Managing Principal Message

Moving forward: adaptability and growth define 2021

Paul Chan
Paul S. Chan, Managing Principal

As trial lawyers, we know that agility and adaptability are integral to success both inside and outside the courtroom. In 2021, that principle was put to the test, as we used innovative strategies to adapt to new realities posed by the continuing pandemic. We won trial victories in person in the courtroom – and from conference rooms over Zoom. Though travel was restricted, we provided counsel from our offices in Los Angeles to valued clients throughout the world. And we continued to provide pro bono services to those most in need, including community members targeted by discrimination and hate crimes during the pandemic.

Although court dockets are still backlogged, 2021 proved to be one of Bird Marella’s busiest and most successful years in the courtroom. We prevailed in a highly publicized jury trial against real estate developer Mohamed Hadid concerning his illegally-built hillside mansion in Bel Air. We obtained a $92 million settlement in one of the country’s largest and most high-profile class action suits against social media company TikTok. And in a series of headline-grabbing cases, we helped scores of clients successfully resist a U.S. government seizure of tens of millions of dollars from safety deposit boxes at a private vault facility.

Our firm also continued to grow from within, elevating seven attorneys (four of whom are women or attorneys of color) to principal or counsel positions in 2021 and 2022. We also welcomed six new attorneys to the firm, bolstering our already deep bench.

For forty years, Bird Marella has been committed to delivering the highest level of trial and litigation services. Since our modest beginnings in 1981, we have steadily expanded in size and capability to become recognized by Chambers & Partners as one of the finest litigation firms in California and throughout the United States. We look forward to continuing to serve you and wish you all the best in 2022.


Paul S. Chan
Managing Principal

Founding Principal Message
Terry Bird
Terry W. Bird, Founding Principal

Anniversary celebrations always represent significant milestones, but this year is notable because of its significance in our Firm’s history. 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of Bird Marella.

We sincerely thank all our clients and supporters for choosing to work with us over the last four decades. We are proud that you have entrusted us with your most challenging legal and business issues. You motivate us to keep moving forward.

In 1981, we started as a small group of attorneys looking to create a legal practice that was flexible, adaptable, and laser-focused on our clients’ needs. We succeed because we focus on the big picture, as well as the small details, and we know that the best way to resolve litigation disputes is to be prepared to take the case to trial. We enjoy practicing law and helping our clients with their most difficult problems and have not deviated from that purpose and practice since our founding. Today, our firm has over 40 attorneys who represent four generations of legal excellence and who are privileged to work on some of the most prominent litigation matters in the country.

When we started this Firm, we never imagined we would have this level of success or grow to where we are today. The quality of the people with whom we have worked has been pivotal to our decades-long successes. In a profession which encourages mobility and size at the expense of commitment to culture, we have developed an uncommon bond among our Bird Marella colleagues. This common purpose is reflected in the development of four generations of excelled trial lawyers, a continued commitment to ethics and professionalism, and a dedication to continually supporting each other’s efforts.

Our culture is also built on a commitment to community. Our Team has always been driven to give back to our communities in myriad ways: through pro bono work, by serving on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, and by regularly donating their time and talents to help improve the neighborhoods we live in. Among the many public service organization we support, notable partnerships include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Bet Tzedek, Public Counsel, Inner City Law Center, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), and People Assisting The Homeless (PATH). Our efforts to support access to justice for marginalized groups have resulted in numerous firm honors from the organizations with whom we partner. Most recently, in 2021, the ACLU of Southern California awarded Bird Marella with its Humanitarian Award in recognition of the firm’s pro bono partnership on two COVID-19 class action lawsuits against the administrators at Terminal Island and Lompoc federal prisons.

As we celebrate this milestone, we are focused on the future. We have never rested on our laurels; instead, we will continue to evolve and learn from our past successes and challenges. As new and equally committed generations lead our firm in the future, they will be guided by the firm’s history of commitment to your business goals and your success. We are thankful and honored that you have joined us on this ride.


Terry W. Bird, Vincent J. Marella, Joel E. Boxer, Dorothy Wolpert, A. Howard Matz

Celebrating 40 Years

40 years of litigation excellence

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, join us as we look back on four decades of Bird Marella’s history and explore some of the significant milestones that have helped us become the firm we are today.

