Andrew Bassak

Andrew A. Bassak

Partner

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
San Francisco

Andrew Bassak is a partner in the firm's litigation section with more than 25 years of experience in executing comprehensive legal strategy. He has advised and represented clients who are key players in leading industries such as energy and real estate, energy and utilities, environmental, financial services, and more, most recently having served as litigation partner at a national firm.

Andrew's wide-ranging experience encompasses all aspects of business trials, resolving varied commercial disputes in federal and state courts as well as arbitration, including cross-border disputes. Outside of his practice, Andrew serves as chair of the Board of Governors of California Trout, a nonprofit organization supporting natural resource issues and balancing the needs of wild fish and people. He has also served as president of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and has been honored with several awards, including California Lawyer Magazine's California Lawyer of the Year award and the National Law Journal's Pro Bono award.

Representative Work

Commercial Disputes

Acted as lead U.S. counsel for major foreign bank and its senior executives in a global dispute involving interrelated legal proceedings. Obtained the dismissal of a $62 million lender liability U.S. District Court lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duties and concealment claims relating to the plaintiff’s entering into a commercial financing transaction, the enforcement of which resulted in a $3.4 million judgment.

Led a team of attorneys representing the former owners of a regional tire retailer and distributor in litigating a major M&A dispute venued in Reno, Nevada, ultimately to a settlement on the brink of trial. The sale of the business closed in 2008, just before the onset of the global economic crisis, with millions of dollars of the purchase price deferred, subject to post-closing performance under an earn-out agreement. Despite client hitting all requisite earnings milestones, client was denied the balance of the purchase price, claiming that the value of business had eroded since the deal closed. After more than two years of arbitration conducted and a host of depositions across the U.S. and in Mexico, every dollar of the purchase price owed was paid, including late charges.

Energy

Led trial counsel for a major California oil and gas producer in four-day combined mandate and takings trial to avoid a regulatory taking of oil and gas operations valued in excess of $1 billion. The decision of the court was to invalidate, on constitutional and other grounds, a voter-approved ballot measure designed to end oil and gas production in designated county.

Real Estate and Environmental

Provided sophisticated litigation expertise to a buyer in the $64 million acquisition of a city block in downtown San Jose through a complex off- market transaction. For more than 70 years, the site had been owned by a California general partnership, with fee title held and controlled by the majority partner in an entity outside of the partnership, essentially rendering the site unmarketable. The owner’s partners were deeply engaged in fiercely contested litigation and arbitration against each other, the partnership’s accountants and the court-appointed receiver for the seller/partnership, with allegations of fraud and theft of partnership profits among many other claims. Managed difficult negotiations between the parties to the pending litigation, brokered and documented a settlement to enable a timely closing, and coordinated the issuance of a court order discharging the receiver concurrent with the partnership interest and real estate closings.

Successfully represented owner of a remote, aging 40-unit residential housing development in a complex series of disputes initiated when the state water board issued water code violation citations. Consequently, the county ordered the tenants to vacate the property and sued the owner, alleging additional code violations and nuisance conditions at the property. The secured lender then commenced foreclosure proceedings, and a group of the tenants sued the owner. The matters were resolved by negotiating the settlement of the administrative enforcement actions, the settlement of lawsuits and the lender foreclosure, and the sale of the property to a buyer that intends to restore the property to open space.

Real Estate

Lead trial counsel on behalf of a developer to defend the California Environmental Quality Act CEQA litigation filed to challenge a city’s approval of an 18-story, mixed-use building with several hundred apartment units, cinema space, restaurant/retail space, and parking. Successfully defended the litigation challenging the project, including trial, within ten months.

Lead trial counsel for the developer of a 50-acre mixed-use project in a six-week bench trial against a municipality in a breach of contract/inverse condemnation action to recover over $1 million incurred by the developer to install storm water infrastructure improvements benefiting the municipality.

Probate

Represented actor Robin Williams’ trustees in resolving the highly publicized probate court dispute concerning the authority of the trustees, the disposition of Mr. Williams’ personal residence and his bequests of tangible personal property to his children. Under intense media scrutiny, negotiated a settlement confirming the trustees’ authority, addressing the personal residence, and confirming the trustees’ decisions regarding Mr. Williams’ tangible personal property. (Good Morning America interview: "The Battle Over Robin Williams' Estate Begins")

Honors

2010 California Lawyer magazine Attorney of the Year "CLAY" Award – Environmental Law/Pro Bono Advocacy

2010 National Law Journal Pro Bono Award

California Super Lawyer (2005 - 2006, 2008 - 2019)

Martindale Hubble Rating: AV-Preeminent

Professional Affiliations

Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Northern California (2007 – 2015, 2018 - present; President, 2015)

Board of Governors, California Trout (since 2013), Chairman of the Board (2015–Present)

Education

B.S., University of Wisconsin (1988)

J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law (1992)

Admissions And Courts

California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. Tax Court

San Francisco

415-995-5006 Direct Phone
415-995-3477 Fax

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