William Bernstein

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Antitrust 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: 2004 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1975
Practice Areas: Antitrust Litigation (50%), Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (30%), Securities Litigation (20%)
Attorney Profile

A Leader In The Plaintiffs’ Bar

William Bernstein has practiced law for more than three decades. Who’s Who Legal called him, “a leader in the plaintiffs’ bar in the fields of complex civil litigation, antitrust, and consumer protection law.”

Notable cases Mr. Bernstein has litigated include price-fixing suits against pharmaceutical companies on behalf of retail pharmacies, consumer claims against the world’s largest vitamin manufacturers for crafting a global “vitamins cartel,” charges against natural gas and energy companies for manipulating the price of natural gas and electricity in California during the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, and qui tam claims against the Sutter hospital system for anesthesia service overcharges. These cases, in total, resulted in over $1.3 billion in settlements for consumers and businesses.

Mr. Bernstein also oversaw negotiations in the landmark settlement and injunction against De Beers for monopolizing the trade of rough diamonds in the U.S. for nearly 60 years. As featured in the 2008 Plaintiffs Hot List, The National Law Journal wrote, “The plaintiffs’ firms’ pluck, and some luck, resulted in a $295 million settlement for De Beers’ customers [and] secured De Beers’ pledge to abide by federal and state antitrust laws and accept court oversight to ensure compliance.”

Mr. Bernstein teaches settlement law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. He has been repeatedly recognized as a "Super Lawyer for Northern California" by Super Lawyers magazine.

About William Bernstein

Admitted: 1975, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.lieffcabraser.com/attorneys/william-bernstein/


  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell; Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in field of "Litigation - Antitrust," 2013 - 2021; "Super Lawyer for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2021; "California Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff (ranked as one of California's leading litigators in antitrust law); "Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist," Consumer Attorneys of California, 2014; "Top Attorneys In Antitrust Law," Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, 2010, 2012; "Lawdragon Finalist," Lawdragon, 2009 - 2011; Princeton Premier Registry, Business Leaders and Professionals, 2008 - 2009; "Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California," American Trial Lawyers Association, 2008; Who's Who Legal, 2007; Unsung Hero Award, Appleseed, 2006, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Board of Governors, 2005-Present); Bar Association of San Francisco; Marin County Bar Association (Admin. of Justice Committee, 1988); State Bar of California.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • "The Rise and Fall of Enron's One-To-Many Trading Platform," American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section, Annual Spring Meeting (2005); Co-Author with Donald C. Arbitblit, "Effective Use of Class Action Procedures in California Toxic Tort Litigation," Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental and Toxic Torts Law and Policy, No. 3 (Spring 1996).

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of San Francisco, Settlement Law, 2006-present; Judge Pro Tem for San Francisco Superior Court, 2000-present; Marin Municipal Court, 1984; Discovery Referee for the Marin Superior Court, 1984-89; Arbitrator for the Superior Court of Marin, 1984-1990.

Educational Background

  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A., general honors, 1972)
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Office Location for William Bernstein

275 Battery Street
29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Last Updated: 1/20/2021

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