Bird Marella Founding Principals
Bird Marella Founding Principals


Bird Marella is founded and immediately embarks on high-profile matters.


A. Howard Matz joins the firm, and it becomes Nutter Bird Marella Boxer Wolpert & Matz.


Copyright Infringement Involving Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back


Bird Marella prevails in North Korean helicopter trial; represents MTA and major law firm.


The firm secures a trial and appellate victory in a unique matter involving priceless pre-Colombian artifacts and the host country’s right to reclaim them in the United States.


Groundbreaking California Supreme Court victory for victims of workplace sexual harassment


Bird Marella establishes its permanent (and current) headquarters in West Los Angeles, leasing the top floor of the Watt Plaza in Century City.


Bird Marella prevails in landmark prosecutorial misconduct case; wins 10-month coverage trial


President Clinton nominates A. Howard Matz to serve as federal district court judge for the Central District of California, and after being unanimously Confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Matz joins the court in 1998


Bird Marella represents pro bono client Lee Robbins in connection with his federal habeas corpus petition before the United States Supreme Court.


Ron Nessim, Mark Drooks, and Gary Lincenberg become name principals; Bird Marella secures precedent-setting modern day slavery settlement.


The firm wins major jury trial for creators of Will & Grace against NBC.


The Firm represents the City of Los Angeles in The Notorious B.I.G. wrongful death lawsuit


Bird Marella represents the Special Litigation Committee of Broadcom Corporation’s Board of Directors in an investigation and litigation of derivative claims relating to allegations of back-dated stock options.


Bird Marella represents the interests of pop star Britney Spears in jury trial


A. Howard Matz re-joins the firm as Senior Counsel.


Bird Marella adds Ekwan Rhow as name principal and the firm becomes Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow


Bird Marella case featured in Pulitzer Prize-nominated book.


The firm successfully defends JM Eagle in $2 billion damages lawsuit brought by the government


Successful defense in largest environmental criminal trial in California history.


Bird Marella celebrates 40 years of legal excellence.


The year at a glance

“They have depth, true leadership and are experienced lawyers that are aggressive and smart.”


Noteworthy winning matters

Gary Lincenberg
Gary S. Lincenberg, Lead Attorney

Bird Marella Secures Multimillion-Dollar Verdict and Demolition Order Against Notorious Developer Mohamed Hadid

Civil Litigation: Real Estate, Fraud, Qui Tam, Civil RICO

Gary S. Lincenberg | Ariel A. Neuman | Shoshana E. Bannett | Elliot C. Harvey Schatmeier

Bird Marella prevailed in the highly-publicized trial against real estate developer Mohamed Hadid regarding his illegally-constructed hillside mansion in Bel Air. After years of hard-fought litigation, Bird Marella obtained an order for demolition of the mansion, successfully defended the order on appeal, won a multimillion-dollar jury verdict, and defeated Hadid’s counterclaim.

Bird Marella successfully argued that the property’s foundation was unstable, unapproved, and non-compliant with city building safety codes. Experts testified that the structure could fail and bring the house down. Hadid’s effort to go on the offensive failed when Bird Marella secured dismissal of his specious extortion counterclaim.

“The Horaceks and Bedrosians were heroes to stand up to Hadid. They helped expose his criminal conduct, and the dangers of what he does in project after project. Despite Hadid spending millions of dollars to fight in court, a criminal court judge found him guilty of crimes, the civil court judge ordered demolition of the entire 30,000 square foot structure and dismissed Hadid’s false counterclaim. A jury then awarded millions of dollars in damages against Hadid and his company.” – Gary S. Lincenberg

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Ekwan Rhow
Ekwan E. Rhow, Lead Attorney

Bird Marella Wins Preliminary Approval of $92M Settlement for TikTok Users in Data Privacy Federal Class Action Suit

Cilvil Litigation: Class Action

Ekwan E. Rhow | Thomas R. Freeman | Marc E. Masters

Bird Marella attorneys Ekwan Rhow, Marc Masters, and Tom Freeman secured a long-awaited $92 million settlement in one of the country’s largest and most high-profile class action suits against social media giant TikTok in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

On October 1, 2021, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee granted preliminary approval of the $92 million class action settlement on behalf of claims brought by TikTok’s users in the United States — many of whom are minors — based on the company wrongfully collecting their biometric information and private data in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, and other consumer and privacy protection laws. Rhow was previously appointed co-lead counsel in the federal class action in September of 2020.

