Dena Sharp


Dena Sharp is dedicated to finding common-sense solutions in even the most complex litigation. She recently served as co-lead counsel in the In re Juul Labs Inc. multidistrict litigation, which resulted in recoveries of nearly $2 billion for individual consumers, school districts, municipalities, and Native American tribes. The last of the Juul settlements—for $235 million with Altria (formerly Philip Morris)—was reached after Dena and her co-lead trial counsel rested the plaintiff’s case in a bellwether jury trial against the tobacco giant.

Dena currently serves as co-lead counsel in In re Xyrem Antitrust Litigation and In re Google Digital Advertising Antitrust Litigation, as well as in leadership positions in various life sciences and statutory damage matters. She also serves as a member of the End-Payer Steering Committee in the massive In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation. Dena previously led a team to a $104.75 million recovery on the eve of trial in a certified “pay-for-delay” antitrust class action concerning the drug Lidoderm, which delivered the largest recovery for a class of end-payers in similar federal litigation in more than decade.

Dena tries cutting-edge cases. In a first-of-its-kind jury trial in 2021, Dena and team represented clients whose eggs and embryos were in a freezer tank at a fertility clinic that failed. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a $15 million verdict for the plaintiffs, leading to a global resolution with the tank manufacturer for the dozens of households represented by Girard Sharp.

Outside the courtroom, Dena chairs the board of directors of the Impact Fund, a public interest nonprofit. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, sits on the board of advisors for the Center for Litigation and the Courts at the UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and serves on the executive committee of the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Dena co-wrote a chapter in the ABA’s “Class Action Strategy and Practice Guide,” and the widely-cited Sedona Principles: Best Practices and Principles for Electronic Document Production (Third Edition). She is the immediate past co-chair for the Northern District of California’s Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council.

Dena was recognized as the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco for Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort / Class Action Litigation by Best Lawyers in America, and selected as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs’ Bar” by Law360 in April 2023. Dena has three times been named to the National Law Journal’s “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” honoring her as one of only a handful of lawyers nationwide who has “consistently excelled in high-stakes matters on behalf of plaintiffs.” The Daily Journal has also recognized her as one of the “Top Antitrust Lawyers in California” and “Top Women Lawyers” in California. In 2023, Dena was selected as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California, and since 2020 she has been recognized by San Francisco magazine as one of the “Top 50 Women Attorneys in Northern California.”

Dena is a graduate, cum laude, of the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, and earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude. A first-generation American, Dena is fluent in Spanish and German.

  • Externed for the Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton of the Northern District of California
  • Externed for the Honorable John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court

J.D., cum laude, University of California College of the Law, San Francisco

  • Thurston Honors Society
  • Best Oral Advocate Award
  • Witkin Award in Legal Writing and Criminal Law courses

B.A., magna cum laude, Brown University

  • California
  • Northern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • District of Colorado
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • Spanish
  • German

In re Restasis Antitrust Litigation
Co-lead counsel in this monopolization case against pharmaceutical giant Allergan for its multifaceted strategy to delay generic competition in the market for the blockbuster drug Restasis.

In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation
Co-lead counsel in this “pay-for-delay” litigation against three drug companies. Settled a week before jury selection only after the class was certified and summary judgment had been denied. The $104.75 million settlement represents the largest end-payer recovery in absolute and percentage terms in any federal pay-for-delay case in at least the past decade.

In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation
Member of the End-Payer Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in this massive price-fixing case against dozens of drug companies, where executives have pleaded guilty to collusion and 48 state attorneys general have alleged a sprawling conspiracy on the part of the drug makers.

In re Pacific Fertility Litigation
Representing plaintiffs who allege their frozen eggs and embryos were affected by the failure of a cryopreservation tank at Pacific Fertility Center’s San Francisco clinic in early March 2018.

In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation
Representing direct purchasers in a multidistrict proceeding that follows several executives pleading guilty to fixing the prices of capacitors, tiny electronic components found in devices from toasters to cell phones. Nearly $100 million in settlements to date and the case is proceeding to trial.

In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Securities and ERISA Litigation
Lead counsel for investors in the securities litigation arising from the largest bankruptcy in United States history. Recovered $120 million on behalf of structured note investors and helped secure total recoveries of over $700 million.

In re Oppenheimer California Fund Securities Litigation
Co-lead counsel for investors in Oppenheimer’s California Municipal Bond Fund, which misled investors about its investment risk and then lost nearly half its value. Recovered $50.75 million for the certified class of investors.

In re Provident Royalties, LLC / Medical Capital
Lead counsel team for the plaintiffs in this Ponzi scheme litigation, ultimately recovering $150 million for investors.

In re SLM Corporation Securities Litigation
Lead counsel team in accounting fraud litigation brought under Rule 10b-5 that resulted in a $35 million recovery.

Pending Cases

  • Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Products Liability Litigation, District of New Jersey
  • Juul Labs, Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, Northern District of California
  • Named to Law360’s 2023 “Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar”
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action – Plaintiffs
  • Named to the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California list (2022)
  • Named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list (2017-present)
  • Named to the Northern California Rising Stars list (2009-2016)
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America (2021-2022)
  • Named a Top Antitrust Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal (2021)
  • Named one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Northern California by Best Lawyers (2021-present)
  • Named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 (2019)
  • Winner of the National Law Journal’s Elite Women of the Plaintiff’s Bar (2019, 2020, 2023)
  • Named to Top 50: Women Northern California Super Lawyers (2020-present)

Community & Professional

  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Lawyer Representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Council
  • Impact Fund
    • Chair, Board of Directors
    • Member, Grant Advisory Committee
    • Member, Finance Committee
  • Vice chair, Duke Law Bolch Judicial InstituteAdvisory Council for the Duke Conferences
  • Member, The Sedona Conference, Working Group 1 on Electronic Document Retention and Production
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Sections on Antitrust, Securities Litigation, and Pretrial Practice and Discovery
    • Former vice chair, Young Lawyer’s Division Litigation Committee
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California Chapter
  • Member, State Bar of CaliforniaLitigation Section