William A. Kershaw

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Sacramento, CA

Kershaw, Cook & Talley
 | 401 Watt Avenue, Suite 1
Sacramento, CA 95864
Phone: 916-520-6639
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1973
Practice Areas:
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Consumer Law (20%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney William A. Kershaw is a founding partner in the law firm of Kershaw, Cook & Talley, PC  in Sacramento, CA. He has over 30 years of experience serving clients nationwide in matters of complex civil litigation such as class actions, mass torts, wage and hour disputes and breach of contract cases. 

He is highly effective against formidable opponents: he has won judgments totaling nearly $1 billion, including a $330 million class action victory against American Honda Motor Co. and an $87 million judgment against United Parcel Service in a wage dispute. He is currently serving as lead class counsel against PricewaterhouseCoopers in a wage and hour class action. In addition, he is now simultaneously serving on the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for the In re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2441), and the DePuy ASR™ Hip System Cases (MDL No. 2197). 

William Kershaw represents injured individuals and businesses throughout the country. He has an outstanding reputation for obtaining victories in a multitude of cases involving defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, wage and hour claims, consumer fraud, product liability, whistle blower and false claims act matters, class action lawsuits, and complex litigation. He is named Best of the Bar 2014-2016 by the Sacramento Business Journal, a Northern California Super Lawyer 13 years in a row, AVVO Superb Rated Top Attorney, 2015-2017 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine, and is 5 Star AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell*.  William was honored by Working Wardrobes for his generous investment to their organization and in our community, helping ensure that adults in crisis and survivors of domestic abuse became self-sufficient.  

He worked as a district attorney for Sacramento County and successfully brought 75 cases to verdict during his nine year tenure. During this time, he played an instrumental part in the district attorney's Career Criminal Unit, Consumer and Collar Fraud Divisions. Mr. Kershaw's considerable experience in the district attorney's office, and as a tort litigator, eventually led to a prestigious career with the Sacramento County Bar Association's Judiciary Committee. His outstanding work led to his selection as chair for this distinguished committee.

Mr. Kershaw is also a well-known fixture in the community. He is a former president of the Sacramento County Bar Association and served on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Sacramento. He is actively involved with many charitable activities including Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, WEAVE, Inc., the YMCA of Superior California, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento, and the St. John's Program for Real Change, an organization which helps displaced women and their families.

Juris Doctor, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1972
Bachelor of Arts, Santa Clara University, 1969

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Class Action/Mass Torts (50%): Class Actions, Toxic Torts

Employment Litigation (30%)

Consumer Law (20%)

Focus Areas

Class Action/Mass Torts: Class Actions, Toxic Torts


Selected to Super Lawyers for 14 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2018

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About William Kershaw

Admitted: 1973, California

Professional Webpage: http://kctlegal.com/william-a-kershaw/

Honors and Awards:

  • Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine, 2015-2017
  • Best of Bar, Sacramento Business Journal, 2014-2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated Attorney
  • Superb Top Attorney, AVVO, 2015

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Chair of Kershaw, Cook & Talley's Class Action Practice Group, 2015
  • Past Chair of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff's Class Action Practice Group, 2014
  • Capitol City Consumer Attorney, 2014
  • Member (Master Emeritus), Anthony M. Kennedy American Inns of Court, 2014
  • Member, Sacramento County Civil Courts Advisory Committee, 2014
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, 2014
  • Past President, St. Michael’s Episcopal Day School
  • American Association for Justice, 2014
  • Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association
  • The State Bar of California
  • Past Board Member, Director, California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) 
  • Past President, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) 
  • Past Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) 
  • Past Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) Judiciary Committee- responsible for evaluating candidates for judicial office and performance of sitting judges 
  • Past Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA) Conference of Delegates Committee to the State Bar Conference of Delegates 
  • President, Board of Trustees, St. Michael’s Episcopal Day School 
  • Past Chair, California Consumer Protection Council

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Sacramento Downtown Rotary
  • Volunteer, WEAVE, inc. 
  • Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Sacramento, 1979 – present

