Prominent Employment Law Firm Serving Palo Alto

Sanford Heisler Sharp's Palo Alto office, which opened in 2022, is committed to representing the employment and civil rights of the Silicon Valley workforce. We advocate for workers in the tech industry and those in financial services, legal, pharmaceutical, education, and healthcare services. Through our Asian American Litigation and Finance practice, led by Co-Managing Partner Qiaojing Ella Zheng, Sanford Heisler Sharp is also uniquely positioned to represent the Valley’s AAPI communities.

The firm’s presence in the Silicon Valley is a continuation of the work we have been doing since opening our San Francisco office in 2011. Our attorneys have stood firm for clients against powerful corporations and organizations, such as tech giants Google and Oracle, as well as employers in the semiconductor, SAAS, social media, big data, pharmaceutical, healthcare, education and Fintech industries. We have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in confidential settlements and court victories on behalf of workers in these sectors.

We work closely with our San Francisco office and are prepared to meet with you at either location. We also offer virtual visits and appointments.

Our Practice Areas

We serve clients in cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, qui tam/whistleblower claims, retaliation, wrongful termination, financial services litigation, and other regulatory and compliance matters.

Advocating For Asian American Plaintiffs

Our Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Group assists AAPI individuals and groups in overcoming cultural barriers and linguistic disparities as they seek recourse against powerful corporations and organizations. Attorneys in this practice group are fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. They leverage their language skills and cultural understanding, comprehensive knowledge about cross-border businesses, and deep connections in the domestic and global Asian communities to provide exceptional legal representation and services to individuals and institutions across the U.S.

Office Location

Our office is located at 300 Hamilton Avenue, in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, a vibrant district with convenient access to all parts of the Silicon Valley. Our proximity to Stanford University enables the firm’s Northern California legal team to expand its community outreach efforts to engage coming generations of legal professionals and law students in the public interest and civil rights litigation sectors.

We are near several local courthouses, including:

Nearby parking garages include:

Nearby bus stops include:

Our Palo Alto Attorneys

David Sanford, the firm’s Chairman, has recovered more than one billion dollars for individual clients and the U.S. Government since 2004. He has served as lead counsel in more than 50 class actions and numerous qui tam fraud cases around the country. David has also represented over 100 general counsel, in-house counsel, and lawyers in claims against their law firms and companies. Notably, he served as lead counsel in a gender discrimination class action against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation that resulted in a $253 million verdict—the largest Title VII verdict in U.S. history. David has been honored by virtually every legal media publication in the U.S., having been named as an “Employment MVP” by Chambers and Partners as well as “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” by Law360. The National Law Journal also inducted David into its Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. He has also been honored by Super Lawyers as Top-Rated Employment & Labor Attorney every year since 2014.

Managing Partner Qiaojing Ella Zheng chairs our Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Group. She was named a Rising Star by Law360 and selected as an Asian Leader Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. She was selected as Lawyers on the Fast Track by The Recorder and 2022 Top Labor and Employment Lawyers by Daily Journal. Ella has also been honored by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Northern California every year since 2016. She was named among the Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in California by the National Trial Lawyers. Ella was also an Honoree of the Tribute to Women Awards by YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley in 2018 and received the 2020 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Award.

Partner Felicia Gilbert chairs the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp Felicia has been recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star. The Profiles in Diversity Journal also recognized her among its Women Worth Watching in Leadership. Felicia was recently named a Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyer and recognized on the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers list. She has also been profiled in Bloomberg Law’s “Leading Questions” column.

Partner Danielle Fuschetti is Co-Chair of the firm’s Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group. She has been recognized in the legal community as a rising star by Law360, Super Lawyers, and the National Law Journal, and an Outstanding Volunteer by the Bar Association of San Francisco, Justice and Diversity Center, in addition to other accolades.

