Irvine, California  – California’s legal newspaper, The Daily Journal has named Umberg Zipser (U/Z) as one of the Top Boutique Law  Firms in California for 2016 – one of only 20 firms statewide receiving this distinction.   The annual Top Boutiques list honors law firms that have achieved exceptional results in one practice area – Umberg Zipser was selected for Litigation.  A pdf of the full article is available here: Umberg Zipser is a Top Boutique for 2016.

The DJ article that profiles the firm features an in-depth discussion of the firm’s representation of the California State Controller’s office with co-counsel Manatt Phelps & Phillips against software giant SAP in a case involving the multi-million dollar failure of the largest government payroll modernization effort in the nation, noting the firm’s “unique qualifications for dealing with matters at the intersection of law and government.”  After several years of litigation, the case settled earlier this year with a $59 million payment to the Controller’s Office, plus agreement from SAP to drop a $23 million claim.

The article notes co-founding partner Tom Umberg’s government experience as a legislator, combined with his litigation expertise, as critical in successfully resolving the State Controller’s case against SAP.   It mentions Umberg’s observation that, “There’s a history that when government gets shortchanged, it can’t always successfully hold a private party accountable.  I don’t think SAP understood that the controller wasn’t going to back down.”

The DJ profile of U/Z also highlights co-founding partner Dean Zipser:  “Long known in Orange County for his handling of large, complex bet-the-company cases, Zipser has served as president of the county’s bar association and the Orange County chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.  On the state level, he currently is co-vice chair of the California State Bar Commission charged with revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct.”

In addition to the State Controller’s case, the article highlights the firm’s long representation of Toshiba America Information Systems, and discusses the firm’s successful result in a battle over class counsel fees.  The article notes:  “On the defense side, Umberg Zipser prevailed in May for client Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. in a class action that arose out of an alleged electrostatic discharge in certain computer models.  Although the case filed in 2005 settled quickly, years of litigation followed over one class counsels demand for a $25 million fee and more than $900,000 in costs.  A Los Angeles County Superior Court trial judge and a Court of Appeal panel largely denied the fee request and affirmed discovery abuse sanctions against the plaintiffs lawyer.”

The profile, which notes that all the firm partners were previously with large law firms, goes on to quote Zipser:  “We now have a nimble, small firm platform . . . We are a close group.  We really fit together like a glove.”

Umberg Zipser LLP is a premier business litigation boutique.  Drawing on decades of experience in some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, as well as national and state government service, Umberg Zipser provides clients with unparalleled legal services.  For more information visit

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November 3, 2016 󰀄