National Civil Rights Law Firm, Sanford Heisler, Adds Former Federal Chief Judge Kevin Sharp as New Named Partner and Managing Partner of Nashville Office

Posted April 17th, 2017.

Firm Renamed Sanford Heisler SharpSharp Joins Trial Team In Gender Discrimination Suit Against Biglaw Giant Chadbourne & Parke

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 17, 2017 — Sanford Heisler, LLP, one of the country’s leading civil rights firms, announced today that former Chief U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, Kevin H. Sharp, will join the Firm as a named partner and managing partner in its new Nashville office. The Firm will be renamed Sanford Heisler Sharp.

Judge Sharp was nominated to the Middle District of Tennessee by President Barack Obama in November 2010 and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2011. Judge Sharp most recently served as Chief Judge from 2014 until April 2017. During his tenure, Judge Sharp presided over nearly 3,700 civil cases and 363 criminal cases. He also conducted 75 trials and 60 contested evidentiary hearings concerning complex, multi-party commercial litigation, class action matters, intellectual property disputes, criminal prosecutions, and law enforcement’s use of excessive force. Prior to his nomination, Judge Sharp was a partner at several Nashville law firms, where his practice focused on representing individuals and businesses in state and federal litigation involving employment and qui tam claims.

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Nashville, and San Diego. The Firm specializes in civil rights and public interest cases, representing plaintiffs with employment discrimination and wage and hour violations. In addition to its class actions, the Firm has successfully represented many C-suite executives, attorneys, and In-house counsel in individual employment disputes and severance negotiations.

Sanford Heisler Sharp looks forward to expanding its civil rights and public interest practice into the South with the opening of its Nashville office. Among other matters, Judge Sharp will join Mr. Sanford as counsel on the gender discrimination suit against Chadbourne & Parke and an ERISA class action against Morgan Stanley.

Regarding his decision to step down, Judge Sharp said, “I would not have left the bench for just any firm. I was proud to have been selected by President Obama to serve in the judiciary. However, David Sanford and I have been friends for more than a decade and have done a trial together. The firm that David Sanford and Jeremy Heisler have built is the best in the country at what they do. The chance to be a part of a group of smart, talented, and, above all, dedicated individuals working towards social justice was an opportunity I could not let pass.”

Sanford Heisler Chairman David Sanford said, “We are proud to have Judge Sharp join our firm. Kevin brings a unique perspective as a practitioner and judge, along with a sensitivity to social justice. Judge Sharp will be invaluable as counsel in our gender discrimination suit against Chadbourne & Parke. With his keen awareness of the legal marketplace in the South, he will help enormously in our fight for gender equity in the legal profession.”

Among his current representations, Firm Chairman David Sanford serves as lead counsel in gender discrimination class action suits against Biglaw giants Sedgwick and Chadbourne & Parke. Mr. Sanford previously served as lead counsel representing approximately 7,000 female employees in Velez v. Novartis. After a seven-week trial, Mr. Sanford secured the largest gender discrimination employment verdict ($253 million) in United States history. The presiding federal judge described the case as having been “brilliantly tried” and the result as “extraordinary” and “one of a kind.” Mr. Sanford has been inducted into the National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame, and he has been recognized as a “Top Employment Lawyer” by American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, and the National Law Journal. Law 360 also named Mr. Sanford an Employment Lawyer MVP in both 2014 and 2015, and as “Titan of the Plaintiffs’ Bar.”

Jeremy Heisler, Managing Partner of the Firm’s New York office, serves as lead counsel on a class action suit against the nation’s largest insurance company MetLife, Inc., alleging that the company owes its employees more than $50 million in unpaid overtime wages. Mr. Heisler’s most recent victory came in In Re Novartis Wage and Hour Litigation. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that sales representatives at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation were entitled to overtime pay under federal and state laws. Novartis and plaintiffs reached a $99 million class-wide settlement, the largest wage and hour settlement in 2012. Jeremy Heisler was also instrumental in spearheading a $28 million settlement in a suit charging that three AT&T subsidiaries wrongfully denied overtime pay to a class of First-Level Managers.

In addition to its labor and employment practice, the Firm has a robust whistleblower practice led by DC Managing Partner Vince McKnight, Jr., New York Partner and Whistleblower Practice Co-Chair Ross Brooks, and Whistleblower Director Cleveland Lawrence. Recoveries from the Firm’s whistleblower cases total more than $1 billion from civil settlements and fines.

The Firm also pursues an active Financial Services practice, dedicated to protecting individuals from unscrupulous companies and investment advisers that take advantage of them in securities and other financial services transactions, whether through purposeful misrepresentation, poor decision making, inappropriate or exorbitant fees, investment misconduct, or other abusive behaviors. Current cases include a $150 million ERISA class action against Morgan Stanley on behalf of more than 60,000 plan beneficiaries. Kevin Sharp will enter that matter as class counsel.

Nashville will be the firm’s fifth office in the United States, joining its locations in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and San Diego.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C, Nashville, San Francisco and San Diego. Our attorneys have graduated from the nation’s top law schools, clerked for judges throughout the United States, and amassed extensive experience litigating cases that have earned over one billion dollars for our clients.

The Firm specializes in civil rights and general public interest cases, representing plaintiffs with employment discrimination, labor and wage violations, predatory lending, whistleblower, consumer fraud, and other claims. Along with a focus on class actions, the firm also represents individuals and has achieved particular success in the representation of executives and attorneys in employment disputes. For more information go to or call 646-791-4848 or email [email protected]. For the latest news visit our newsroom or follow us on Twitter at @sanfordheisler