Michael D. Hausfeld, one of the country's top civil litigators, is the Chairman of Hausfeld.
His career has included some of the largest and most successful class actions in the fields of human rights, discrimination and antitrust law. He has an abiding interest in social reform cases and was among the first lawyers in the U.S. to assert that sexual harassment was a form of discrimination prohibited by Title VII; he successfully tried the first case establishing that principle. He represented Native Alaskans whose lives were affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Later, he negotiated a then-historic $176 million settlement from Texaco, Inc. in a racial-bias discrimination case. Most recently, in the landmark O’Bannon v. NCAA litigation, Michael represented a class of current and former Division I men's basketball and FBS football players against the NCAA and its member institutions, based on rules foreclosing athletes from receiving compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. At the conclusion of a three-week bench trial, the Court determined that the NCAA had violated the antitrust laws and issued a permanent injunction as requested by the plaintiffs. Immediately following the decision, Michael was named AmLaw Litigation Daily’s “Litigator of the Week,” citing the “consensus among courtroom observers [was] that Michael Hausfeld…got the best of a parade of NCAA witnesses at trial.” Law360 dubbed the trial team led by Michael as “Legal Lions,” citing Hausfeld’s historic victory over the NCAA.
In Friedman v. Union Bank of Switzerland, Michael represented a class of Holocaust victims whose assets were wrongfully retained by private Swiss banks during and after World War II. The case raised novel issues of international banking law and international human rights law. In a separate case, he also successfully represented the Republic of Poland, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Ukraine and the Russian Federation on issues of slave and forced labor for both Jewish and non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He currently represents Khulumani and other NGOs in a litigation involving the abuses under apartheid law in South Africa.
Michael has a long record of successful litigation in the antitrust field, on behalf of individuals and classes, in cases involving monopolization, tie-ins, exclusive dealings and price fixing. He was a member of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Transition Taskforce, which advised the incoming Obama Administration. Michael is or has been co-lead counsel in antitrust cases against manufacturers of genetically engineered foods, managed healthcare companies, bulk vitamin manufacturers, technology companies and international industrial cartels. He is involved in ongoing investigations of antitrust cases abroad and pioneering efforts to enforce competition laws globally. He was the only private lawyer permitted to attend and represent the interests of consumers worldwide in the 2003 closed hearings by the EU Commission in the Microsoft case.
Michael has been featured in many articles and surveys. The National Law Journal has recognized him as one of the “Top 100 Influential Lawyers in America” and the Legal Times named Michael among the top 30 “Visionaries” in the Washington legal community in 2008. The New York Times referred to Michael as one of the nation's “most prominent antitrust lawyers,” and in 2009 the Washingtonian named him one of thirty “Stars of the Bar.” Most recently, the Global Competition Review stated that Hausfeld “is clearly recognized as one of the best plaintiffs firms in the country.” In the past, the magazine has reported that Michael “consistently brings in the biggest judgments in the history of law” and that he is “a Washington lawyer determined to change the world -- and succeeding.” Michael is one of thirty negotiators profiled in Done Deal: Insights from Interviews with the World's Best Negotiators, by Michael Benoliel, Ed.D. He has also been described by one of the country's leading civil rights columnists as an “extremely penetrating lawyer” and by a colleague (in a Washington Post article) as a lawyer who “has a very inventive mind when it comes to litigation. He thinks of things most lawyers don't because they have originality pounded out of them in law school.” For the past five years, The Legal 500, which provides comprehensive worldwide coverage on legal services and rankings, selected “mastermind of strategy” and “smart strategic thinker” Michael, as one of the top 10 Leading Lawyers in the U.S. representing plaintiffs in antitrust and cartel matters, stating that the “‘incredibly impressive... Michael Hausfeld and Brian Ratner are highly skilled negotiators and litigators, and real fighters with an outstanding strategic sense,’” and “the outstanding Mike Hausfeld is a titan of the antitrust bar.”
Mass Torts and Public Health Threats
Financial Services and Securities
Sports and Entertainment
Antitrust / Competition
Civil and Human Rights
Competition Counseling and Compliance
Antitrust Counseling and Compliance
National Law Center George Washington University, J.D., with honors, 1969; Member, Order of the Coif
Brooklyn College, B.A. cum laude,1966
District of Columbia
Washington, DC Super Lawyer, 2010-2017
Named by The Legal 500 as a "Leading Lawyer" in Antitrust, 2011-2017
Co-Chair - ABA Civil Redress Task Force, 2011-2012 and Civil Redress Committee, 2012-2013
American Friends of Hebrew University, Torch Of Learning Award, October 2012
Member, Editorial Board - Global Competition Litigation Review, 2011
Member - ABA International Cartel Task Force, 2010
Named by The Ethisphere Institute in a short list of “attorneys who matter” in the field of corporate compliance, 2009
Cited in 2009 Chambers USA, in the Products Liability category
Named to SmartCEO Magazine Legal Elite 2009 List
Cited by GQ magazine as one of “the 50 Most Powerful People in DC,” 2007
Named in The Lawyer’s 2007 “International World-shakers” list of 40 international lawyers “making waves” in the UK
100 Most Influential Lawyers, The National Law Journal, 2006
Plaintiffs Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Simon Wiesenthal Center Award for Distinguished Service
Named by Legal Times among 30 "Visionaries" in the Washington legal community, 2008
Adjunct Professor, George Washington University Law School, 1996-1998
Simon Wiesenthal Center Award for Distinguished Service
Named by Legal Times Fierce Sister Award, for work on the Japanese Comfort Women case, 2007
B’Nai Brith Humanitarian of the Year Award, 2002
U.S. Department of Energy Human Spirit Award, presented “in tribute to a person who understands the obligation to seek truth and act on it is not the burden of some, but of all; it is universal.”
