Steve Williams

In over twenty-five years of practice Steven N. Williams has handled successfully and with distinction all aspects of litigation and trial in state and federal courts and in private arbitration.

Mr. Williams has played a lead role in many of the most prominent antitrust class cases litigated in the United States over the last decade, including In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, In re Static Random Access Memory Litigation, Precision Associates v. Panalpina World Transport, and In re Transpacific Air Transportation Litigation. He has helped recover more than $2 billion and has been responsible for new law including ground-breaking decisions narrowing the scope of the Filed Rate Doctrine and permitting civil damage claims in E. & J. Gallo Winery v. EnCana Corp., 503 F.3d 1027 (2007) and Wortman v. All Nippon Airways, 854 F.3d 606 (2017), and a ruling that “umbrella damages” are available under California state law. County of San Mateo v. CSL, Ltd., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116342 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2014).

Mr. Williams, previously a long-time partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, practices in the fields of litigation, trial, and client counseling, with an emphasis on representation of civil plaintiffs in antitrust matters. He has served in leadership positions in more than a dozen antitrust class cases throughout the United States. During his career, he has represented claimants in cases involving memory chips, pharmaceuticals, air passenger transportation, air cargo transportation, cathode ray tubes, capacitors, resistors, flash memory, lithium ion batteries, financial products and services, poultry, and water. He has been appointed to represent classes, and in non-class cases he has represented the Chief Justice of California, the Judicial Council of California, Consumers Union of United States, Inc., the United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta, public pension funds, private investment funds, many cities and counties of California, public utilities including water districts, and individual consumers. His current caseload includes representing a class alleging that Nestlé Waters of North America has been misleading consumers for years by falsely claiming that its “Poland Spring” water is natural spring water, and leading a class action alleging that Pfizer and Mylan—manufacturer and distributor of the EpiPen, respectively—have unlawfully created and abused a monopoly for the essential, life-saving product.

Mr. Williams has written and lectured on various topics including antitrust, multidistrict litigation, complex litigation, electronic discovery, MTBE litigation, regulatory developments in environmental law, contractual issues in environmental cleanups, and habeas corpus. He has spoken at many venues, including the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, the California State Bar Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section, the New York State Bar Association Antitrust Section, and the Consumer Attorneys of California. He is the author or co-author of several publications, including: “Should United States Courts Defer to Foreign Governments?,” Chambers and Partners’s Cartels 2019 global practice guide; “‘Pepper’ as a Back Door to ‘Illinois Brick’ (and ‘ARC America’)?” and “Should ‘Hanover Shoe’ and ‘Illinois Brick’ Be Discarded?,” August 2018 The Recorder (with Firm Senior Associate Jiamie Chen); Antitrust Law Developments (Eighth), American Bar Association; “Federal and State Class Antitrust Actions Should Not Be Tried in a Single Trial,” The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Fall 2014; “Recoveries for Violations of Federal and California Antitrust Statutes Should Not Be Apportioned,” Competition, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, California State Bar, Fall 2014; “Antitrust Whistleblowers Get Clarity,” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, 2013; “Courts Rein in the Cost of E-Discovery When Lawyers and Their Clients Won’t,California Lawyer, April 2012; and California’s 2009 E-Discovery Laws, Text and Analysis, LexisNexis 2009.

Mr. Williams was appointed by the Consumer Attorneys of California(“CAOC”) as a member of the California Discovery Subcommittee for revision of California discovery rules and statutes relating to electronic discovery and electronically stored information, 2007-2008. He has given yearly presentations to CAOC on topics of civil discovery in California. He is currently in leadership for the American Bar Association Antitrust Section and is a member of the International Cartel Task Force, the Advisory Board of the American Antitrust Institute, and the Executive Committee of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws. He has repeatedly acted as faculty at the joint Federal Judicial Center/American Bar Association Institute on Antitrust and Economics. He is an advisor to the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association Section on Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law, and Privacy Law, and was chair of the 2017 Golden State Antitrust Institute. He is also a Board Member of Public Justice and past Chairman of the Board of Community Gatepath, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of developmentally disabled children and adults.

Mr. Williams has received numerous professional accolades during his legal career. Chambers USA has ranked him 2015-2018 as a Band 1 or Band 2 attorney for “Antitrust:  Mainly Plaintiff—California” and 2017-2018 as a Band 2 attorney for “Antitrust:  Plaintiff—Nationwide.” He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell since 2002. He has been designated 2005-2018 as a “Super Lawyer” and 2016-2018 as a “Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters’s Super Lawyers publication. From 2014-2018 he has been ranked by Who’s Who Legal as one of the top plaintiffs’ attorneys worldwide via Who’s Who Legal:  Competition, a publication of Who’s Who Legal and Global Competition Review. And, in 2018 he was selected and profiled by the California Daily Journal as one of thirty “Top Plaintiff Lawyers” in California.

Mr. Williams is admitted to practice in California, New Jersey, New York, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals (Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits), and the United States District Court of California (Eastern, Central, Northern, and Southern Districts), Michigan (Eastern District), New Jersey, and New York (Eastern and Southern Districts). He received his J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law and his B.A. in Russian and Slavic Studies from New York University.