles Schwab ($235 million settlement)
    - Represented Enron employees who had their retirement accounts wiped out by Enron’s fraud (largest ERISA settlement in U.S. history)
    - Represented Bernard L. Madoff investors in a suit filed against JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the largest banks in the world (approved $218 million settlement)


  • State Tobacco Litigation
    Lead counsel for 13 states in cases that led to the largest settlement in world history.

  • WPPSS Securities Litigation
    Member of trial team that led to the then largest securities case settlement.

  • McKesson Drug Litigation
    Lead counsel in an action that led to a rollback of benchmark prices of hundreds of brand name drugs, and a $350 million settlement for third-party payers and insurers.

  • Average Wholesale Price Litigation
    Steve served as lead trial counsel, securing trial verdicts against three drug companies that paved the way for a settlement of $338 million.

  • McKesson Governmental Entity Litigation
    Steve was lead counsel for a nationwide class of local governments that resulted in an $82 million settlement for drug price-fixing claims.

  • State and Governmental Drug Litigation
    Steve served as outside counsel for the state of New York for its Vioxx claims, several states for AWP claims and several states for claims against McKesson.

  • Optical-Disc Price Fixing Litigation
    Lead counsel in action on behalf of consumers in more than two dozen states against the manufacturers of optical disk drives. The plaintiffs allege defendants conspired to increase the price of ODDs that were sold to original equipment manufacturers. Defendants’ conduct allegedly caused millions of consumer electronics products, such as computers, to be sold at illegally inflated prices.

  • Electronic Arts Video Games Litigation
    Nationwide certified class of consumers who bought interactive football video games. Plaintiffs allege Electronic Arts entered into a series of exclusive licenses with football intellectual property owners, such as the NFL and NCAA, in order to lock up the market, brought on behalf of a national class of consumers who purchased the video games. A $60 million settlement in the case against EA and the NCAA was reached, as well as a $27 million settlement covering NFL title video games.

  • Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation
    Berman served as lead counsel in action on behalf of homeowners to whom the defendant allegedly promised mortgage modifications as part of a federal program but failed to provide.

  • Boeing Securities Litigation
    Berman served as lead counsel in a $92 million settlement of a securities action concerning Boeing’s merger with McDonnell Douglas.

  • Charles Schwab Securities Litigation
    Lead counsel in securities case resulting in $235 million settlement and 45 percent and 82 percent recoveries for the class, high percentages for securities cases.

  • Enron Pension Protection Litigation
    Lead counsel for Enron employees whose retirement accounts were wiped out by Enron’s fraud. Settlement was the largest ERISA settlement in U.S. history.

  • NCAA Concussions
    Steve is lead counsel in a class action seeking to protect NCAA student athletes in all sports.

  • NCAA Grant-In-Aid Litigation
    Steve is lead counsel in a case challenging the NCAA’s collusion in refusing to allow student athletes to receive scholarships amounting to the full cost of attending school.

  • Orange County and Santa Clara County Opioid Litigation
    Opioid abuse is one of our nation’s leading health disasters. Steve is leading the first litigation seeking to recover public costs resulting from the opioid manufacturer’s deceptive marketing.

  • General Motors Ignition Switch Defect Litigation
    Steve serves as lead counsel seeking to obtain compensation from the millions of GM car owners whose cars have diminished in value.

  • Lumber Liquidators Flooring
    Steve serves as co-lead counsel in the class action against Lumber Liquidators, representing a proposed class of consumers who unknowingly purchased flooring tainted with toxic levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.

  • Discriminatory Lending in Miami and Los Angeles
    Steve is currently representing the cities of Miami and Los Angeles in a series of lawsuits filed against the nation’s largest banks, including CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, alleging that they engage in systematic discrimination against minority borrowers, resulting in reduced property tax, and other damages to the cities.


Steve was a high school and college soccer player and coach. Now that his daughter’s soccer skills exceed his, he is relegated to being a certified soccer referee and spends weekends being yelled at by parents and coaches. Steve is also an avid cyclist and is heavily involved in working with young riders on the USA cycling team and who are trying to transition to the pro cycling tour.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Class Action: 20%
    36 years
  2. Investment Fraud: 20%
    36 years
  3. Government: 20%
    36 years
  4. Consumer Protection: 20%
    36 years
  5. Antitrust: 20%
    36 years

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

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    Steve Berman has all of the intellectual and personal characteristics that have allowed him to excel at every aspect of prosecuting major, complex litigations in a variety of fields. He is a hands on manager who devotes a great deal of his personal time to making sure jobs are done well and correctly. He is not shy about taking litigation risks for causes that other others would turn their backs on. Behind every one of his many success stories is a great deal of Steve's hard work and energy.


    Clyde Platt
    Relationship: Other

Contact info

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

1918 8th Avenue
Ste 3300
Seattle, WA, 98101


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198005/17/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Plaintiff Class Action Law Firm of the YearGlobal Law Experts2016
Top 10 Plaintiffs’ Firms in the CountryThe National Law Journal2015
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2015
500 Leading Lawyers in AmericaLawdragon2014
Finalist for the Trial Lawyer of the Year awardPublic Justice2014
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2014
Top 500 Leading Lawyers in AmericaLawdragon2014
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2013
One of the nation's 100 most influential lawyers in AmericaThe National Law Journal2013
Top 10 Plaintiffs’ Firms in the CountryThe National Law Journal2013
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2012
Top 10 Plaintiffs’ Firms in the CountryThe National Law Journal2012
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2011
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2010
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2009
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2008
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2007
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2006
Finalist for the Trial Lawyer of the Year awardPublic Justice2006
One of the nation's 100 most influential lawyers in AmericaThe National Law Journal2006
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2005
Super LawyerThomson Reuters2004
Top Lawyers in SeattleSeattle Magazine2001
Top Litigator in the StateThe National Law Journal2000
Most Powerful Lawyer in the State of WashingtonThe National Law Journal2000
One of the Nation's 100 Most Influential Lawyers in AmericaThe National Law Journal2000
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing Partner, Seattle OfficeHagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP1993 - Present
FacultyPracticing Law Institute, Accountants Liability Program1989 - Present
MemberKing County Superior Court Juvenile Conference Committee1985 - 1986
Adjunct ProfessorUniversity of Puget Sound School of Law1984 - 1985
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington State Bar Association, Corporate Act Revision CommitteeMember1991 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationSpecial District Counsel1989 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1982 - Present
Seattle King County Bar AssociationMember1982 - Present
Seattle King County Bar Association, Federal Defender PanelMember1982 - 1988
Chicago Council of LawyersMember1980 - 1982
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State Tobacco Litigation$206 billion for state programs, the largest settlement in the history of civil litigation in the U.S.
Toyota Unintended Acceleration$1.6 billion settlement for consumers
Big Oil - Exxon MobilMulti-million dollar award
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
UnknownWitness Evidence — Truth or Answer.” Globalized Litigation: Truth or Myth?,2006
UnknownHospitals Take Advantage of the UninsuredN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Chicago Law SchoolLawN/A1980
University of Michigan, Ann ArborN/AN/A1976