Kelly M. Dermody

A Leader in the Plaintiffs’ Bar for Workers and Consumers

The Managing Partner of our San Francisco office and chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group, Kelly M. Dermody specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases.

Kelly supervises many of the most significant and challenging employment class action lawsuits in our nation today, including complaints brought by female and minority professionals alleging gender and race discrimination by top Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms, wage suppression claims against technology companies, overtime pay lawsuits against nationally prominent corporations, and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.

The Daily Journal observed that Kelly’s

values have translated into real workday value for lots of people — people who have won better job opportunities from companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Home Depot, and Smith Barney, or monetary damages from banks that have engaged in predatory lending and servicing.”

In addition to spearheading employment lawsuits, Kelly represents consumers in consumer protection cases. In 2006, California Lawyer magazine awarded her its prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award for her successful prosecution of several class action lawsuits against California’s main hospital chains for charging the uninsured exorbitant and unconscionable prices for medical care. Under settlements in these cases, uninsured patients received more than $1 billion in refunds or bill adjustments.

Commitment to Society and Advancing the Legal Profession

Kelly is a leader in organizations devoted to serving the public interest, improving access to justice, and ensuring that the rights of historically disenfranchised persons are protected.

Kelly is a member of the ABA Labor & Employment Law Section (LELS) Governing Council, and previously served as Co-chair of the ABA LELS Annual Section Conference, Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession, and Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.  She currently serves on the Legal Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California.

In 2012, Kelly served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“BASF”), and was a member of its Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012. Founded in 1872, BASF serves legal professionals and the community by promoting access to justice and excellence and diversity in the legal profession, and by providing legal and pro bono services to disadvantaged and underserved individuals.

Outstanding Honors and Recognition

In 2016, The Recorder honored Kelly with their “Giant Slayer” award for her work on In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation. Kelly and her team took on Google, Apple, Intel, and other tech giants in a class action for allegedly conspiring to suppress the mobility and compensation of their technical employees. This landmark case resulted in an aggregate settlement of $435 million, the largest recovery (by far) of any class action asserting antitrust claims in an employment context.

In 2015, the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers named Kelly a Fellow. Nomination to the College is by one’s colleagues only, and recognizes those lawyers who have demonstrated sustained and exceptional services to their clients, bar, bench, and public, and the highest level of character, integrity, professional expertise, and leadership. Election as a Fellow of the College is regarded by many as the highest honor in the legal profession for lawyers practicing labor and employment law.

Also in 2015, The Recorder named Lieff Cabraser’s employment group as a Litigation Department of the Year in the category of California Labor and Employment Law. The Litigation Department of the Year awards recognize, as explained by the editors of The Recorder, “California litigation practices that deliver standout results on their clients’ most critical matters.”

Kelly received the Distinguished Jurisprudence Award in 2014 from the Central Pacific region of Anti-Defamation League, and the Dolores Huerta Adelita Award from California Rural Legal Assistance in 2013, among others.

Since 2010, Kelly has annually been recognized by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Employment Law – Individuals and Litigation – Labor and Employment. In 2014, she was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in the category of Employment Law – Individuals in San Francisco.

The Daily Journal has selected Kelly as one of the top 100 attorneys in California (2012-2015), top 75 labor and employment lawyers in California (2011-2016), and top 100 women litigators in California (2007, 2010, 2012-2016). She has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2004, including being named a “Top 10 Lawyer” in 2014.