Notable Cases

  • Joseph v. Xilinx, Inc.: Filed a $365 million whistleblower and gender discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a former senior vice president of a San Jose-based semiconductor giant.
  • Abrishamcar v. Oracle America, Inc.; Johnson v. Oracle America, Inc.: Filed two lawsuits on behalf of sales representatives involving violations of commissioned sales agreements and rights by Oracle America, Inc.
  • Pan v. Qualcomm: $19.5 million class action settlement for claims of sex discrimination and unequal pay on behalf of over 3,300 female employees of Qualcomm.
  • Yuhui Chen v. InnoGrit Corporation, et al.: $8.3 million arbitration award for InnoGrit co-founder in his claim involving breach of contract, fraud, retaliation, wrongful termination, and shareholder direct and derivative claims against global semiconductor business and its CEO.
  • Wanxiang Venture Capital Co., Ltd. v. Kevin Kelin Wan: representing a multinational investment firm to enforce a $10 million judgment rendered by a Chinese court in Central District Court of Illinois.
  • Chen v. Western Digital Corporation: $7.75 million class and collective action settlement for gender discrimination and unequal pay on behalf of 1,863 female employees of computer hard disk and data storage company.

Recognizing Covid-19: In-Person & Virtual Appointments Available

Our firm is committed to protecting the health and safety of our clients and staff. We recognize the importance of flexibility and comfort in accessing our legal services and offer both in-person and virtual appointments. Your safety and legal needs are a priority, and we deliver the same high quality legal services in the manner each client prefers.

Call Or Email Us For A Consultation

Individual workers and whistleblowers, groups, and anyone else wronged by a corporation have an ally in Sanford Heisler Sharp. Our Palo Alto office is ideal for meeting with and representing employees and workers across industries in Silicon Valley. Please contact us to find out more about setting up an initial consultation.


“Dream Team”

Although my “dream team” is a force to be reckoned with, at the same time, they were consistently kind, compassionate, and service-oriented when working with me. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t feel that I was in good hands. A former client

David Sanford

Even among the nation’s top tier class action and plaintiffs law firms, Sanford Heisler Sharp stands out in its record of success. Led by David Sanford and Jeremy Heisler, this firm has proven again and again it has the necessary talent, experience, intelligence, creativity, and resources to represent workers and whistleblowers successfully against even the country’s largest employers. – Lorene Schaefer, Esq., President of and former GC of GE Transportation

Qiaojing Ella Zheng

It’s been over three years since my case ended, yet I still become emotional whenever I think of it. Cross-border litigation requires a legal team that not only has an enhanced level of knowledge about the specialized areas of law, but also an acute understanding and grasp of relevant rules and regulations involving foreign jurisdictions. That’s exactly what Ella and her team possess – the ability to strategically position the case, go above and beyond to find the breakthrough, and at the same time provide her clients with ample guidance and analysis, and also instill them with the needed confidence to engage in the process. At last, I want to thank Sanford Heisler Sharp for the legal representation. My best wishes to the firm. Female executive at a multinational company

Felicia Gilbert

Being wrongfully dismissed after 25 years of meritorious service to the same institution was a dramatic and emotionally draining experience. Kate, Felicia, and their team’s attention to detail, combined with their extensive knowledge of the legal process, enabled me to reach an amicable settlement. They also demonstrated genuine concern for me as a person with every conversation and throughout the entire process. I feel very fortunate to have worked with them. – A university director

Danielle Fuschetti

The team at Sanford Heisler consists of great people who are not only very skillful in the legal domain, but are also wonderful human beings with the highest degree of empathy for their clients.” – A female director in a tech company

Sanford Heisler Sharp
300 Hamilton Avenue
Suite 500
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Phone: 650-629-0099

Palo Alto Office Location

Our Palo Alto Team

Qiaojing Ella Zheng, Co-Managing Partner of the Palo Alto and San Francisco Offices

Qiaojing Ella Zheng

Managing Partner of the Palo Alto and San Francisco Offices

Danielle Fuschetti, Palo Alto and San Francisco Partner

Danielle Fuschetti

Palo Alto and San Francisco Partner

Felicia Gilbert - Palo Alto and San Francisco Partner

Felicia Gilbert

Palo Alto and San Francisco Partner

Headshot of Janette Wipper

Janette Wipper

Partner and Firmwide Head of Litigation

Headshot of Maureen Slack

Maureen Slack


Headshot Of Tae Evans

Tae Evans

Deborah Rhode Civil Rights Fellow

Photo of Jing He

Jing He

Deborah Rhode Civil Rights Fellow

Catherine Seita Headshot

Catherine Seita

Deborah Rhode Civil Rights Fellow

Xiaoduo Chen

Xiaoduo Chen

Legal Assistant

Xiaoqing Zhang

Xiaoqing Zhang

Legal Assistant