• J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law (1993)
  • B.A. in English Literature, University of California at Berkeley (1989)

Bar affiliations & court admissions: 

  • Bar of the State of California (1993)
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of CaliforniaNinth Circuit Court of Appeals

Kathleen Herkenhoff

Of Counsel

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP

1999 Harrison Street
Suite 1560
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: (415) 772-4700

Fax: (415) 772-4707

Kathleen Herkenhoff is a complex litigation attorney, with a practice principally focused on securities and consumer class actions, as well as shareholder derivative actions.  Kathleen’s experience includes employment litigation and data privacy matters.  Over the course of her career, she has played a key role in obtaining more than $1 billion in settlement recoveries for victims of corporate fraud and misconduct. She joined Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP in 2021. 

Kathleen’s law career started at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, where she investigated and litigated securities fraud and insider trading actions.  Her SEC victories include securing a $22 million judgment in a complex offering fraud. 

Following her SEC career, she joined a national class action litigation firm.  During her 12 years at the firm (at which she was a partner from 2002 to 2009), she practiced in all areas of securities class and derivative litigation on behalf of both institutional and individual shareholders.  Kathleen’s work contributed to securing monetary recoveries exceeding $1 billion on litigation involving HealthSouth Corp. ($671 million), AOL Time Warner, Inc. ($618 million), Mattel, Inc. ($122 million), Honeywell International, Inc. ($100 million) and scores of other corporate entities, including large value recoveries in shareholder derivative actions.  Kathleen drafted and negotiated sweeping corporate governance improvements in several of these actions. 

In 2010, Kathleen spearheaded the opening of a California office of a boutique firm with merger & acquisition and shareholder derivative practice groups.  In her role, Kathleen continued to obtain significant victories, including obtaining cutting edge corporate governance reforms to be enacted by various corporate entities.  A sampling of this work includes Kathleen’s role as co-lead counsel in successful shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of Nominal Defendant Diamond Foods, Inc., resulting in more than $10 million in financial consideration for the company, in addition to corporate governance enhancements.  Kathleen also helped to secure the firm’s leadership position in a federal shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of Nominal Defendant Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (“Intuitive”).  The Intuitive shareholder derivative action was thereafter litigated in a combined effort with the state court lead counsel before the Honorable Gerald J. Buchwald of the Superior Court for the State of California, San Mateo County, reaching a pre-trial settlement including $15 million in value recovered for the Company.  Governance enhancements Kathleen has pushed for in various actions have received praise from courts, such as the Honorable Marie S. Weiner of the San Mateo County Superior Court, who commented that the governance improvements in one settlement were “the most detailed and extensive corporate governance changes I’ve seen in a derivative settlement.”  

Kathleen’s work has also included protecting shareholders in appellate court matters.  See e.g. Dennis v. Hart, et al., 724 F.3d 1249 (9th Cir. 2013) (rejecting defendants’ arguments that, among other things, the doctrine of complete preemption conferred federal jurisdiction in the action in view of the inclusion of allegations that defendants’ conduct violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act).  At the time of its issuance, Dennis was considered a significant victory for shareholders seeking more than one forum in which to pursue claims for conduct stemming from Dodd-Frank. 

Immediately prior to joining Kaplan Fox, Kathleen served as a partner in a law firm specializing in employment litigation, as well as in class and shareholder derivative matters.  This experience expanded her practice to include pursuing relief for employees victimized by illegal conduct in the workplace, whether for wage and hour claims, discrimination, harassment or a host of other improper practices.  

Notably, since 2018, Kathleen has served on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, which is profiled on the firm’s webpage.