Frederick G. Herold


Frederick G. Herold

Retired Partner

Silicon Valley | 3000 El Camino Real, Five Palo Alto Square, Suite 650, Palo Alto, CA, United States of America 94306-2112
+1 650 813 4930 | +1 650 813 4848


Frederick G. Herold, an experienced litigator and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, has been called upon by major corporations for more than 30 years to litigate complex commercial matters and to help them navigate their way through high-stakes internal and external investigations.

He has successfully litigated matters involving the False Claims Act, shareholder derivative claims, licensing disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, class actions and consumer fraud claims filed in more than 25 state and federal courts. Mr. Herold has obtained successful litigation outcomes and settlements for his clients (both as plaintiffs and defendants) against adversaries including state Attorneys General, the U.S. Department of Justice, the plaintiffs’ class action and securities bars and other major corporations. Mr. Herold has also conducted many significant internal investigations for technology, pharmaceutical, clinical laboratory and media clients, including in matters involving shareholder derivative claims and inquiries from governmental agencies in the United States and abroad. 

Mr. Herold joined Dechert in 1991. In 2003, he moved from the firm’s Philadelphia office to Palo Alto, California to start up the firm’s Silicon Valley office, where he was the Managing Partner until his retirement in 2019. Mr. Herold was ranked as a California "Litigation Star" for 2018 by Benchmark Litigation. In 2013 and 2014, he was named an LMG "Life Sciences Star" and he has been listed as a Northern California "Super Lawyer" numerous times.

From 1987-1991, Mr. Herold served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the Criminal Division, where he routinely tried federal criminal cases to a jury and argued a number of appeals before the Third Circuit. Before that, Mr. Herold clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C. and then practiced for about two years at a major firm. Between 1978 and 1980, Mr. Herold worked in Washington, D.C. as a Legislative Assistant for U. S. Senator Richard S. Schweiker.

  • Microsoft: Mr. Herold was engaged to represent Microsoft in a lawsuit that Microsoft filed against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in August 2014 concerning a license agreement between the two companies, which provided that Samsung would pay Microsoft what amounted to more than US$1 billion in yearly royalties to use Microsoft’s patents in Samsung’s Android-based smartphones and tablets. After the Court agreed with Microsoft that the dispute had to be litigated in U.S. federal court as opposed to arbitrating in Tokyo, and then the district court and the Second Circuit declined Samsung’s request to stay the litigation pending appeal, the matter was settled.
  • Airbnb: In 2016, Mr. Herold and his Dechert team were retained by Airbnb as part of the company’s effort to improve its processes and platform in order to prevent intentional and unintentional discrimination by U.S. Airbnb “hosts” against potential Airbnb “guests” on the basis of the guest’s race, national origin or sexual orientation.
  • Microsoft: Mr. Herold was retained by Microsoft in 2012 to conduct an investigation into the reasons for the company’s admitted failure to provide a “browser choice screen” to certain Windows-based European computers with Internet Explorer set as the default browser. The European Commission considered the failure to be a breach of certain Microsoft “Commitments” that had previously been negotiated in order to resolve competition law claims, and Dechert was retained by Microsoft after the discovery of the failure so that the company could quickly provide the European Commission with a detailed assessment of the relevant facts and circumstances. Mr. Herold has also assisted the company in connection with related securities derivative claims.
  • Jon Corzine: Mr. Herold, along with several Dechert colleagues, represented former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine in a series of lawsuits that followed the collapse of MF Global, for which Mr. Corzine served as CEO, that were filed by government regulators, former customers and MF Global’s bankruptcy trustee.
  • Independent Committee of Hewlett-Packard’s Board: Mr. Herold and the firm were retained by an Independent Committee of HP’s Board (which included the Chairman) to represent the Committee in an investigation of certain shareholder derivative claims and demands concerning the termination of Mark Hurd, HP’s former C.E.O., and the Board’s oversight of FCPA compliance matters and other compliance issues.
  • Quest Diagnostics: Mr. Herold was lead counsel to Quest Diagnostics in a False Claims Act case filed by the California Attorney General in state court in California, in which the State and a qui tam relator sought well in excess of a billion dollars on the basis of allegations that Quest Diagnostics (and many other clinical labs) had failed for 15 years to comply with a state regulation that allegedly required them to provide Medi-Cal with the same low prices for lab tests that they charged other customers in comparable circumstances. Mr. Herold negotiated a settlement that resolved the litigation, and then successfully led his client’s efforts to convince California regulators and legislators that significant Medi-Cal reimbursement reforms were needed.
  • GlaxoSmithKline: For more than ten years, Mr. Herold served as the National Coordinating Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in the nationwide “Average Wholesale Price” litigation and investigations, which involved pharmaceutical price reporting and marketing. In that capacity, he led a team of lawyers through a thicket of legal challenges, including (a) an investigation by, and a favorable settlement with, the U.S. Department of Justice and multiple state Medicaid Fraud units, (b) years of litigation and a groundbreaking settlement of multiple class actions filed by consumers and insurance companies, and (c) the defense of more than 20 consumer fraud cases filed by state Attorneys General, which included a trial and appeal in state court in Alabama (which ultimately resulted in a complete defense victory), a trial in Kentucky (which led to a settlement for a fraction of the client’s potential exposure), and multiple strategic settlements.
  • GlaxoSmithKline: Mr. Herold was lead counsel for GlaxoSmithKline and chair of the joint defense case management committee in Santa Clara County v. Astra USA, Inc, et al., a putative class action against nine pharmaceutical companies challenging the drug prices they provided to county clinics covered by the federal “340B Program.” After several years of litigation in the Northern District of California and two appeals to the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and ultimately issued an 8-0 opinion holding that the case should have been dismissed years ago -- a total victory for the defendants.
  • GlaxoSmithKline: Prior to the announcement of a significant settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from allegations that GlaxoSmithKline had not complied with FDA Good Manufacturing Practice regulations at a plant in Puerto Rico, Mr. Herold negotiated a modest settlement of two consumer class actions that made similar allegations, and then gained court approval of the settlements, despite objections, in federal court in Puerto Rico and in the First Circuit.
  • Mr. Herold has conducted confidential internal investigations and reviews for GlaxoSmithKlineMicrosoft, the audit committee of the Board of Marvell Semiconductors, and other major corporations, and has also represented individuals in connection with government investigations focused on the conduct of their corporate employers.
  • While in Philadelphia, Mr. Herold also represented The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News (in a case that was tried to a state-court jury and settled for nuisance value while the jury was deliberating), ABC, HBO, and Fox in media defamation cases, internal investigations and related matters.
  • Harvard College, A.B., 1978, cum laude
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1983, cum laude, Comment Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review
  • California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Honorable Thomas A. Flannery