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Specializing in Investment and Non-Compete  Litigation


As of January 1, 2023,

we no longer are accepting

new business.






Representing broker-dealers, investment advisors, and, occasionally, individual investors in suits and arbitration proceedings arising from investment losses.



Representing employers and employees, especially in the securities industry, in litigation arising from recruiting activities.



Representing brokers and investment advisors in investigations and enforcement proceedings by regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations.


Representing both software companies and end users in disputes over license compliance, licensing metrics, and software implementation projects.



Representing businesses and their owners in a variety of commercial cases, including disputes over company control and ownership, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, claims of unfair competition, and breach of contract litigation.



Our two partners, Bob Sullwold and Jim Hughes, were raised within 50 miles of each other. Bob grew up rooting for Ohio State and the Cleveland Indians and  went to Yale College.  Jim grew up rooting for Michigan and the Detroit Tigers and went to Harvard College.

Their paths converged at Harvard Law School, from which both graduated magna cum laude, and then at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, which hired them as associates in 1979 and made them partners in 1986.

Their shared desire for a practice that focused on personal service – for their clients – and personal satisfaction – for themselves – led Bob and Jim to form Sullwold & Hughes in 1995.


Sullwold & Hughes offers clients:

  • Experience.  For nearly 40 years our two partners have been trying cases to federal and state judges and juries as well as before arbitration panels appointed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Association and other ADR organizations.  Our of-counsel has taken hundreds of depositions and argued dozens of motions.


  • Expertise.  We are familiar with all aspects of the retail securities business and the laws and regulations pertaining to it.  In addition, we have handled a host of cases brought under federal and state laws governing business conduct toward competitors, customers, and employees.

  • Effectiveness.  We are results-oriented rather than process-driven.  Our approach to a case is to analyze the range of possible outcomes based on the facts and the law and then to devise and implement a strategy that maximizes the chances for success.  The client, whether an individual litigant or in-house counsel, plays an integral role at every step along the way.


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Bob Sullwold was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, the son of two Ohio State University journalism school graduates.  He attended Yale College, majored in American history, and was graduated summa cum laude in 1975.  He spent the next year as a reporter at the Minneapolis Tribune, where he covered the police department and local politics.

Bob then went to Harvard Law School, where he met his future wife and his future law partner, and from which he was graduated magna cum laude in 1979.  Bob began his legal career at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco.  He became a partner in 1986 and left to co-form Sullwold & Hughes in 1995.

Bob has tried cases before federal and state court judges and juries as well as before securities industries and private arbitration panels.  His clients range from national banks to start-up investors.

Tel: 415-290-7614

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Tel: 415-290-7615

Jim Hughes graduated from Harvard College in 1976 and Harvard Law School in 1979, both magna cum laude. Jim splits his litigation practice among investment matters, fiduciary disputes, and commercial actions on behalf of sophisticated clients.


During 16 years of practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, the last nine as partner, Jim handled both securities class actions and disputes between investors and brokerage firms, in trial and appellate courts as well as before arbitration panels. In addition, he served as an acting Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco.


Since co-founding Sullwold & Hughes in 1995, Jim has continued his investment-related practice and has also represented both plaintiffs and defendants in individual and group actions involving duties of trustees, general partners, members of limited liability companies, and ERISA fiduciaries. Venturing beyond the firm’s core investment and fiduciary practice, Jim has handled commercial litigation for clients in the enterprise software, real estate development, new product development, and internet connectivity industries.

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Tel: 510-864-7026

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Jane graduated from Brown University with a degree in political science in 1976.  She then went to Harvard Law School, where she met Bob Sullwold and Jim Hughes.

After graduating from law school in 1979, Jane joined the San Francisco firm then known as McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, and later worked for a litigation boutique formed by two former McCutchen partners.  During her career as a full-time lawyer, Jane specialized in asbestos litigation.  She tried two cases to verdict on her own and second-chaired several other jury trials; took more than 1,000 depositions; and wrote and argued dozens of motions.  As counsel to Sullwold & Hughes, Jane has assisted in discovery and law and motion practice and prepared trial briefs and jury instructions. 

Jane completed two years of service on the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury in June 2018, the second as foreperson.  An avid golfer, she previously chaired the Alameda Golf Commission and is active in local politics.


1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1800

Oakland, CA 94612

Tel:  415-290-7615 (Jim Hughes)

        415-290-7614 (Bob Sullwold)




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