Bruce W. Leppla

Bruce W. Leppla: Attorney with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
  • Partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP (93 Attorneys)
  • Embarcadero Center West, 275 Battery Street, 29th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111
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  • Bruce was a Partner from 2004-2008 in the firm’s San Francisco office and is currently Of Counsel. His responsibilities include securities case evaluation and analysis, legal and financial, as well as directing the firm’s institutional investor and client outreach.
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Even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and kicked.

A Business Leader, Innovator, and Defender of Investor Rights

Bruce W. Leppla is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. His responsibilities include securities case evaluation and analysis, legal and financial, as well as directing the firm’s institutional investor and client outreach. Bruce was part of the litigation team on the McKesson , America Online , Broadcom , Qwest and Brooks Automation cases, with varying responsibilities that included case initiation, complaint preparation, and preparing and deposing expert witnesses on accounting and finance issues.

Bruce brings a unique set of skills to the firm’s financial fraud practice. A lawyer for over 30 years, he has also enjoyed distinguished careers in the fields of finance, real estate, and technology. From 1983 to 1998, Bruce served as the CEO and President of Redwood Bank, a San Francisco-based commercial bank, which he grew into one of California’s most successful regional banks and sold in 1998 at a substantial premium to a national bank. From 1993 to 1998, Bruce served as a Director of the California Banker’s Association. During that period, he also served as a Guest Lecturer on real estate finance and law at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

In recent years, Bruce has served as Chairman and Founder or Co-Founder of Leppla Capital Management LLC, an investment securities advisory business; Susquehanna Corporation, a real estate development and management company operating in Kyushu Prefecture, Japan; the Stitzel-Leppla Company, a high fashion real estate development firm whose principal project was The Pacific Center, San Francisco, CA; C.B.I.S., a technology company offering online employee benefit programs and administration; Trusted Systems Laboratories (operating system security software); and Pantheon Research Corp., a consumer products company. He has raised over $135 million for his various start-up ventures.

Bruce has written extensively on securities law issues, serves on the Editorial Board of Wall Street Lawyer, and is a frequent speaker at both U.S. and European institutional investor conferences, including, recently, conferences of the Union Internationale des Avocats in Frankfurt and Istanbul.

Bruce is the co-author of 11 United States and international patents in electronic commerce technology and commercial product design, including the foundational patent “A Method for Storing and Retrieving Digital Data Transmissions,” U.S. Patent No. 5,659,746, issued on August 19, 1997.

Published Works

•“Stay in the Class or Opt-Out? Institutional Investors Are Increasingly Opting-Out of Securities Class Litigation,” Securities Litigation Report, West LegalWorks, Vol. 3, No. 8, September 2006
•Co-Author with Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Joy A. Kruse, “Selected Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California, Part 2,” Securities Litigation Report, Vol. I, No. 10, pp. 1, 3-9, June 2005
•Co-Author with Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Joy A. Kruse , Selected Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California, Part 1, Securities Litigation Report, Vol. I, No. 9, pp. 1, 3-7, May 2005
•Author, Co-Author of 11 different U.S. and International patents in electronic commerce and commercial product design, including “A Method for Storing and Retrieving Digital Data Transmissions,” United States Patent No. 5,659,746, issue August 19, 1997, 1997
• Securities Powers for Community Banks, California Bankers Association Legislative Journal, 1987


•“Recent Developments in Cross-Border Litigation”, Union Internationale des Avocats, Frankfurt, Germany, Spring meeting, 2010
•“Legal and Economic Aspects of Securities Class and Opt-out Litigation”, Union Internationale des Avocats, Park City, Utah, Winter Meeting, 2010
•“Legal and Global Economic Implications of the U.S. Subprime Lending Crisis”, EPI European Pension Fund Summit, Montreux, Switzerland, May 2, 2008
•“Impact of Spitzer’s Litigation and Attempted Reforms on the Investment Banking and Insurance Industries”, Bar Association of San Francisco, May 19, 2005
•“Basic Principles of Securities Litigation”, Opal Financial Conference, National Public Fund System Legal Conference, Phoenix, AZ, January 14, 2005
•“Betting on the Horse After the Race is Over-In Defense of Mutual Fund Litigation Related to Undisclosed After Hours Order Submission”, American Enterprise Institute, September 30, 2004
•Lecturer, Lending Documentation, Financial Institutions Litigation and similar topics, California Bankers Association General Counsel Seminars, 1993 - 1996
•Lecturer, Real Estate Law and Finance, University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business, 1993 - 1996

Past Employment Positions

•California-licensed Real Estate Broker, 2009 - Present
•FINRA and California-licensed Registered Investment Adviser, 2008 - Present
•Susquehanna Corporation, Chairman, 2006 - Present
•Leppla Capital Management, LLC, Chairman, 2008 - Present
•Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Partner, 2004 - 2008
•Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Counsel, 2002 - 2003
•California Bankers Insurance Services Inc., CEO and President, 1999 - 2001
•Redwood Bank, CEO and President, 1985 - 1998
•Redwood Bank, CFO and General Counsel, 1981 - 1984
•Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, 1980
•Davis Polk & Wardwell, 1976 - 1980

In the News

•February 13, 2018
Bruce Leppla Discusses Role of Investment Funds in Corporate Misconduct at CII Spring 2018 Conference
•April 24, 2017
“Where are the Gatekeepers?” Bruce Leppla to Speak at the Investment Company Institute May 2017 General Members Meeting
•May 10, 2016
Bruce Leppla to Speak at the Investment Company Institute 2016 General Meeting
•April 20, 2015
Bruce Leppla To Speak at 2015 ICI Legal Forum on Investment Funds
•March 11, 2015
Bruce Leppla Speaks at the Investment Company Institute's Annual Mutual Funds Conference

Areas of Practice (1)

  • Securities & Financial Fraud

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
415-956-1000 Ext.3381  Phone
415-956-1008  Fax
University Attended:
Yale University, B.A., Economics, magna cum laude; University of California, Berkeley, M.S., Law and Economics and Quantitative Economics, with honors
Law School Attended:
Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, J.D., Honors: M.G. Reade Scholarship Award
Year of First Admission:
1976, U.S. District Court Central District of California; 2015, U.S. District Court Southern District of New York; 1976, U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit; 1976, U.S. District Court Northern District of California; 1976, U.S. District Court Eastern District of California; 1978, New York; 1976, California; 2006, Colorado

Professional Associations and Memberships

•American Association for Justice
•Bar Association of San Francisco, Barrister's Club
•California Bankers Association, Director, 1993 - 1999 California State Small Business Development Board, 1989 - 1997
•Community Reinvestment Institute, Founding Director, 1989 - 1990
•National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
•New York State Bar Association
•San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Council, 1990 - 1992
•State Bar of California Union Internationale des Avocats, Winter Corporate Governance Seminar, Seminar Chairman, 2012
•University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley Law Alumni, Board of Directors, 1993 - 1996
•Wall Street Lawyer, Member, Editorial Board
•Yale University Alumni Board of Directors, Director, 2001 - 2005
•Yale Whiffenpoofs

Reported Cases:
Representative Cases; AOL Time Warner; Broadcom; Brooks Automation; McKesson; Qwest Communications

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San Francisco, California

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