Shawn A. Williams

Shawn A. Williams


Winning consistently and recovering shareholder assets is a result of persistently mining for the truth, and that is what we do.


Shawn Williams, a founding partner of the Firm, is the managing partner of the Firm’s San Francisco office and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Shawn specializes in complex commercial litigation focusing on securities litigation, and has served as lead counsel in a range of actions resulting in more than a billion dollars in recoveries. For example, Shawn was among lead counsel in In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig., charging Facebook with violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, resulting in a $650 million recovery for injured Facebook users, the largest ever biometric class action.

Shawn led the team of Robbins Geller attorneys in the investigation and drafting of comprehensive securities fraud claims in Hefler v. Wells Fargo & Co., alleging widespread opening of unauthorized and undisclosed customer accounts. The Hefler action resulted in the recovery of $480 million for Wells Fargo investors. In City of Westland Police & Fire Ret. Sys. v. Metlife, Inc., Shawn led the Firm’s team of lawyers alleging MetLife’s failure to disclose and account for the scope of its use and non-use of the Social Security Administration Death Master File and its impact on MetLife’s financial statements. The Metlife action resulted in a recovery of $84 million. Shawn also served as lead counsel in the following actions resulting in significant recoveries: Chicago Laborers Pension Fund v. Alibaba Grp. Holding Ltd. ($75 million recovery); In re Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. Sec. Litig. ($75 million recovery); In re Medtronic, Inc. Sec. Litig. ($43 million recovery); In re Cadence Design Sys., Inc. Sec. Litig. ($38 million recovery); and City of Sterling Heights Gen. Emps’. Ret. Sys. v. Prudential Fin., Inc. ($33 million recovery).

Shawn is also a member of the Firm’s Shareholder Derivative Practice Group which has secured tens of millions of dollars in cash recoveries and comprehensive corporate governance reforms in a number of high-profile cases including: In re McAfee, Inc. Derivative Litig.; In re Marvell Tech. Grp. Ltd. Derivative Litig.; In re KLA-Tencor Corp. S’holder Derivative Litig.; The Home Depot, Inc. Derivative Litig.; and City of Westland Police & Fire Ret. Sys. v. Stumpf (Wells Fargo & Co.).

Shawn led multiple shareholder actions in which the Firm obtained favorable appellate rulings, including: W. Va. Pipe Trades Health & Welfare Fund v. Medtronic, Inc., 845 F.3d 384 (8th Cir. 2016); Knollenberg v. Harmonic, Inc., 152 F. App’x 674 (9th Cir. 2005); Nursing Home Pension Fund, Local 144 v. Oracle Corp., 380 F.3d 1226 (9th Cir. 2004); Lynch v. Rawls, 429 F. App’x 641 (9th Cir. 2011); and Barrie v. Intervoice-Brite, Inc., 409 F.3d 653 (5th Cir. 2005).

Before joining the Firm in 2000, Shawn served for 5 years as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he tried over 20 cases to New York City juries. 

Shawn has been named a Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500, one of the nation’s Most Influential Black Lawyers for 2022 by Savoy magazine, a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, a Top Plaintiff Lawyer and a Top 100 Lawyer by the Daily Journal, a California Trailblazer by The Recorder, a Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar by Law360, a Legend, a Leading Lawyer in America, and a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer by Lawdragon, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and a Best Lawyer in America by Best Lawyers®.


  • Leading Lawyer in America, Lawdragon, 2018-2024
  • Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers®, 2022-2024
  • Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014-2017, 2020-2021, 2023
  • Recommended Lawyer, The Legal 500, 2023
  • Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2019-2023
  • Top Plaintiff Lawyer, Daily Journal, 2022
  • Most Influential Black Lawyers, Savoy, 2022
  • Legend, Lawdragon, 2022
  • Top 100 Lawyer, Daily Journal, 2019, 2021
  • California Trailblazer, The Recorder, 2019
  • Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar, Law360, 2019
  • Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2019
  • Board Member, California Bar Foundation, 2012-2014

Practice Areas


  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1995
  • The State University of New York at Albany, B.A., 1991


  • California
  • New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third and Ninth Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Notable Cases


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