David Sanford

Mr. Sanford is the Chairman and co-founder of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP. Since 2004, Mr. Sanford has recovered more than $1 billion for individual clients and the United States government.

Meet Chairman David Sanford

Meet Chairman David Sanford

Thank you Deborah, David, and Alec so much for all of the time, advice, and legal expertise you have provided. The care you have taken to date has been outstanding and second to none! It has been truly valued and appreciated. Female Partner at AmLaw 100 Firm

I contacted David Sanford based on a recommendation when I was wrongfully terminated from my executive-level role. The case was complex since it involved a well-known and high-powered attorney that was threatening to ruin me and my reputation if I proceeded with the case. David, Adan Martinez and Mariel Brunman were extremely classy, professional, and level-headed throughout the entire process and brought a tremendous amount of comfort and support to me. My opinions were valued, my doubts always heard, and I was always reassured with full transparency, integrity, and partnership. David and his team built a strong case and ultimately managed to reach a successful outcome through mediation that not only sent a strong message on wrongful termination but it gave me my credibility and confidence back. David and his team are competent, strategic, and a powerful opponent. They fought for me and were the voice I needed and wanted to represent me through this time. A Former Client

My experience with Sanford Heisler was truly transformative. Through our litigation against Columbia University, David Sanford, Jenn Siegel, and Ali Stack helped me reclaim not only my professional standing but also my dignity. Together, we set a precedent for accountability in the academy of which I could not be more proud. From beginning to end, I was awed by Sanford Heisler's tireless commitment to civil rights and their clients' well-being. I think of my attorneys and the extraordinary impact they have had on my life every day. Jane Doe

David Sanford and his team achieved a tremendous result in obtaining a confidential-seven-digit settlement from my company, and measurable change. I had approached my former company through its internal channels about the stark gender pay disparity. Unfortunately, my concerns went unanswered. That is until David Sanford and team reached out to them. We held a confidential mediation and settled the case without filing a lawsuit. All the while David and team were professional, attentive, passionate, and wicked smart. As a corporate employment attorney myself, I can say that David is the most skilled plaintiff’s lawyer that I’ve ever met. He is caring, humble, ever graceful, and unwavering in character. Other lawyers may huff and puff, but defense counsel know that David has the skills and the bench strength to follow through with his demands. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. And having put the episode behind me, I accepted a position at a new company in a better role for fair pay. A Former Client

David Sanford is simply the best attorney I have ever worked with. His team of lawyers and staff are superbly trained and accomplished. David represented me and family members and we settled during the litigation. I've never seen anybody handle depositions and mediation as masterfully and skillfully as David Sanford does. I highly recommend this world class firm to everyone. A Former Client

Just read the article in American Lawyer about your win in the Chadbourne case and felt compelled to write and say – Thank You – for fighting the good fight. I will always be grateful for your support both professionally and personally and I can only imagine the individuals you are representing are similarly thankful to have you as their gladiator. Lorene Schaefer, Former General Counsel of General Electric Transportation

I could not be happier with my Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP experience. Confronting racial discrimination in the workplace was the hardest decision I've made in my 20+ year career. Vincent McKnight understood my situation immediately and helped me to clearly understand the pros and cons of my options. David Sanford got my former employer's full attention and confidentially resolved my employment matter in a very thorough, professional and efficient manner. He was steady throughout the entire process and it was extremely reassuring to see him fight for me. Great attorneys who are also excellent at listening to the client. M.B., Former Client

I turned to Sanford Heisler Sharp after numerous unsuccessful efforts of sharing my concerns of bias and gender discrimination to my management. The discrimination continued for many years. I had a long successful career, a Masters degree in Organizational Management, with numerous awarded accomplishments. So, I decided I was no longer going to allow the discrimination to continue to myself or others. David Sanford and his team took on this giant international company, with concern and respect, diligence, detail, and an in-depth understanding of the numerous levels of inequities of gender discrimination from training, promotions, salaries and harassment within the company's culture. They achieved both a great outcome of compensation for the victims, and helped insure a plan of corrective measures for the company. I would highly recommend Sanford Heisler, their amazing efforts and results made such a positive difference to so many, and could do the same for you. It certainly did for me. Deborah Doak Davis, Plaintiff in Novartis Gender Discrimination Matter

