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Edward P. Sangster

Partner
+1.415.249.1028
Fax +1.415.882.8220

Edward Sangster is a partner in K&L Gates’ San Francisco office. He has more than 30 years of experience helping clients resolve complex business and environmental disputes through counseling, litigation, and trial. His experience is broad, including commercial contracts, environmental, business torts, insurance coverage, and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) cases. Although the types of cases have varied over time, his case load has consistently involved current cutting-edge issues, resulting in numerous published decisions in federal district and appellate courts.

The cases Mr. Sangster litigates often turn on the resolution of highly technical scientific, engineering, regulatory, or economic issues. His environmental experience includes numerous cases concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), cases involving groundwater contamination and administrative agency actions. Other examples include preemption of statutory limits on mortgage interest, illegal title insurance products, venture capital investments, defective heat treatment of metal alloys, and allegedly invalid publicly traded securities. He has handled many disputes governed by Article 2 of the UCC involving a wide range of products, from the mundane (boxes and food ingredients) to the exotic (“smart bomb” components and medical devices). His experience with intricacies of contract formation, “battles of the forms,” warranty disclaimers, breaches and damages expedites the analysis and resolution of cases. He is authorized to practice before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He has jury and bench trial experience in both state and federal courts, and he has briefed and argued numerous appeals.

Mr. Sangster has repeatedly been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2008, and is a senior fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Achievements

  • BTI Client Service All-Star, 2016 (one of approximately 300 attorneys honored nationally based on nominations of corporate counsel)
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist, Public Justice Foundation, 2010
  • Award for exemplary pro bono service, presented by the U.S. District Court, Northern District Conference, 1997
  • Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service, presented by the Bar Association of San Francisco, 1996
  • Commendation by California State Bar Board of Governors in recognition of outstanding contributions to the delivery of pro bono legal services, 1988

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Richard M. Sangster American Inn of Court
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • IINREEL (International Institute for Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law)
  • California Lawyers Association (Litigation and Environmental sections)
  • American Bar Association (Litigation section)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

Additional Information

Published Decisions
  • Citizens for Ceres v. City of Ceres, 3 Cal. App. 5th 237 (2016) (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, 59 Cal. 4th 1029 (2014) (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Friends of Oroville v. City of Oroville, 219 Cal. App. 4th 832 (2013) (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Citizens for Ceres v. Superior Court, 217 Cal. App. 4th 889 (2013) (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, 210 Cal. App. 4th 1006 (2012) (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Chacoan v. Rohrer, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40662 (E.D. Cal. 2009) (federal civil rights)
  • Quicken Loans, Inc. v. Wood, 449 F.3d 944 (9th Cir. 2006) (preemption of state mortgage laws)
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Boutris, 419 F. 3d 949 (9th Cir. 2005) (preemption of state mortgage laws)
  • Fontana Empire Center, LLC v. City of Fontana, 307 F. 3d 987 (9th Cir. 2002)
  • Emeryville v. Elementis Pigments, Inc. 2001 WL 964230 (N.D. Cal. 2001)
  • Anesthesia Care Associates Medical Group v. Blue Cross of California, 187 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 1999)
  • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company v. Hercules Incorporated, 146 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 1998) (CERCLA cost recovery)
  • TH Agriculture & Nutrition, Inc. v. Aceto Chemical Co., 884 F. Supp. 357 (E.D. Cal. 1995) (CERCLA cost recovery)
  • Kaufman and Broad -- South Bay v. Unisys Corp., 822 F. Supp. 1468 (N.D. Cal. 1993) (CERCLA cost recovery)
  • Eureka Financial Corp. v. The Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 136 F.R.D. 179 (E.D. Cal. 1991) (insurance coverage)
REPRESENTATIVE TRIALS AND PROCEEDINGS
  • Trial counsel defending party alleged to be liable for more than $200 million in environmental cleanup costs. Judgment in favor of client after trial lasting approximately five months.
  • Trial counsel for defendant venture capital firm sued by founder of portfolio company. Plaintiff sought more than $240 million for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of trade secrets. Jury verdict in favor of clients following trial lasting more than four months.
  • Trial counsel for defendant sued for $26 million fee arising from procurement of significant equity investment in biofuel startup. Judgment following jury trial for amount admitted by client to be owed, which was less than 3 percent of claim.
  • Trial counsel for plaintiff class in civil rights litigation. Judgment for clients characterized by a dissenting U.S. Supreme Court justice as “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our Nation’s history.”
  • Trial counsel for defendant underwriter in action challenging validity of nearly $100 million in municipal securities. Judgment for client following validation proceeding.
  • Trial and appellate counsel for property owners and developers in numerous actions brought pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).
  • Lead counsel for plaintiff-insured in litigation seeking coverage under employee dishonesty insurance policy for 8-figure theft of corporate property. Favorable settlement reached after court summarily adjudicated insurer defenses in favor of client.
PROPOSITION 65 EXPERIENCE
Mr. Sangster has more than 20 years of experience defending clients in Proposition 65 litigation. He has also been actively engaged in counseling clients concerning the implementation of practical compliance strategies, including compliance with new regulations governing the provision of warnings that will take effect on August 30, 2018.

Compliance Counseling Clients:
  • National food purchasing distributor
  • Food container manufacturer
  • Wine products manufacturer
  • Manufacturers of nationally and globally distributed building products
  • Dietary supplement manufacturers
  • Multi-billion dollar manufacturer of electrical, power, and data products
  • Multi-billion dollar manufacturer and distributor of biotechnology and laboratory products
  • Multi-billion dollar recreational products manufacturer
  • Global producer of tangible marketing materials
  • Recycled automobile products manufacturer
  • Manufacturer and extruder of aluminum products
Recent and Ongoing Litigation Clients:
  • Multi-billion dollar industrial products corporation
  • Manufacturer of marine engines
  • Major computer products manufacturer
  • Manufacturers of building products
  • Large and small manufacturers of consumer electronic devices
  • Large and small manufacturers of dietary supplements
  • Numerous manufacturers of clothing and personal products
  • National sellers and distributors of food and grocery products
  • Distributor and seller of books and stationary products
  • Manufacturers of furniture products
Indemnification Counseling and Advocacy Experience:
  • Frequent advice to clients regarding indemnification issues, including drafting of contractual provisions, counseling regarding existing contractual provisions, and making and responding to indemnification demands.
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS OPPOSING ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY ACTIONS
  • Defended manufacturer of diesel emission control devices against claim by California Air Resources Board for civil penalties. Claim settled for approximately 6 percent of agency demand.
  • Defended client against claims by California Department of Pesticide Regulation for unlicensed brokerage of alleged pesticides. Agency dropped $1 million + claim following negotiations.
  • Defended multiple clients in claims by California Department of Pesticide Regulations for collection of “mil” fees.
  • Defended multiple clients against actions by predecessor of Department of Business Oversight seeking to impose penalties or revoke residential mortgage licenses.
  • Represented multiple clients in negotiations with California Regional Water Control Boards concerning investigation or remediation of contaminated properties.
  • Defended client against claims by Department of Toxic Substances Control of illegal disposal of hazardous waste during remedial activities.
  • Represented multiple clients in threatened enforcement action by Department of Toxic Substances Control concerning thermostat reclamation program.