Steve W. Berman

Served as lead counsel for the largest settlement in world history against Big Tobacco, the largest antitrust settlement, the largest ERISA settlement and, at the time, the largest U.S. securities settlement in U.S. history.

Steve Berman represents consumers, investors and employees in large, complex litigation held in state and federal courts. Berman’s trial experience has earned him significant recognition and led The National Law Journal to name him one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the nation, and to repeatedly name Hagens Berman one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country.

Berman co-founded Hagens Berman in 1993 after his prior firm refused to represent several young children who consumed fast food contaminated with E. coli—Steve knew he had to help. In that case, Steve proved that the poisoning was the result of Jack in the Box’s cost cutting measures along with gross negligence. He was further inspired to build a firm that vociferously fought for the rights of those unable to fight for themselves. Berman’s innovative approach, tenacious conviction and impeccable track record have earned him an excellent reputation and numerous historic legal victories. He is considered one of the nation’s most successful class-action attorneys.

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Current Role

  • Managing Partner, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

Recent Success

  • Consumer Rights
    • Represented 20 million class members against Toyota for its sudden unintended acceleration defect and subsequent economic loss to vehicle owners, achieving the largest settlement ever against an automotive company – $1.6 billion.
    • Fought against Apple and five of the nation’s top publishers for colluding to raise the price of e-books, securing a settlement of at least $400 million, with the potential to repay class members twice the amount of damages suffered.
  • Big Oil
    • Represented clients against Exxon Mobil affected by the 10 million gallons of oil spilled off the coast of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez (multi-million dollar award)
  • Big Pharma
    • Represented clients against Big Pharma in various actions ranging from price-fixing schemes to antitrust activities (more than $1 billion in aggregate settlements)
  • Wall Street
    • Class-action securities case against Charles Schwab ($235 million settlement)
    • Represented Enron employees who had their retirement accounts wiped out by Enron’s fraud (largest ERISA settlement in U.S. history)
    • Represented Bernard L. Madoff investors in a suit filed against JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the largest banks in the world (approved $218 million settlement)


  • Steve Berman named a member of the 2014-2015 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • Voted one of the 100 most influential attorneys in America by The National Law Journal three times
  • Voted most powerful lawyer in the state of Washington by The National Law Journal
  • Hagens Berman named one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country, The National Law Journal
  • Selected as a Finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year

Notable Cases

  • State Tobacco Litigation
    Lead counsel for 13 states in cases that led to the largest settlement in world history.
  • WPPSS Securities Litigation
    Member of trial team that led to the then largest securities case settlement.
  • McKesson Drug Litigation
    Lead counsel in an action that led to a rollback of benchmark prices of hundreds of brand name drugs, and a $350 million settlement for third-party payers and insurers.
  • Average Wholesale Price Litigation
    Steve served as lead trial counsel, securing trial verdicts against three drug companies that paved the way for a settlement of $338 million.
  • McKesson Governmental Entity Litigation
    Steve was lead counsel for a nationwide class of local governments that resulted in an $82 million settlement for drug price-fixing claims.
  • State and Governmental Drug Litigation
    Steve served as outside counsel for the state of New York for its Vioxx claims, several states for AWP claims and several states for claims against McKesson.
  • Optical-Disc Price-Fixing Litigation
    Lead counsel in action on behalf of consumers in more than two dozen states against the manufacturers of optical disk drives. The plaintiffs allege defendants conspired to increase the price of ODDs that were sold to original equipment manufacturers. Defendants’ conduct allegedly caused millions of consumer electronics products, such as computers, to be sold at illegally inflated prices.
  • Electronic Arts Video Games Litigation
    Nationwide certified class of consumers who bought interactive football video games. Plaintiffs allege Electronic Arts entered into a series of exclusive licenses with football intellectual property owners, such as the NFL and NCAA, in order to lock up the market, brought on behalf of a national class of consumers who purchased the video games. A $60 million settlement in the case against EA and the NCAA was reached, as well as a $27 million settlement covering NFL title video games.
  • Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation
    Berman served as lead counsel in action on behalf of homeowners to whom the defendant allegedly promised mortgage modifications as part of a federal program but failed to provide.
  • Boeing Securities Litigation
    Berman served as lead counsel in a $92 million settlement of a securities action concerning Boeing’s merger with McDonnell Douglas.
  • Charles Schwab Securities Litigation
    Lead counsel in securities case resulting in $235 million settlement and 45 percent and 82 percent recoveries for the class, high percentages for securities cases.
  • Enron Pension Protection Litigation
    Lead counsel for Enron employees whose retirement accounts were wiped out by Enron’s fraud. Settlement was the largest ERISA settlement in U.S. history.
  • VW Emissions Defect Litigation
    Steve Berman is currently representing nationwide owners of Volkswagen CleadDiesel vehicles that were installed with an emissions-cheating software.
  • NCAA Concussions
    Steve is lead counsel in a class action seeking to protect NCAA student athletes in all sports.
  • NCAA Grant-In-Aid Litigation
    Steve is lead counsel in a case challenging the NCAA’s collusion in refusing to allow student athletes to receive scholarships amounting to the full cost of attending school.
  • Orange County and Santa Clara County Opioid Litigation
    Opioid abuse is one of our nation’s leading health disasters. Steve is leading the first litigation seeking to recover public costs resulting from the opioid manufacturer’s deceptive marketing.
  • General Motors Ignition Switch Defect Litigation
    Steve serves as lead counsel seeking to obtain compensation from the millions of GM car owners whose cars have diminished in value.
  • Lumber Liquidators Flooring
    Steve is actively involved in ongoing litigation against Lumber Liquidators seeking to represent a proposed class of consumers who unknowingly purchased flooring tainted with toxic levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.
  • Discriminatory Lending in Miami and Los Angeles
    Steve is currently representing the cities of Miami and Los Angeles in a series of lawsuits filed against the nation’s largest banks, including CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, alleging that they engage in systematic discrimination against minority borrowers, resulting in reduced property tax, and other damages to the cities.

Personal Insight

Steve was a high school and college soccer player and coach. Now that his daughter’s soccer skills exceed his, he is relegated to being a certified soccer referee and spends weekends being yelled at by parents and coaches. Steve is also an avid cyclist and is heavily involved in working with young riders on the Axeon - Hagens Berman U23 cycling team who are trying to transition to the pro cycling tour.