Qiaojing Ella Zheng

Top rated Employment Litigation attorney in Palo Alto, California

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
Qiaojing Ella Zheng
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Practice Areas: Employment Litigation, Civil Rights, Class Action & Mass Torts; view more

Licensed in California since: 2013

Education: Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Chinese-Mandarin

Selected to Rising Stars: 2016 - 2023
Virtual Appointments

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

300 Hamilton Avenue
Suite 500
Palo Alto, CA 94301 Visit website


Qiaojing Ella Zheng (郑巧晶律师) is the Managing Partner of the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices of Sanford Heisler Sharp, and Chair of the firm’s Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Group. The firm has offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Palo Alto; Baltimore; San Diego; and Nashville. Ms. Zheng represents clients throughout the state of California and the greater New York metro area on matters involving:

  • Employment disputes
  • Financial services litigation
  • Discrimination and harassment claims
  • Civil litigation
  • Class actions
  • Whistleblower/qui tam claims

Graduating with her Bachelor of Laws degree from Zhejiang University in China, Ms. Zheng pursued her Master’s in Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She is licensed to practice in the states of New York (2012) and California (2013). She is also admitted to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of California.

Bilingual in Mandarin Chinese and English, Ms. Zheng is a highly accomplished civil rights litigator with an impressive track record of securing victories for plaintiffs in both individual and class action cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and breach of contract. She is also experienced in representing whistleblowers in qui tam matters, working on cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the SEC Whistleblower program, the IRS Whistleblower program, and other statutes involving fraud against the federal and state governments. She additionally advises companies and individuals in China and the Silicon Valley on legal matters arising under regulatory and compliance laws in the U.S. Ms. Zheng’s unique skills in cross-cultural communication and understanding have made her a sought-after attorney for multinational and multijurisdictional disputes, and she is widely recognized as the go-to plaintiff’s litigator for Asian American communities across the United States.

With an “Excellent” rating on Avvo, Ms. Zheng is known to be a creative, strategic and tenacious litigator. Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Ms. Zheng has garnered national recognition for her exceptional legal work. In 2022, Ella was named a Rising Star by Law360, named to Elite Trial Lawyers’ Rising Stars of the Plaintiffs Bar, and was selected as an Asian Leader Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Northern California each year since 2016, and as a National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Northern California.

Ms. Zheng is a sought-after thought leader in international and national conferences. She writes blogs on employment disputes and false claims issues. She also plays an active role in her community circle. She is an At-Large Board Member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the immediate past President and a current board member of the Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area, the Board Vice President of YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley and Board Member of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs USA. She also serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committees of Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund and the California Employment Lawyers Association. She has been a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid at Work and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. Her unwavering dedication to community service has earned her broad recognition, including the Tribute to Women Awards by the YWCA Silicon Valley and the Minority Bar Coalition Unity Award. 

Practice areas

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Civil Rights, Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff, Employment & Labor: Employee, Securities & Corporate Finance

Focus areas

Class Actions, Discrimination, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law - Employee, Securities Law, Sexual Harassment, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

  • 20% Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 20% Civil Rights
  • 20% Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff
  • 20% Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 20% Securities & Corporate Finance

First Admitted: 2012, New York

Professional Webpage: https://www.sanfordheisler.com/team/qiaojing-ella-zheng/

  • 2022 Daily Journal Top Labor & Employment Lawyers
  • 2020 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Award
  • 2022 Asian Leaders Worth Watching
  • 2022 Law360 Rising Star
  • YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award, YWCA Silicon Valley, 2018
  • Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2016-2022
  • 2017 President’s Award, Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area, 2017
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California  
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • California, 2013
  • New York, 2012
Educational Background:
  • LL.M. (Master of Laws), Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Zhejiang University, LLB, 2009
Representative Clients:
  • Represents Plaintiff in her case involving breach of contract, retaliation, and wrongful termination against Reliance Memory Inc., Zhichao Lu, et al. The complaint was first filed with the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara on May 2, 2023., 2023
  • Represents hourly delivery drivers against WEEE! Logistics, Inc. and WEEE! Inc. (collectively, “Weee”), alleging that the Asian and Hispanic grocery distributor has engaged in numerous Labor Code violations against its employees, including unlawfully deducting tips, failure to pay wages and overtime compensation, failing to provide adequate meal periods, misclassification of hourly employees as independent contractors, and several health and safety infractions., 2022
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Represented co-founder and executive Dr. Yuhui David Chen in his claims of breach of contract, promissory fraud, retaliation, and wrongful termination against global semiconductor company InnoGrit Corporation and its CEO Dr. Zining Wu, culminating in an $8.3 million arbitration award that included $650,000 in punitive damages against Dr. Wu personally and $500,000 in emotional distress damages after a 12-day Zoom arbitration., 2021
  • Litigated individual whistleblower retaliation claims on behalf of a former Chief Nursing Officer and a Private Attorney General Act lawsuit on behalf of nursing staff and mental health workers against Aurora Behavioral Healthcare – Santa Rosa and Signature Healthcare Services, culminating in a $2.85 million Court-approved settlement that includes robust programmatic relief., 2021
  • Represented lead plaintiff Dandan Pan and a class of over 3,000 female employees in a gender discrimination class action case against Qualcomm, culminating in a $19.5 million Court-approved settlement., 2016

Office location for Qiaojing Ella Zheng

300 Hamilton Avenue
Suite 500
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Phone: 650-629-0099


8 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2016 - 2023

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