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Gayle M. Athanacio


Executive Summary

Ms. Athanacio co-chairs the firm's Labor & Employment practice group and is a member of the firm's Government Contracts, Construction and Complex Commercial Litigation practice groups.

Professional Qualifications

For more than 30 years, Ms. Athanacio has represented an array of clients in employment matters, government contracts and construction cases, complex commercial litigation, class and representative actions and insurance coverage disputes. 

Ms. Athanacio’s diverse experience includes successfully prosecuting and defending claims for clients in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, and in cases involving public agencies. Representing individuals, national retailers, service providers, contractors and subcontractors on private and public works, Ms. Athanacio has litigated individual, class, collective and representative actions, misappropriation of trade secrets cases, public and private works controversies, and claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Ms. Athanacio regularly provides advice and counseling to entities large and small, focusing on proactive measures to avoid employment and compliance issues and commercial disputes. Additionally, Ms. Athanacio has represented clients in dealing with various government entities including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, California Labor Commission, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, and San Francisco and Los Angeles commissions and agencies. Ms. Athanacio provided much-needed guidance to companies as they grappled with the myriad of issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Athanacio has a Martindale-Hubbell Peer and Judicial Review rating of AV Preeminent Lawyer. She has been recognized by Bay Area Lawyer magazine as one of the area’s best employment law attorneys and is a co-chair of the American Bar Association Public Contract Law Section’s Employment Safety and Labor Committee. 

A skilled writer and communicator, Ms. Athanacio has written and presented on government contractors, COVID-19 and employment issues, as well as class actions, unfair competition law, negotiations and settlement. She has been a presenter for the Legal Advisory Committee of the Associated General Contractors of California, the Practising Law Institute, Bridgeport Legal Education, the ACIC General Counsel and the Northern California Human Resources Association (now


J.D., Hastings College of the Law, University of California
Cum Laude
Hastings Law Journal
American Jurisprudence Award (Civil Procedure & Criminal Law)
Thurston Honor Society

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
History, Political Science

Extern, California Supreme Court
Associate Justice Allen Broussard

Bar Admissions


San Francisco, CA
  • Robert Dollar Building
    311 California Street, 10th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94104-2695
  • Phone: 415.956.2828
  • Fax: 415.956.6457
Washington, DC
  • 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 800
    Washington DC 20005-1227
  • Phone: 202.777.8950
  • Fax: 202.347.8429