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Mr. Kershaw is currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the DePuy ASR™ Hip System Cases, California Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No 4649 pending in the Superior Court in San Francisco County. These proceedings are working cooperatively with MDL 2197, In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implants Products Liability Litigation., 2014
  • Mr. Kershaw is currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2441) pending in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota. This MDL is in its preliminary stages with the leadership appointed during the first week in November 2013., 2014
  • A $46 million settlement against Jenny Craig, Inc. for misleading advertising and improper business practices. Multiple recoveries on behalf of class members, totaling more than $75 million against the funeral industry for improper handling of human remains.
  • A $180 million settlement against a Richmond chemical company for release of sulfuric acid vapor in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • A $211 million settlement against BMW of North America, LLC on behalf of roughly 200,000 class members alleging BMW stopped replacing defective components and altered the vehicle’s software after discovering design flaws in BMW models containing N54 engines.
  • A $330 million class action settlement against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. arising out of MDL proceedings on behalf of all present and former Honda dealers alleging RICO violations relating to misallocation of vehicles in a nationwide bribery conspiracy.
  • An $87 million settlement against United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) on behalf of a class of 23,600 UPS drivers to recover unpaid wages based on allegations that the employer failed to provide meal and rest periods. The cases settled in 2006 for an $87 million cash payment and other benefits to class members valued at more than $4 million. This is believed to be the largest "meal and rest period" settlement in California history, and was one of the largest nationwide wage and hour settlements of 2007.
  • A $39 million settlement against VeriSign, Inc. on behalf of a nationwide class alleging misrepresentation to U.S. businesses regarding the degree of security provided by VeriSign's Secure Site Pro encrypted security certificates.
  • $45 Million Jury Verdict against Ford Motors Company: A $29.6 million jury verdict on behalf of eleven heavy truck dealers in the Ford Motors breach of contract lawsuit increased to $45 million in August 2012 to reflect interest accrued over the life of the suit. The case, which took 13 years of litigation, was based on allegations that Ford violated its franchise agreement for failing to supply the dealers with heavy trucks following sale by Ford of its heavy truck business to Freightliner in 1997. The eleven dealerships were located throughout the United States.
  • In Cornn, et al. v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (N.D. Cal C 03 2001 TEH), Mr. Kershaw served as co-lead class counsel which settled for an $87 million cash payment and other monetary benefits. Mr. Kershaw and KCR represented over 23,000 current and former UPS drivers in the Cornn case. Our research revealed that the $91 million settlement is the largest class-action settlement in California history based solely on meal and rest period violations and itemized statement violations.
  • In re American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Dealerships Relations Litigation, MDL 1069, U.S. District Court, Baltimore, Maryland. An antitrust and RICO class action where Mr. Kershaw served as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel.  A limited liability class was certified in July 1997. Ultimately  the Court approved a global settlement of $330 million (plus) in Borman Motor Company, et al. v. American Honda Motor Company, Inc., et al. a class action brought by current and former Honda and Acura dealers alleging RICO and antitrust violations and fraud related to misallocation of cars.  Borman II was a case evolving from the MDL involving misconduct on the part of certain of Honda’s counsel, resulting in an additional settlement of $60 million.
  • Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (Case No. 06-CV-02376-LKK-GGH). Mr. Kershaw is currently serving as lead class counsel in the first certified class action against a big four accounting firm for failure to pay overtime to PwC Audit Associates as well as other compensation based on their alleged non-exempt status under California’s wage and hour laws. The case has been up and down to the 9th Circuit three times on class certification and summary judgment and is currently set for trial in March 2015.
  • Bayshore Ford Truck Sales, Inc., et al. v. Ford Motor Company, USDC, District of New Jersey, No. 99 CV 741 (JCL), Filed in 1999 as a class action on behalf of all Ford heavy truck dealers for breach of contract damages arising from Ford’s unilateral sale of its heavy-truck business to Freightliner, KCR was appointed co-lead class counsel on behalf of the dealer class.  After seven years the class was certified as to liability and thereafter proceeded as individual damage cases on behalf of 77 dealers. Served as co-lead trial counsel in a bellwether jury trial on behalf of 11 dealerships and obtained $45 million jury verdict following month-long trial.  The case is currently on appeal. 
  • Contratto v. Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson, Lifecore, et al U.S. District Court, Northern CA. No. C03-3804MJJ ARB, Mr. Kershaw served as lead counsel in this mass tort action involving some sixty plaintiffs initially filed in the Northern District of California and ultimately prosecuted in Florida State Court, West Palm Beach, Florida.  The action sought damages caused by the medical device, Intergel, a product intended to reduce adhesions in women undergoing abdominal surgery. However, in certain women, the device caused injury by actually increasing adhesions.  The case was prosecuted over three years resulting in a global settlement on behalf of KCR’s clients.  The settlement amount and the terms of the settlement are confidential.
  • Sconce/Lamb Cremation Cases, Coordination No. 2005 (Los Angeles County Superior Court).  Mr. Kershaw served as co-lead class counsel. This case involves the improper handling of cremated remains of approximately 19,000 decedents.  The case was certified on a mandatory basis for settlement purposes.  The court approved was a $16.5 million settlement, plus a $1.6 million settlement on behalf of the Carolina Biological subclass, which had been certified for settlement purposes.  Mr. Kershaw represented petitioners in a California Supreme Court decision arising out of this litigation, Christiansen v. Superior Court, 43 Cal.3d 868, 2 Cal.Rptr.2d 79 (1991).

Educational Background:

  • Juris Doctor, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1972
  • Bachelor of Arts, Santa Clara University, 1969

Industry Groups

  • Medical Device
  • Pharmaceutical
Office Location for William A. Kershaw

401 Watt Avenue
Suite 1
Sacramento, CA 95864

Phone: 916-520-6639


William A. Kershaw:

Last Updated: 2/15/2018

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