I worked with the team and Sanford Heisler Sharp in a class action litigation against a Fortune 500 company—a frightening thing for anyone to sign up for, let alone a middle-aged woman with more than 25 years at that same company. The care, concern, and understanding from David Sanford and the team at the firm were so supportive. They also knew exactly how to make the company pay attention, resolve the issues, and compensate the victims. I was able to leave with my dignity, my pride and a future that has been wide open with new possibilities. Margaret Harding, Former Client

David has the largely unique ability to be extremely aggressive and, at the same time, both very professional and even-tempered. Defendants who have a claim asserted by David Sanford and his firm know they have their hands full. You know you’re going to have a real fight on your hands. Glen Nager, Partner, Jones Day

David is an awesome attorney, down to earth and has a big heart. I think he is a wonderful person and has a great team of personnel. I loved working with him. I am so grateful to him and his team for all the time, effort and support they gave me. Donna Bryan, former client

Watch David’s Interview on Good Morning America

David Sanford GMA ABC News

Watch David’s Interview on the Ellen Pao Sex Discrimination Case

Ellen Pao Sex Discrimination Case

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.

Education

  • J.D., Stanford Law School 1995
  • ABD, UNC, Chapel Hill 1985
  • M.A., UNC, Chapel Hill 1984
  • B.A., Vassar College 1980

Clerkship

  • Honorable Gladys Kessler, United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland 1997
  • District of Columbia 1998

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The complaint asserts that Ogletree uses a number of tactics to shortchange female shareholders in pay and promotions. The firm manipulates allocation of origination credits by unfairly attributing such credits to male shareholders, even when women at the firm are the ones who bring in the client.

Read More

Scripps Health System Whistleblower Lawsuit – $1.5 Million Settlement

The whistleblower alleged that the San Diego-based Scripps Health System unlawfully billed the United States Government for physical therapy services on behalf of a physician who was not present while the services were rendered. The case claimed that Scripps persisted in this conduct despite warnings from the whistleblower.

Read More

Arizona Board of Regents Gender Discrimination Collective Action

The Complaint, brought under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), alleges that ABOR dramatically underpaid Dr. MacCorquodale during her tenure as Honors College Dean relative to male deans at the university and to her male successors at the Honors College. Dean MacCorquodale had been employed by UA since 1978.

Read More

Morrison & Foerster Gender, Pregnancy, and Maternity Discrimination Class and Collective Action

The Complaint, which is filed on behalf of three female associates currently employed at MoFo, alleges the international law firm practices systemic gender discrimination against female lawyers, particularly those who are pregnant or have children.

Read More

Jones Day Gender Discrimination/Retaliation Action

Case Description Case Type: Gender Discrimination/Retaliation Company: Jones Day

Read More

Temple St. Clair Whistleblower Action – $796,000 Settlement

The case is thought to be the first in New York to recover money for the United States government based on the defendant’s failure to properly mark its products with their country of origin.

Read More

Columbia University Sexual Harassment/Title IX Lawsuit

Plaintiff alleges that Dean Harford engaged in inappropriate and manipulative sexual behavior with her and that Columbia University violated Title IX in failing to protect her from his sexual misconduct.

Read More

Cushman & Wakefield Gender and Race Discrimination Suit

According to the Complaint, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley’s career advancement repeatedly faced discriminatory roadblocks despite her objectively outstanding performance.

Read More

Transamerica 401(k) Investigation

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is investigating whether Transamerica used its company 401(k) plan to promote its investment advisory business at the expense of its employees.

Read More

Cracker Barrel Race Discrimination Class Action – $8.7 Million Settlement

David Sanford was lead counsel in a race discrimination class action suit against Cracker Barrel restaurants. The case concerned discrimination in pay and promotion, and also involved discrimination against African-American customers. The United States Department of Justice intervened in the case after five years of litigation and the suit settled for $8.7 million.

Read More
Back to Top