Commercial & Business Litigation

When litigation is inevitable, Sullivan Hill is ready to provide the aggressive representation needed to reach resolution.  Clients know they can rely on Sullivan Hill for effective guidance, whether to reach a quick solution or engage in hard-fought litigation.

Our litigators and trial lawyers are experienced and ready for the courtroom.  We built our reputation on big case litigation.  We represent local, national and international businesses — plaintiffs and defendants – in state and federal courts in California and throughout the United States.  Our integrated approach, including the involvement of related expertise in insurance coverage matters, bankruptcy, tax, appellate litigation and transactional matters makes for better outcomes.

Our lawyers also understand that not every case should be resolved at trial, and are always attuned to alternative dispute resolution options, including arbitrations and mediation.  These options frequently allow a swift resolution at a remarkably lower cost than adjudication through trial.   Our approach is designed to be efficient, practical and creative, with the ultimate goal being to achieve each client’s optimal resolution, as cost-efficiently as possible.


Our appellate attorneys are highly skilled and have extensive experience in legal analysis, persuasive writing and the presentation of oral argument. They will effectively analyze the often substantial volume of information generated at trial, identify the appropriate issues for presentation to the appellate court, and package that presentation as persuasively as possible.

Corporation, Partnership and Joint Venture Disputes

We have represented sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, joint ventures and other entities in numerous matters where the management, operation, organization or control of businesses is at issue, including many partnership or closely-held corporate “divorces.”

Trade Secret and Unfair Competition

California has a unique statutory policy proscribing many non-competition agreements which often intersects with trade secret law.  California’s Labor Code may also be implicated.  And the state antitrust statute and below cost sales statute vary from their federal counterparts.  Our attorneys have expertise in these critical areas and other areas of trade regulation laws. Our specialized expertise in trade regulation matters gives us a unique ability to handle disputes in unfair competition and trade regulation cases, including those brought under California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 (unfair competition) and 17500 (false advertising.)


We represent owners, developers, suppliers, public entities, contractors and design professionals in major construction defect claims, owner/contractor disputes for cost overruns and delays, mechanics’ liens cases, and all phases of the construction process and we integrate that practice with expertise on insurance coverage for such matters.

Product Liability

Our lawyers have extensive experience in the prosecution and defense of product liability claims, including those involving mechanical, electrical, medical and pharmaceutical products.

Class Actions

Our attorneys handle all types and sizes of class action cases, including those brought by plaintiffs seeking recovery for personal injuries, securities fraud, antitrust and trade regulations, and damages arising out of defective consumer products, and those involving restitution and disgorgement issues.

Real Estate

We have experience in virtually every type of real estate dispute. From litigation involving lease disputes and title problems to the prosecution or defense of construction defect cases, we can assist in getting positive results. Our attorneys also have expertise in contract and partnership disputes involving real estate projects, including breach of purchase agreements, dissolution of partnerships and limited liability companies, lender and financing disputes, and fraud or other torts in connection with the sale or development of real estate.

Banking and Financial Services

Our attorneys have extensive experience in disputes involving secured and unsecured claims, loan agreements, letters of credit, bonds and sureties, truth-in-lending issues, antitrust, regulatory issues and lender liability.

Commercial Leasing

We represent owners of major commercial real estate and provide representation to these clients when disputes arise involving lease agreements, tenant improvements, building expense allocations, and possessory rights.


We have attorneys knowledgeable in CERCLA (Superfund) enforcement, clean-up, cost recovery and contribution issues; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and other state and federal environmental statutes; the redevelopment of previously contaminated property, including site assessments, groundwater and soil contamination, environmental insurance, asbestos removal, supervision of remedial contractors and underground storage tank matters; and many other related issues.

Professional Liability

We have represented attorneys, accountants, contractors, architects and engineers in professional liability cases, which can often threaten the established business reputation and economic survival of an individual, partnership or firm.

Antitrust and Trade Regulation

The firm’s founder, James O. Sullivan (“Jim Sullivan”), was a pre-eminent antitrust expert and litigator, and we continue to represent domestic and foreign companies in every kind of antitrust investigation and litigation, including criminal and civil actions brought both by private litigants and by governmental enforcement agencies, whether under federal or state law. Matters have included monopolization claims, price-fixing, customer allocation, market division, price discrimination and sales below cost, the tying or bundling of related products, and marketing practices considered unfair competition, misleading or deceptive to consumers. The firm has also handled litigation involving RICO claims, patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade names, trade secrets and non-competition agreements, areas becoming increasingly important in emerging technologies. We advise foreign and domestic firms as to antitrust restrictions on the pricing and distribution of exports and imports, and on the antitrust implications of joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. The firm is also experienced with and experts in California’s numerous trade regulation statutes, including those which are not co-extensive with federal law.


We represented a foreign aircraft leasing company in several disputes with airline operating companies and recovered for them aircraft worth millions of dollars and tens of millions of dollars in damages.  We have also represented foreign aircraft operating companies in commercial disputes with jet engine manufacturers and an intellectual property dispute with a competitor.

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on August 31 • by

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