William A. Markham

William A. Markham

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Antitrust Litigation Attorney in San Diego, CA

Law Offices of William Markham, P.C.
 | 550 West C Street, Suite 2000
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-221-4400
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1988
Education: Harvard Law School
Practice Areas:
  • Antitrust Litigation (40%),
  • Real Estate: Business (30%),
  • Business Litigation (30%)
Attorney Profile

William Markham is a graduate of Harvard Law School who has practiced law since 1988 after passing the California Bar Examination on his first attempt. After gaining broad, general experience in a full range of cases, he has narrowed his practice to certain kinds of complex litigation: Antitrust matters, trademark infringement matters, patent misuse matters, and certain other kinds of complex business litigation and complex real estate litigation.

Mr. Markham has obtained substantial verdicts in both jury and bench trials, doing so by developing a compelling characterization of the case at hand and organizing the evidence to show that the characterization is accurate, makes sense, best explains what really happened, and therefore entitles his client to the requested relief (damages or other relief for plaintiffs, or an exculpation for defendants). 

In particular, Mr. Markham has worked on antitrust matters since 1988 ever since working as as an associate attorney at Coudert Brothers (now dissolved), a firm that had offices around the world and represented sovereign governments, Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, universities, start-ups, large private companies, and others.  

In his own practice, Mr. Markham has recently served as the U.S. antitrust advisor to the world's largest manufacturer of LED panels, and he served as the lead attorney for Orchard Supply Hardware, LLC in its antitrust litigation against Home Depot and the two major suppliers of professional power tools as well as the lead attorney for the largest privately held precast concrete company in North America in a four-year antitrust litigation that it brought against AT&T and a subsidiary of the world's largest construction materials firm (three years of litigation in trial court, followed by an appeal before the Ninth Circuit).  

Mr. Markham has obtained successful outcomes in exceedingly complex, problematic antitrust litigations and has also coordinated antitrust amnesty arrangements with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In his antitrust work, he has represented businesses in the following lines of commerce: Telecommunications infrastructure; other kinds of utilities infrastructure; consumer electronics; petroleum and petrochemicals; medical supplies; medical services; marine infrastructure; clothing (retail price maintenance matters); hardware supplies; computer software; computer hardware; automobile dealerships; various kinds of franchises; and various other lines of commerce.  

Mr. Markham has significant experience litigating the following kinds of antitrust claims:   Rule-of-reason offenses, including private standard-setting matters; horizontal price-fixing; market allocation schemes; bid-rigging; group boycotts; tie-in arrangements; monopolization offenses; price-discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act; merger and acquisition matters under the Clayton Act and Hart-Scott-Rodino Act; claims made under California's Cartwright Act, Unfair Practices Act, and Unfair Competition Law; DOJ-Antitrust criminal prosecutions and FTC regulatory matters; and ongoing, preventative consultation on a broad range of antitrust matters.

Mr. Markham has also significant experience litigating trademark infringment cases and served as the lead attorney for Dan-Dee Company, Inc. in the high-profile 5-Hour Energy counterfeiting case.  

Mr. Markham has also served as the lead attorney in high-profile condemnation cases by which government agencies have taken substantial commercial properties, and he was the lead attorney in the Pacific Avenue property case, which received prominent national attention several years ago because it arose under the surprising Kelo doctrine, which allows government entities to take property from one private owner and transfer it to a new private owner on the ground that the new owner will devote it to a use that better serves the public interest.

In addition, Mr. Markham is completely fluent in French and reasonably fluent in Spanish.

He is also the author of a well-received series of articles on various topics of the law, which appear at http://www.markhamlawfirm.com/law-articles/.  He has also served as an MCLE lecturer on antitrust law and on the foreclosure laws of California, and for a time he served on the Lawyer Referral Committee of the San Diego Bar Association, where he helped to write the new standards for admitting attorneys to various lawyer referral panels. He has also served as a mock judge in the annual University of San Diego mock trial competition. In addition, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at Hastings Law School and Lincoln Law School.

Mr. Markham has often appeared in various national news media, including The NY Times, CNN, the San Diego affiliates of NBC and Univision, The Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and other well-recognized, popular news media.

Above all, Mr. Markham and his team make an enormous effort to master their cases and present them at trial with skill and care. You can read more about him and his firm at www.markhamlawfirm.com

About William Markham

Admitted 1988, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.markhamlawfirm.com/attorneys/william-markham/

Honors and Awards:

  • Mr. Markham has received substantial recognition from his peers as a leading litigator of complex business disputes and real estate matters.  He has been given the highest possible rating of 10.0 by Avvo, the online attorney rating service.  In the annual poll of San Diego attorneys conducted by The San Diego Daily Transcript, he has repeatedly been a semi-finalist for “best business litigator” (2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012) and also for “best real estate litigator” (2010). He also has been recognized as one San Diego’s “best real estate attorneys” in San Diego Metro Magazine (2011 and 2012). In addition, Mr. Markham has served on the LRIS Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association, which sets attorney referral standards and provides the general public with referrals to qualified attorneys who practice law in San Diego County, and in this capacity he helped to establish new LRIS standards for key lawyer-referral panels.  He has also served as a judge in the Moot Court Honors Competition of San Diego University Law School. While at Harvard Law School, Mr. Markham served as an editor and later as an associate editor of The Harvard International Law Journal.  After law school, he passed the California Bar exam on his first attempt and was admitted by petition to the DC Bar Association because of his qualifying high score on the California Bar exam.  He enjoyed a short sabbatical from his work during part of 2001.

