Gail E. Lees, co-chair of the Firm’s Class Actions Practice Group, is a partner in the Firm’s Los Angeles office. Ms. Lees has been named nationally in The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America and listed as one of California’s Top Women Litigators by the California Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Superlawyers” by Los Angeles Magazine. She has served as a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee, and she also has served as co-chair of the Consumer and Personal Rights Committee of the American Bar Association and a member of the Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Institute for Corporate Counsel. Ms. Lees has more than thirty years’ experience in class actions and government investigations involving consumer and advertising fraud, unfair competition, privacy rights, product liability, and securities fraud issues.
Consumer Fraud Unfair Competition Law Act and Securities Litigation
Ms. Lees has been lead counsel on more than 100 class actions and government investigations involving fraud and misrepresentation claims. She also has had extensive experience with securities fraud class actions and derivative litigation. Ms. Lees’ significant appellate experience includes representation of defendants in numerous cases before the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including the only successful First Amendment challenge to claims for unfair business practices under California Business & Professions Code Section 17200.
Publications and Speeches
Ms. Lees has spoken and published extensively on consumer fraud and trial practice topics, including most recently: Chapters on UCL and California Consumers Legal Remedies Act in forthcoming book, Claims and Defenses (Rutter, 2012); “2011 Year-End Update on Class Actions” (Gail E. Lees, Christopher Chorba (Gibson Dunn Alert, Jan. 2012)); “Consumer Class Action Life After Concepcion and Dukes” (Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2012); “The Future of Class Actions” (Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2012); “Nationwide Privacy Class Action Dismissed in In re iPhone Application Litigation Based on Lack of Article III Standing” (September 2011); “Consumer Protection in the Courts, in the States and at the FTC” (NAD, 2010); “Outline of Defenses to Private and Governmental Unfair Competition Law Claims” (Gail E. Lees, Christopher Chorba and G. Charles Nierlich (NAD, 2010)); “2010 Fall Update on Class Actions: The Plaintiffs’ Bar on the Move” (Gibson Dunn Alert, 2010); “Warning--This Decision May Be Hazardous to Your Health: The Supreme Court of California Clarifies the Scope of Proposition 64’s Standing Amendments to the Unfair Competition Law” (Gibson Dunn Alert, 2009); “2009: First-Quarter Update on Class Action Trends” (BNA, 2009); “Year-End Update On Class Actions: Explosive Growth in Class Actions Continues Despite Mounting Obstacles to Certification” (Gibson Dunn Alert, 2009); “Need a Light? Understanding Voter Limits on Unfair Competition Actions After Tobacco II” (LACB, 2009); “Finishing the Case Before It Starts: Defeating Class Certification” (ACI, 2009); “Hot Topics In Class Actions: A Perspective From Plaintiffs, Defendants, And The Academy” (BNA, 2009); “Recent Developments in State Unfair Practices Litigation” (PLI, 2009); Curriculum Chair, “The New World Order: Adjusting to New Regulations, the New Administration and the New Economy” (Institute for Corporate Counsel, 2009); “First Quarter Update on Class Action Trends” (BNA, 2009); “The Renewed Importance of a Rigorous Factual Analysis at the Class Certification Stage In Re Hydrogen Peroxide continues the Growing Trend” (Andrews Publications, 2009); “Using Substantive Defenses in Class Action Litigation” (ACI, 2008); “Analyzing the Desirability of Removal” (ACI, 2008); “The New Horizon — Charting the Edge of Proposition 64” (UCL, 2008); “The Defense of Governmental and Private Unfair Competition Law Claims” (West LegalWorks, 2007); “Product Liability & Consumer Actions” (West LegalWorks, 2007); “Product Liability Roundtable” (California Lawyer Magazine, 2007); “China Product Recalls: What’s at Stake and What’s Next” (NERA, 2007); “Removal and Remand Questions” (California State Bar Antitrust Section, 2007); “Defenses to Unfair Competition Law Claims” (West LegalWorks, 2007); “Emerging Trends in Class Litigation and CAFA Interpretation” (Strafford, 2006); “Removal: Is the Grass Greener?” (American Bar Association, 2006); “Defending Section 17200 Claims” (Mealey’s, 2005, 2002); “The Defense of Governmental and Private Unfair Competition Law Claims” (Thomson/Glasser LegalWorks, 2005, 2003, 2002);”Defenses to Unfair Competition Law Claims,” (PLI, 2004, 2003, 2000); “Defenses to Unfair Competition Law Claims After Kraus and Cortez” (PLI, 2002); “Analysis of Kraus and Cortez: The Glass is Half Empty,” (San Francisco Recorder, 2000); “The Defense of Financial Privacy Litigation” (Glasser LegalWorks, 2000); “The Defense of Class and Quasi-Class Actions Under California’s Unfair Competition Law” (California State Bar Environmental Law Section, 2000); “The Defense Perspective” (California District Attorneys Association, 1996); “The Emerging Class Action Litigation Threat” (Fulcrum, 1996); “Market Conduct and Marketing: Pitfalls Under California Business & Professions Code” (Institute of Corporate Counsel, 1996); “Effective Legal Strategies for a Changing World” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation (Florida, 1996); “Considerations in the Defense of Governmental and Private Actions Under Deceptive Trade Practices Acts” (ACI, 1995); “Jury Selection” Civil Trial Strategies (PLI, 1992); “Jury Selection Chapter” Civil Trial Practice: Strategy and Techniques (PLI, 1986); “Libel and Invasion of Privacy” (California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1981); and “Unsafe for Little Ears? The Regulation of Broadcast Advertising to Children” (25 UCLA Law Review 1131, 1978).
Education and Prior Experience
Ms. Lees is a 1979 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif, and a 1971 graduate of Northwestern University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. From 1979 to 1980, she was a law clerk to the Honorable Warren Ferguson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in 1978 she was a student extern to the Honorable Shirley Hufstedler, also on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before attending law school, Ms. Lees was Associate Editor of New Worlds Magazine in Newport Beach, California.