Sanford Heisler Sharp Names Thiru Vignarajah Baltimore Office Managing Partner

BALTIMORE, MD, Jan. 8, 2024 (GlobeNewswire) — Sanford Heisler Sharp today announced Thiru Vignarajah became the firm’s new Baltimore Managing Partner on January 1, 2024.

A former President of the Harvard Law Review and law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Vignarajah joined the firm from Capital Plus Financial, one of the country’s largest and most innovative Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), where he has been CEO since August 2021. Prior to that, he was a litigation partner in DLA Piper’s Baltimore office.

“Thiru brings to our firm exceptional trial experience, as well as most impressive BigLaw, complex litigation, prosecutorial, and management skills,” said David Sanford, Co-Founder and Chairman of the firm. “We look forward to Thiru’s leadership in Baltimore and to the joinder of his deep-rooted passion for social justice and our historic commitment to civil rights.”

At Capital Plus Financial, Vignarajah ensured the CDFI was focused on barriers fueling the racial wealth gap, including access to capital, financial literacy, and mortgage discrimination. Under his leadership, Capital Plus launched a social impact venture competition that awarded $2 million to mission-driven startups that were tackling entrenched public policy problems from municipal procurement and public charter school enrollment to improving health outcomes for Black and brown communities. During Vignarajah’s tenure, Capital Plus was also awarded a $125 million bond guarantee from the U.S. Treasury Department, which was the largest award of the year and only one of five awarded to a CDFI.

At DLA Piper, Vignarajah’s practice focused on complex trial and appellate litigation, white collar and internal investigations, government relations, and global regulatory compliance. Before joining DLA, he was Deputy Attorney General of Maryland, where he was responsible for a wide portfolio of matters, including civil rights and juvenile justice, gun trafficking, environmental enforcement, criminal investigations, and appeals.

His additional prior experience includes service as Division Chief of the Major Investigations Unit at the State’s Attorney Office for Baltimore, where he led citywide efforts to prosecute violent repeat offenders and secured trial convictions in complex murder cases. He was also Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Violent Crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland.

“What defines Sanford Heisler Sharp is not just that it is the largest civil rights firm in the country, but also the values of equity and justice to which it has been dedicated for 20 years. The firm’s commitments are the same values to which I have devoted my career,” said Vignarajah. “I look forward to this unique opportunity to lead the firm’s growing Baltimore office and to continue the firm’s tradition of fighting for economic equity, standing up to big corporations, and forging a safer and more just society.”

Vignarajah earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy and political science from Yale University and a graduate degree in medical ethics at King’s College London. At Harvard Law School, in addition to serving as President of the Harvard Law Review, Vignarajah won the schoolwide Williston Negotiation Competition and graduated magna cum laude.

After graduation, Vignarajah was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and for Judge Guido Calabresi, Senior Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

For over a decade, Vignarajah taught as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Law School and University of Baltimore Law School and at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.

Vignarajah is well-known in Baltimore, where he has previously run for public office and recently announced his interest in the possibility of a second run for mayor of the city. According to the Baltimore Banner, his participation in the mayoral campaign has potential to greatly impact the 2024 race. Should Vignarajah decide to run again, his stand for office will reflect the values and commitment he brings to the firm: Fighting for economic equity, standing up to big corporations, and forging a safer and more just society.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest and civil rights law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atlanta, Baltimore, Nashville, and San Diego. The firm focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower and qui tam, criminal/sexual violence, financial services, and Asian American litigation and finance matters. We have recovered over $1 billion for our clients through many verdicts and settlements.

In 2022, The National Law Journal named Sanford Heisler Sharp Civil Rights Firm of the Year, and it recognized the firm in 2021 as both the Employment Rights Firm of the Year and the Human Rights Firm of the Year. Benchmark Litigation recognized the firm as the Labor & Employment Firm of the Year in 2021 and 2020.   Law360 recognized the firm as Employment Practice Group of the Year in 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2016.

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For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or [email protected].