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • After a four-day jury trial in which Mr. Markham represented the plaintiff, Mr. Markham obtained jury verdicts on four counts -- breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and negligent misrepresentation.  In the same case, there was one-day bench trial, which was held after the jury trial.  The Court ruled in favor of Mr. Markham's client, finding that an individual defendant had alter-ego liability for a corporate defendant's liability to Mr. Markham's client.  The final judgment was issued in the amount of $360,576.20, which includes compensatory damages, attorney's fees, and costs, but which excludes an additional $30,000 in damages for emotional distress that the jury awarded but that the trial court later disallowed.  Mr. Markham prevailed on appeal on all grounds after the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the above judgment and reversed the trial court's dismissal on demurrer of a third defendant, whose case will now be tried to a jury in the summer of 2013.  The  Case Name:  Collins v. Manufactured Structures International, Inc. (SD. Cty., Case No. Case No. GIC 880706), 2009
  • In a bench trial, which was conducted in 2008, the trial court ruled in favor of Mr. Markham's clients in a commercial tenancy dispute, giving them judgment on their claims and giving them judgment as well on the other side's cross-claims.   Mr. Markham's clients were commercial tenants who wished to renew their lease for five additional years under an option to renew set forth in the lease.  Their landlord refused to accept their exercise of the option, urging various grounds.  The trial court interpreted the disputed option provision, finding that Mr. Markham's clients were entitled to exercise it and had properly done so.  The court also found in favor of Mr. Markham's clients in a related insurance dispute, interpreting the lease provisions on insurance in their favor.  The landlord has appealed from this decision.  Case name:  Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. v. Joseph Quin Family Trust (S.D. County, Case No. 37-2007-00062035-CU-BC-EC).This same landlord brought another action against these commercial tenants in early 2009.  After five months of arduous litigation, the landlord dropped the case one day before she was ordered to return for further deposition questions concerning her motive for bringing the lawsuit.  The name of this case was Joseph Quin Family Trust v. Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. (S.D. County, Case No. 37-2008-00102257-CU-UD-EC)., 2008
  • In a confidential settlement agreement, Mr. Markham recovered approximately $10.4 million for a trust whose trustees had made improper transfers of substantial real estate interests.  This case was litigated as a probate proceeding in central California.  The terms of the final settlement were confidential, so that Mr. Markham cannot provide the particulars of this case., 2007
  • In a bench trial in which Mr. Markham represented the defendants, the trial court refused to grant the requested injunctive relief to Plaintiff, a homeowners' assocation.  The trial court declined to find that there was a prevailing party in the case.  Case name:  Sweetwater Lakes Homeowners Association v. Kramer (Case No. GIE 029572)., 2006
  • In a bench trial in which Mr. Markham represented the defendant, the trial court declined to grant the injunctive relief that the plaintiff sought.   The defendant was the prevailing party in this case. Case name: Rivet v. Dziensuwski (SD. Sup. Ct., Case No. DV 017311)., 2006
  • In a complex, novel eminent domain proceeding, Mr. Markham represented the owner of commercial property that the City of Santa Cruz chose to condemn and take so that it could transfer ownership to a private developer.  This case was brought after the US Supreme Court ruled in the Kelo case that such takings were permissible upon a proper showing.  The condemnor's original offer was approximately $1.6 million, and its final stipulated award was worth approximately $3.0 million.  Case name:  City of Santa Cruz v. Lau (Santa Cruz Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. CV 151983)., 2005
  • In a complex eminent domain proceeding, Mr. Markham represented a large polypropelene factory located in Alameda County.  The Oakland Unified School District condemned the property and made an initial offer of approximately $2.8 million.  After a substantial litigation, the condemnor agreed to pay approximately $4.4 million for its taking.  Case name:  Oakland Unified School District v. Cheng (Alameda Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. 2002-051449)., 2004
  • In a complicated commercial dispute in which Mr. Markham represented a supplier of mailbags against a distributor of them, the distributor dropped its cross-claims and gave a stipulated judgment to Mr. Markham's client on the day of the trial call.  The stipulated judgment was for approximately $200,000, along with interest.  Case Name:  Tedcom International, Inc. v. Flamingo Industries, Inc. (Alameda Cty. Sup. Ct., 2000-074279)., 2003
  • In a judicial partition that proceeded to a final evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted Mr. Markham's client substantially all of the relief that she had requested, which included a decree of partition, the entirety of all contested proceeds, a removal of various liens at the expense of the other party's interest in the property, and attorney's fees and costs.  The property was worth approximately $900,000 at the time of sale.  Case Name: Tamburo v. Lipari (SF. Sup. Ct., Case No. 312202)., 2002
  • Mr. Markham represented an insured who brought suit against his disability insurer for refusing in bad faith to honor the insurance contract.  The insurer's original offer was to pay nothing and waive costs.  The final settlement was for approximately $2.2 million.  This case was litigated in federal court under the ERISA statutes.  The settlement was confidential, so that Mr. Markham cannot provide further particulars about this matter., 1994

Educational Background:

  • Mr. Markham earned his law degree at Harvard Law School, receving his J.D. in 1987. , 1987
  • Mr. Markham obtained his college degree (bachelor of arts) with "Highest Honors" in 1984 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  , 1984

Industry Groups

  • French-American Chamber Of Commerce (San Diego Chapter)
  • Office Location for William A. Markham

    550 West C Street
    Suite 2000
    San Diego, CA 92101


    William A. Markham:

    Last Updated: 9/1/2016

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