Charles Field

Charles Field
Charles Field
San Diego Partner

(619) 577-4252

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As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Financial Services Litigation Practice Group, Mr. Field leverages his decades of practice focused on commercial transactions and regulation to recover investments that have been mishandled or lost.

Meet Charles Field

Meet Charles Field

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation [for] Charles Field’s highly effective representation in advancing the financial mismanagement litigation that I sought to undertake last summer. At that time I wrote an essay to your firm, describing my retirement fund manager's chronic underperformance vs. market benchmarks, which then culminated in an abominable series of executive decisions surrounding the 2020 COVID Crash.

I felt that I had been exploited for their management fees, and taken advantage of as a result of their negligence. By the summer, I decided I had nothing to lose by submitting the information to Sanford Heisler for review. I am grateful that it soon made its way across the country to Mr. Field. From our earliest discussions, I could tell that Charles Field understood the gravity of the mistreatment I suffered, and that he was empathetic towards my plight. I got the sense that Mr. Field would leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of the case.

Charles Field’s analysis of the materials I submitted showed me that is exactly what he did. Sanford Heisler Sharp drilled down on everything and identified several unethical practices, such as investing in vehicles that featured poor performance records, yet maximized management fees. In calling out the unscrupulous behaviors and general incompetence, Mr. Field cited FINRA and finance industry standards. When I read his final brief, I knew that my interests had received the best advocacy possible.

Going forward, I feel confident that Mr. Field and the Sanford Heisler Sharp team have given me the best shot at a successful result in litigation. — Thomas G. Bering, MD

Charles Field and Sanford Heisler have been excellent partners as our business has grown. They understand our firm and have helped us navigate the legal landscape in our industry. Charles is particularly responsive when we need him and is willing to bring in other resources to address our issues. Because of their efficiency and teamwork, we feel Sanford Heisler offers great value and service. Horacio Valeiras, CEO, Frontier Global Partners, LLC

Mr. Charles Field, Esquire was very professional, courteous and polite in helping me research an equities matter. He contacted me timely with the results of an equity public filing review, and I was thoroughly impressed by everyone I interacted with at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP. Canning Kraft

Charles Field talks about the Morgan Stanley ERISA class action on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

Charles Field talks about the Morgan Stanley ERISA class action on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

Charles H. Field is a Partner in the San Diego office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland, and a Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Practice. He received his J.D. from McGeorge Law School and his B.A. from Indiana University-Indianapolis. Mr. Field also completed European legal studies at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg.

Mr. Field has been practicing in the securities law area for more than 28 years. His practice focuses on protecting the interests of investors. Having served from 2002 to 2013 as the General Counsel of Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management and its successor, Allianz Global Investors Capital, he brings a combination of private practice experience and a deep knowledge of the laws governing investment advisers, broker-dealers, and commodity trading advisers, which he uses to assess whether a seller has breached a legal obligation and to evaluate whether an aggrieved investor can recover damages. In addition to his General Counsel experience, he has held industry roles as Chief Compliance Officer, FINRA General Securities Principal, General Options Principal, and General Municipal Securities Principal.

Mr. Field understands the daily activities and needs of investors and other market participants. He has been involved in matters related to employee relations, including bonus structures, management of 401(k) plans, wage and hour compliance, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Under the ERISA laws, Mr. Field represents employees challenging their employers’ mishandling of their 401 (k) plans and violation of fiduciary standards related to the plan’s investments. Actions on behalf of investors can be brought against employers for mismanagement of investments and for charging inappropriately high fees.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Mr. Field represents elder victims of financial abuse under state laws, including California Elder Abuse Law. Seniors are often dependent on others to handle their personal and financial affairs and unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to financial advisors who take advantage of a lack of oversight.

Investors, both the most sophisticated and novices, are vulnerable to stockbrokers, investment advisers and financial planners who operate not in the client’s interest, but in their own interest by churning accounts, buying unsuitable investments and charging excessive fees. Mr. Field seeks justice for abused investors, based on decades of experience and his knowledge of the laws in place to protect investors.

Another risk area for investors is the sale of various forms of annuity contracts and universal life schemes — retirement, insurance, and saving products — promising to be the “silver bullet” of investments with unusually high yields and often a cash bonus paid up front. Unfortunately, the real benefit is the commissions paid to the agents and not the dividends paid to the investor. A number of class actions have been filed and settled in this area of continuing the abuse. Sanford Heisler Sharp will analyze your policy and the sales materials and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Mr. Field is licensed to practice in California and Indiana and in the Federal Court of the Southern District of California. He is a member of the San Diego and California Associations and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Society of Compliance Professionals. He is a frequent speaker to business, professional and service groups on a variety of securities law and regulatory topics.

Click here to read an Amicus Brief Mr. Field wrote in support of the new Department of Labor’s Fiduciary rule.


  • J.D., McGeorge Law School, 1986
  • B.A., Indiana University-Indianapolis, 1977
  • European Legal Studies, The University of Edinburgh and The University of Salzburg


  • California, 1997

Allstate ERISA Class Action

Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP is currently evaluating whether Allstate mismanaged its 401(k) plan.

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UnitedHealth Group ERISA Class Complaint

Case Description Case Type: ERISA Company Name: UnitedHealth Group Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP filed a class complaint in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota alleging that the UnitedHealth Group breaches basic fiduciary duties under ERISA and violates its employees’ trust by mismanaging their retirement funds. The complaint alleges UnitedHealth Group failed to remove from its employee […]

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Walgreens ERISA Class Action

The complaint alleges Walgreens failed to remove from its employee retirement plan a suite of ten target retirement date funds that have underperformed their investment benchmarks.

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Eaton Vance ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Class Action – $3.45 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp alleged the company filled its 401(k) plan with expensive, poorly performing funds that earned fees for the company but deprived employees of millions of dollars in retirement savings.

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VentureMoney Management Co. Investor Fraud

The amended complaint alleges Mark Bernier trolled a dating website, exchanging over 29,000 messages with over 3,000 women in a two-year period, to lure unsuspecting women into investing their money in his fraudulent scheme.

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Transamerica ERISA Class Action

The complaint alleges the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform their investment benchmarks and other similar collective investment funds.

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Madison Avenue Securities LLC FINRA Arbitration – $2.1 Million Award

In the fight to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, Sanford Heisler Sharp has obtained a $2.1 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of a San Diego client whose investment nest egg was decimated by an imprudent, high-risk investment strategy that her stockbroker David Barber had recommended.

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Home Depot ERISA Class Action

According to the complaint, Home Depot has selected multiple poorly-performing funds for its 401(k) plan, allowed investment advisers to charge its employees unreasonable fees, and turned a blind eye to a kickback scheme between an investment adviser and the plan’s recordkeeper.

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General Electric ERISA Class Action

The Complaint asserts that GE and the Plan violated the Federal Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions and unlawful self-dealing detrimental to the three named plaintiffs individually and as representatives of a class.

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Madison Avenue Securities FINRA Claim

The claim alleges Madison Avenue Securities alleging the firm turned a blind eye in allowing one of its stockbrokers who had a disciplinary history of misappropriating clients’ funds to loot hundreds of thousands of dollars from client’s account.

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