Payne & Fears LLP offers a full range of business and litigation services to its clients in four primary practice groups: Business Litigation, Business Transactions, Insurance Coverage and Labor and Employment. Across these practice areas, we represent all types of clients, from multi-national corporations to emerging tech startups to individual insurance policyholders.

Practice Departments


Insurance Coverage


  • I hire Payne & Fears LLP because of certainty--certainty in my receipt of value, in its strategic approach to problem solving, in its integrity of billing, in its candor when evaluating my cases, in its creativity while searching for an economical and fair resolution and in its attorneys’ tenacity throughout the ensuing battle. In a world of unknowns, I value constancy in characteristics that matter most. Payne & Fears LLP delivers that constancy.

    - Chief Litigation Officer, Fortune 500 Company
  • Your support at Payne and Fears is top rate and it is such a pleasure to work with someone who understands business and offers a conservative, yet aggressive approach – not very easy but something that you seem to demonstrate well!  You are always my first choice of outside counsel.

    - Senior Vice President, Human Resources, International Consumer Goods Company
  • The attorneys at Payne & Fears have the unique ability to size up complex matters and provide well-reasoned solutions. Their knowledge of the law and depth of experience, coupled with the responsive and personal service they provide, all contribute to a strong and valued relationship with our organization.

    - Vice-President of Labor, Publically Traded Silicon Valley Technology Company
  • Payne & Fears LLP has represented me and my company for many years. It is an excellent law firm with the highest standards. I have worked with hundreds of attorneys in my career. I get results with Payne & Fears LLP.

    - Small Business Owner


Mar 16

Payne & Fears LLP Obtains a Major Victory for an ERISA Pension Plan

Payne & Fears LLP obtained a major victory for an ERISA pension plan by ending a nationwide class action lawsuit claiming back pension benefits for a period exceeding twenty years. The federal district court granted the plan’s motion for summary judgment, and denied the motion for summary judgment brought by the named class representative plaintiff. The court first agreed with the plan that a slight delay of the plan administrator in responding to the plaintiff’s administrative appeal was not sufficiently egregious to invoke de novo review, so the court applied abuse of discretion review. Even though the plaintiff argued that the plan’s interpretation of a defined term was inconsistent with the plain language of the plan, the court adopted the plan’s arguments that the plan administrator’s interpretation was reasonable, consistent with the text and ERISA law, and consistently applied. The interpretation also supported the purposes and goals of the plan. Attorneys Eric Sohlgren and Andrew Haeffele led the briefing effort, and Daniel Fears argued the motion before the federal court.

Practice areas: ERISA Litigation

Attorneys: Andrew K. Haeffele, Daniel F. Fears , Eric C. Sohlgren

Feb 25

Payne & Fears Wins Appeal from Defense Summary Judgment

Payne & Fears LLP obtained an order from the Second District Court of Appeal affirming a complete defense summary judgment for the Firm’s client in Jackson v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc. The plaintiff, a former student at Corinthian, alleged that the school negligently hired and retained an instructor who assaulted the plaintiff in class. Judge Ongkeko of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted summary judgment for the defendant and denied the plaintiff’s requests for a continuance of the summary judgment hearing and for leave to amend the complaint. Justices Willhite, Epstein, and Collins affirmed the judgment in full, noting that there was no evidence that Corinthian knew or should have known that the instructor posed a threat to his students or that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied the requests for a continuance and leave to amend. Bobby Matsuishi and Jeff Brown handled the matter for the successful defendant employer.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: Jeffrey K. Brown , Robert T. Matsuishi