“This settlement is one of the largest ever achieved in a consumer BIPA case, and one of the largest settlements in privacy class action. It serves as a reminder to corporations that privacy is important and that they will be held accountable for violating consumers’ rights.” -Ekwan E. Rhow

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Benjamin Gluck
Benjamin N. Gluck, Lead Attorney

Bird Marella Recovers Tens of Millions of Dollars from the Government in U.S. Private Vaults Debacle

Cilvil Litigation: White Collar

Benjamin N. Gluck | Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk | Naomi S. Solomon

Bird Marella led a successful fight against a U.S. Government seizure of 800 safety deposit boxes from a private vault facility in Beverly Hills. After the Government announced that it would not return any seized property until the owners submitted to a criminal investigation, Bird Marella filed the lead lawsuits that successfully established that the Government could not force claimants to undergo a “criminal audit” to recover their property.

Bird Marella also uncovered the full scope of the Government’s misconduct, which led to the Government’s abandonment of its efforts and the return of tens of millions of dollars to scores of clients, even to those who have remained anonymous.

Judge Klausner ruled quite clearly that the government cannot take a citizen’s property and use it as a hostage to enable the government to investigate that person. Judge Klausner flatly rejected that idea and said that the citizen has no obligation to provide the government any information to help the government in its investigation. -Benjamin N. Gluck

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Additional client victories

Bird Marella Wins Complete Victory in $100M JAMS Arbitration for California Bank

Principal Ekwan Rhow and Of Counsel Kate Shin successfully defended a prominent California based bank in a JAMS arbitration case, defeating $100 million in alleged liabilities. The plaintiffs had alleged various fraud and contract claims and sought compensatory and punitive damages.

Bird Marella Wins Dismissal of FCA Claims Against Leading Wireless Provider

Principals Paul Chan, Benjamin Gluck, and Julia Cherlow achieved a significant victory for mobile virtual network provider TruConnect, the fourth largest and fastest growing wireless Lifeline company in the United States, in a federal False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Bird Marella Secures Mistrial in Defense of Executive

Principals Gary Lincenberg, Ariel Neuman, and Gopi Panchapakesan won a mistrial in a highly publicized federal criminal prosecution against their client, one of the former owners of District Court Judge Brnovich granted the defense’s mistrial motion and found that the prosecutors had presented irrelevant and inflammatory testimony in violation of her prior orders.

Bird Marella Wins Appeal in Dispute Over Ownership of GM Franchise

Principals Paul Chan and Thomas Freeman prevailed on appeal on behalf of the former owner of a General Motors dealership who was sued by the purchaser of his business. The dealership’s new owner sued for damages after assuming day to-day management of the business claiming that it failed because of fraud.

Bird Marella Wins Anti-SLAPP Motion for Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Principals Gary Lincenberg and Thomas Reichert won an anti-SLAPP motion and obtained dismissal of a defamation lawsuit brought by political opponent Joe E. Collins III against Congresswoman Maxine Waters and her campaign committee.

Bird Marella Secures Dismissal of $100M Legal Malpractice Claim Against Am Law 200 Firm

Principals Mark Drooks, Joel Boxer and Sharon Ben-Shahar Mayer secured full dismissal of a legal malpractice claim worth over $100 million against their client, an Am Law 200 firm, in a case filed in the New York Supreme Court.

Bird Marella Prevails in Dispute with DOJ Regarding Subpoena to Los Angeles Angels Involving Tyler Skaggs Death

Bird Marella prevailed in a dispute with the US Department of Justice regarding a subpoena to the firm’s client, the Los Angeles Angels. While the DOJ sought records of Bird Marella’s internal investigation and other material, U.S. District Judge Terry Means for the Northern District of Texas criticized the government for its improper subpoena of the Angels in advance of a trial related to the death of former Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Bird Marella Wins Appellate Ruling Upholding California Trial Court’s Refusal to Enforce Delaware Forum Selection Clauses

Principal Ekwan Rhow and Of Counsel Kate Shin successfully opposed a writ petition filed in the California Court of Appeal, protecting their client’s right to pursue his claims in California notwithstanding the Delaware forum selection clauses contained in the multiple agreements between the parties.