Named repeatedly by Lawdragon magazine as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the United States
Taught in Georgetown University Law Center, 1980-1987
Member, Board of Editors, George Washington Law Review (1968-1969)
The Toughest Lawyer in America Is On Your Side, Neal Gabler, Playboy Magazine, February 2015.
Gangster Bankers - Too Big to Jail, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine, February 2013
UBS Mea Culpa May Give Libor Antitrust Plaintiffs Upper Hand, Max Stendahl, Law360, December 2012
DOJ Hearalds 'Robust' UBS Deal; Gibson Dunn on Defense, Mike Scarcella, The AmLaw Litigation Daily, December 2012
Documents May Boost Civil Suits - Revelations That Rate-Rigging Succeeded Could Prove Expensive to Banks Facing Litigation, Dana Cimilluca and Jean Eaglesham, Wall Street Journal, December 2012
Banks Facing New Wave of Mortgage Lawsuits, Forrest Jones, Moneynews, December 2012
Where There's a Will, There's a Way, The American Lawyer, March 2012
The Great Gamble, Global Competition Review, March 2012
The US Plaintffs' Bar, Global Competition Review, March 2012
Bloomberg Interviews Hausfeld on NCAA and Student Athlete Compensation, October 2011
Washingtonian magazine names Mr. Hausfeld one of thirty “Stars of the Bar.” December, 2009.
Bloomberg quotes Hausfeld on muni derivatives investigation. November 2009.
Business Week: Europe Inc. takes aim at price-fixers. October 2009.
Reuters: Hausfeld LLP filing suit on behalf of Baltimore and Mississippi municipalities. October 2009.
New York Times: NCAA Sued Over Licensing Practices. July 21, 2009
Associated Press: NY Judge Rules in Favor of 1970s Apartheid Victims. April 8, 2009
"The Business of American Courts in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum." By Michael Hausfeld and Kristen Ward. Jurist - Sidebar, October 2012.
"Prosecuting Class Actions and Group Litigation." By Michael Hausfeld and Brian Ratner, et al., World Class Actions, Ch. 26., September 2012
"Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the United States, A Handbook - Chapter 4: Initiation of a Private Claim." By Michael Hausfeld and Brent Landau, et al., 2012
"The Importance of Private Competition Enforcement in Europe." Michael D. Hausfeld and Swathi Bojedla. Hackney Publications: Concussion Litigation Reporter, Vol. 1, No. 1, July 2012
"CAT-astrophe: The Failure of "Follow-On" Actions." Michael D. Hausfeld, Brent W. Landau, Sathya S. Gosselin. American Bar Association's International Cartel Workshop, February 2012
"The Novelty of Wal-Mart v. Dukes." Brian A. Ratner and Sathya S. Gosselin. Business Torts & RICO News, American Bar Assocation, Business Torts & Civil RICO Committee, Vol. 8, Issue 1, Fall 2011.
"Private Enforcement in Competition Law: An Overview of Developments in Law and Practice in the US and Europe." Michael D. Hausfeld and Ingrid Gubbay, Bergamo University, July 2011
"The Contingency Phobia - Fear Without Foundation," Global Competition Litigation Review, Issue 1, January 2011
“Competition Law Claims – A Developing Story.” The European Antitrust Review 2010.
"Initiation of a Private Claim," International Handbook on Private Enforcement, 2010
“The United States Heightens Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof on Class Certification: A Response.” Global Competition Litigation Review, Volume 2 Issue 4/2009.
“Global Enforcement of Anticompetitive Conduct.” The Sedona Conference Journal, Fall 2009.
“Observations from the Field: ACPERA’s First Five Years.” The Sedona Conference Journal, Fall 2009.
“Twombly, Iqbal and the Prisoner’s Pleading Dilemma.” Law360, October 22, 2009.
“The Value of ACPERA.” Law360, June 2, 2009.
“Collective Redress for Competition Law Claimants.” The European Antitrust Review 2008.
“Managing Multi-district Litigation.” The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2008.
“A Victim’s Culture.” European Business Law Review, 2007.