Brian Hafter


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(415) 810-8403


University of California, Berkeley

B.A., Political Science, 1991.

American University

Washington College of Law, J.D., 1994, cum laude

Previous Experience

  • LeClairRyan (Partner)
  • Liner Grode (Partner)
  • Steefel, Levitt & Weiss (Partner)


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Central District of California

Professional Experience

Mr. Hafter has been a commercial litigator in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years. He focuses his practice on complex business litigation matters. His diverse experience includes prosecuting and defending the litigation and arbitration of contract, employment, corporate governance, securities, intellectual property, and real estate disputes.

Mr. Hafter has represented a variety of clients in complex business litigation matters. Among these clients are technology companies, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, leading financial institutions and Wall Street brokerage firms, educational institutions, real estate developers, and other businesses and individuals.

Representative Matters

  • Employment: Successfully defended leading e-commerce company in arbitration of "whistleblower" claims of former employees
  • Contract: Obtained multi-million dollar arbitration award in favor of aerospace manufacturer in connection with the sale of a business
  • Corporate executive: Represented founder of company in securities and employment dispute with new investor
  • Educational institutions: Successfully defended university in multi-million dollar contractual arbitration relating to the rental of a campus venue
  • Securities arbitration: Represented leading securities brokerage firms and investors in numerous arbitrations of multi-million dollar customer complaints
  • Partnership dispute: Defended a joint venture partner in litigation relating to the distribution of video rights to a well-known television series
  • Copyright: Achieved dismissal of complaint by former student alleging copyright infringement, breach of contract, and related claims against university
  • Patent: Successfully defended pipe and sewer restoration company in arbitration of patent false marking claims
  • Trade Secrets: Represented a national brokerage firm in a seven-week trade secrets trial concerning the alleged misappropriation of wireless technology
  • Real estate: Successfully represented leading technology company in complex lease dispute with the property owner
  • International law: Defended $500 million family trust in probate litigation concerning claims of alleged common-law spouse located overseas


  • “Claim Jumpers,” Daily Journal, January 24, 2007
  • "Big Guns - Involving Senior Lawyers in Cases from the Outset Leads to Better Results and is More Cost-Efficient," Daily Journal Extra, May 17, 2004
  • "Defendant Can Utilize Motion for an Undertaking to Enforce Award of Costs," Daily Journal, November 18, 2002

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Whistleblower Law: Views from the Inside,” Continuing Education of the Bar, 2015
  • Panelist, "Taking and Defending Depositions,” Practising Law Institute, 2009, 2010 and 2011

Honors & Awards

  • Top-Rated Business Litigation Attorney in San Francisco, CA, Super Lawyers (Thompson Reuters Corporation), 2011
  • Top 100 Settlements in California, TopVerdict.com, 2016

Professional Memberships

  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Volunteer Arbitrator, Attorney Fee Disputes Program, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Youth soccer coach and referee
  • Volunteer college admissions counselor