Nimish R. Desai

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-956-1000
Fax: 415-956-1008
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2021
Selected to Rising Stars: 2012
Licensed Since: 2006
Practice Areas: Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (50%), Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (30%), Environmental Litigation (20%)
Attorney Profile

Nimish R. Desai is a partner specializing in False Claims Act, class action, and environmental torts cases. In his False Claims Act practice, he has represented whistleblower clients in the healthcare, military contracting, mortgage, and securities industries. In addition to managing numerous under seal matters, Nimish has litigated and won notable cases, including obtaining a $46 million false billing case settlement from one of California’s largest hospital systems. Nimish also worked alongside the U.S. Department of Justice to recover $37 million from a military contractor accused of selling defective equipment.

In his class action practice, Nimish is one of the firm’s lead attorneys in the Takata air bag litigation, which has resulted in approved and proposed settlements totaling over $1 billion to date. He helped lead the litigation against BP over its allegedly defective solar panels, which resulted in a nationwide settlement valued at $67 million. Prior to that, he worked on litigation against Toyota for sudden acceleration problems in its vehicles, and against Pfizer for its allegedly defective prescription drugs Bextra and Celebrex. With his chemical engineering background, Nimish also works on the firm’s environmental cases and investigations, including the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill, currently being litigated in federal court in Los Angeles, and the TVA coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee, which settled in 2014 for nearly $28 million.

Nimish has been named a Super Lawyer each year from 2013-2017 after being selected as a Rising Star in 2012. He previously served on the Board of the East Bay Community Law Center, and the Board of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California. He is also a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Bar Association of San Francisco, and Consumer Attorneys of California.

In addition to his degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), Nimish earned a B.S. with high honors in Chemical Engineering and a B.A. in the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin.

Nimish has published several legal and scientific articles, including “American Chemistry Council v. Johnson: Community Right to Know, But About What?” Ecology Law Quarterly, Winter 2006, and “Analysis of Motor Vehicle Emissions in a Houston Tunnel during Texas Air Quality Study 2000,” Atmospheric Environment, 38, 3363-3372 (2004). He also serves as a contributor to the LexisNexis publication California Class Actions and Coordinated Proceedings.

About Nimish R. Desai

Admitted: 2006, California

Professional Webpage:


  • Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in field of "Qui Tam Law," 2016 - 2021; "Super Lawyer for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2021; "40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018 - 2020; “Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer,” Daily Journal, 2019; "Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist," Consumer Attorneys of California, 2014; "Rising Star for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2012, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Bar/Professional Activity

  • American Bar Association; American Constitution Society; Bar Association of San Francisco; Consumer Attorneys of California; East Bay Community Law Center (Board Member, 2010); State Bar of California; South Asian Bar Association (Board Member, 2010); State Bar of California.

Educational Background

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • "BP, Exxon Valdez, and Class-Wide Punitive Damages," 21 Class Action and Derivative Suit Committee Newsletter, (Fall 2010); “American Chemistry Council v. Johnson: Community Right to Know, But About What? D.C. Circuit Takes Restrictive View of EPCRA,” 33 Ecology L.Q. 583, (Winter 2006); “Lessons Learned and Unlearned: A Case Study of Medical Malpractice Award Caps in Texas,” The Subcontinental, (Winter 2004, Vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. 81-87); “Separation of Fine Particulate Matter Emitted from Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles Using Chemical Mass Balancing Techniques,” Environmental Science Technology, (2003; 37(17) p.3904-3909); "Analysis of Motor Vehicle Emissions in a Houston Tunnel during Texas Air Quality Study 2000," Atmospheric Environment, 38, 3363-3372 (2004).
  • Nimish also contributes to the Lieff Cabraser civil justice blog.
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Office Location for Nimish R. Desai

275 Battery Street
29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Last Updated: 1/29/2021

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