Philip L. Pillsbury Jr.

Philip L. Pillsbury Jr.

Philip L. Pillsbury Jr., Founding Partner

Phone: (415) 433-8000
Fax: (415) 433-4816

Philip L. Pillsbury, Jr. is a veteran trial lawyer with awards, settlements, and verdicts totaling over $500 million. Mr. Pillsbury is driven by a commitment to assist those victimized by insurance companies and serving his community. For more than 30 years, Mr. Pillsbury has focused his practice on representing policyholders in insurance bad faith and insurance coverage matters ranging from commercial general liability, construction defect, builder’s risk and property/business interruption to errors and omissions and maritime insurance. Mr. Pillsbury represents small and large domestic and international companies, and individuals.

Mr. Pillsbury is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been elected a Super Lawyer for every year that peer recognition has been published.

Representative Recent Case Examples

Obtained a $26.5 million verdict in Vann v. The Travelers, including $25 million in punitive damages. This verdict was one of the largest punitive damage awards in the country to be affirmed on appeal.

Represented hotel owner on claims under property policies for severe water damage to hotel resulting from construction defects; recovered millions of dollars from property insurers through long-term negotiations without the necessity of a first-party action.

Recovered full value of settlement paid by large corporation to resolve maritime asbestos claim after successfully defeating insurer ‘s summary judgment; recovered a majority of attorney ‘s fees paid by our client to obtain benefits.

Secured more than $400 million in insurance proceeds for a national manufacturer facing more than 50,000 asbestos lawsuits.

Resolved legal malpractice suit against law firm client after insurer rescinded policy by convincing the insurance company to contribute significantly toward a settlement and persuading the insurance company to withdraw its rescission.

Successfully negotiated a multimillion-dollar settlement of a technology errors and omissions claim against a national insurance company.

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Construction Defect
  • Builder’s Risk
  • Property/business Interruption to Errors and Omission
  • Maritime Insurance


  • Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law, Portland, Oregon
    • J.D. cum laude – 1976
    • Honors: Inducted into the Cornelius Honor Society (1976)
    • Law Review: Environmental Law Review, Editor, 1974 – 1976
  • Middlebury College
    • A.B. – 1973

Published Works

  • Representing Policyholders in Insurance Cases: Leading Lawyers on Educating Clients About Insurance Contracts and Navigating Different Types of Disputes (Inside the Minds), 2012
  • California Property Insurance: Law & Litigation, Sections author, Continuing Education of the Bar, Projected Publication Date 2010
  • California Liability Insurance Litigation Practice, Claims & Litigation Section author, Continuing Education of the Bar (1990)
  • Negotiation and Settlement of Claims, co-author, Bancroft Whitney (1990)
  • Negotiation and Settlement, Section author, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company (1992)
  • Civil Litigation Practice – Annual Updates, Continuing Education of the Bar (1996-1998)
  • Depositions of Expert Witnesses and Handling Trial Objections, co-author, Continuing Education of the Bar Series (1985)
  • Marine Insurance II: From Generalities to Specifics Analysis of Extra Contractual Exposure in Specific Claims Situations, contributor, Pacific Admiralty Seminar (1990)
  • California Tort Damages, consultant, Continuing Education of the Bar (1988)
  • Handling Trial Objections, contributor, Continuing Education of the Bar (1988)
  • Compelling, Opposing and Enforcing Discovery in State Court, contributor, Continuing Education of the Bar (1985)


  • “Electronic Errors and Omissions” Technology Group Summit (May 2000)
  • Issues in Technology Errors and Omissions Claims Technology Industry Risk Forum (January 2007)
  • Dialogue With Industry: Making the Technology E&O Claim Technology Industry Risk Forum (February 2008)

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyer

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • American Association for Justice
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

Pro Bono Activities

  • Board of Visitors, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College (1995-2010)
  • Trustee, The Thacher School (2007-Present)
  • Board and Council Member, The Yosemite Fund (2008-Present)
  • Trustee, Darby Betts Fund (2001-2009)
  • Trustee, Brotherton Fund (2004-2009)
  • Trustee, Episcopal Charities (2003-2008)
  • Director, St. Luke ‘s Hospital (1989-2003)
  • Director, Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation (1991-2001)
  • Vice-Chair, Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation (1991-1999)
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, St. Luke ‘s Hospital Foundation (1988-1991)
  • Chairman, Board, St. Luke ‘s Hospital (1991-2001)

Best Lawyers | Lawyer of The Year | Philip L. Pillsbury, Jr. | Insurance Law | San Francisco, CA | 2020