Michael Brewer is the Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie's California offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles and Chair of the Firm’s Global Employment & Compensation Practice. A trial lawyer who represents global and domestic clients, Michael has tried class action and single plaintiff employment cases before judges, juries and arbitrators. Super Lawyers has repeatedly recognized Michael for his superior defense of employment claims.
Michael focuses on employment law disputes and trial work. He has defended employers in more than 500 disputes to conclusion. Michael's practice encompasses a wide range of labor and employment matters, including the defense of wage and hour class actions, discrimination, wrongful discharge in addition to employment contract, non-competition, whistleblower, sexual harassment and related claims. He regularly represents clients in employment litigation in federal and state courts, in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, and in proceedings before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the US Department of Labor and state agencies throughout the United States. Michael has served as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy teaching trial and deposition skills to other lawyers. Clients often call upon Michael to step into difficult cases previously handled by other firms.
Michael teams with clients on personnel management matter, novel employment situations as well as discipline and termination, workplace accommodation, workforce change and litigation avoidance. He also advises global employers on the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.
Michael also represents businesses in disability access and public accommodation matters. He is well versed in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Unruh Act, the California Disabled Persons Act, Health & Safety Code sections 19955 et seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and the California Access Compliance Building Regulations (Title 24).
Representative Legal Matters
Lead counsel for five month trial of wage and hour class action for national title and escrow company.
Defeated class certification of class of more than 20,000 workers for US auto parts retailer in federal multi-district litigation regarding claims of missed meal and rest periods, overtime and off-the-clock work.
Obtained defense verdict following federal jury trial of age and disability discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination claim to defense verdict on behalf of multi-billion dollar American office supply company.
Order of non-certification of more than 20,000 individuals California retail worker class based on claim of failure to reimburse automobile mileage at less than IRS rates.
Successful representation of global luxury retailer in California multiple wage and hour class actions.
Conducted jury trial on behalf of a major city in Northern California in a race discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination case.
Represented one of the largest US educational publishers in a wrongful termination jury trial.
- Labor and Employment Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2020
- Recognized lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2013-2017
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of California - Labor and Employment Law Section, Member
- Contra Costa County Bar Association – Member
- Contra Costa County Bar Association – Employment Law Section, Former President
- Bar Association of San Francisco – Labor and Employment Law Section, Member
- Northern California Employment Roundtable – Member
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit~United States
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California~United States
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California~United States
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California~United States
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California~United States
- California~United States
- University of Colorado School of Law (JD) (1995)
- University of California at Los Angeles (BA) (1990)