Philip T. Besirof

Partner and General Counsel | San Francisco | (415) 268-6091
(415) 268-6091

As the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office, I have the privilege and opportunity to see our teams in daily action – and I am unfailingly impressed.

Philip is the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office, a partner in our Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense group, and General Counsel to the firm. He is a go-to advisor for companies and their directors and officers in the areas of securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits, and regulator inquiries and investigations. Philip has a long track record of securing successful outcomes, including winning at trial, winning at the pleading stage and on summary judgment, and prevailing on appeal.  

Philip's clients represent a broad range of industries including computer hardware, consumer products, energy, financial services, gaming, technology, and telecommunications. He has successfully defended dozens of firms and individuals including Zynga, Oracle, Infineon, Capital One, and notably, JDSU and its former executives where he contributed to the complete defense verdict in a securities class action jury trial seeking $20 billion in damages for alleged securities fraud and insider trading.

Philip maintains his active practice while serving as the firm’s General Counsel and chairing the Risk Management Committee. As the firm’s principal lawyer, he advises firm leadership and attorneys at all levels on governance, policy development, client intake, ethics, data management and security, defense of claims against the firm, and insurance issues. He also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, ex officio.

Philip is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California; and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits.

Philip is the past Chair of the Board of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to promote health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impacted by HIV.

Representative Experience

  • In re Zynga Securities LitigationRepresented Zynga Inc. and its directors and officers in a federal securities class action, a state class action, and various derivative actions pending in California and Delaware.
  • In re Capital One Derivative Litigation (Eastern District of Virginia; Delaware Chancery). Represented Capital One and its officers and directors in derivative litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia and Delaware Court of Chancery.
  • In re Countrywide Financial Corporation Securities Litigation (Central District of California). Represented former outside directors of Countrywide Financial Corp. in various securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions. Most of these actions have settled, with full releases of our clients, and in none of those cases did the firm’s clients pay any settlement.
  • In re First Solar Securities Litigation (District of Arizona; Ninth Circuit). Secured a victory for First Solar and its directors and officers in a federal securities class action pending in the District of Arizona when the three-judge panel unanimously upheld the dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit.
  • In re Oracle Securities Derivative Litigation (Northern District of California). Represented Oracle Corporation in derivative actions and “books and records” action in state and federal courts in California.
  • In re Infineon Securities Litigation (Northern District of California). Obtained dismissal of 90 percent of the class (all foreign shareholders) and settled with the remaining 10 percent of the class (U.S. shareholders) for client Infineon and its officers.
  • In re JDS Uniphase Securities Litigation (Northern District of California). Obtained a complete jury defense verdict on behalf of JDSU and three former executives in a class action seeking $20 billion for alleged securities fraud and insider trading.


  • Recommended for Dispute Resolution: Securities Litigation – Legal 500 US 2018
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