Thomas H. Bienert, Jr. is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best trial attorneys.  After spending ten years as a federal prosecutor and two years at a national law firm, Tom founded this firm in 2000 and steadily grew it to its current size through the addition of other trial attorneys.  Since starting the firm, he has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts for plaintiffs in civil cases, complete defense verdicts, and numerous non-prosecutions, dismissals, and defense verdicts representing clients in white-collar criminal matters.  In his career, he has served as lead counsel on hundreds of trials and significant evidentiary hearings, including several trials lasting many months, and has the rare honor of being recognized by leading organizations as a top trial attorney in both civil and criminal matters. 

Tom has been AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2002.  He has been a Super Lawyers® honoree every year since 2006, has been selected to the Best Lawyers® list every year since 2009, and has been recognized as one of the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” every year since 2011.  Tom was named Orange County’s “White-Collar Lawyer of the Year” for 2011 by Best Lawyers®, and is recognized repeatedly as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County” by Super Lawyers®.  Tom has been selected among “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®,” has received the Lifetime Achievement Award by “America’s Top 100 Attorneys®,” and has been recognized as one of “America’s Top 100®” Civil Defense Litigators for Southern California.

Tom’s cases have involved a wide variety of criminal and civil subject areas, including business disputes, civil rights violations, class actions, contract disputes, copyright infringement, defense contractor issues, environmental offenses, estate plan litigation, false advertising, fraud in many contexts, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), health-care, money laundering, personal injury, public corruption, securities litigation, trade secret violations, unfair competition, whistleblower actions and wrongful termination. 

As a prosecutor, Tom served as Chief of the Orange County Office of the United States Attorney, Chief of Criminal Complaints in the U.S. Attorney’s Los Angeles Office, and as Associate Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C.  During his decade as a government lawyer, he worked on a number of high-profile matters, including the Independent Counsel investigation of President Clinton, the Orange County bankruptcy, the UCI fertility clinic matter, the Reginald Denny beating case during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the “Operation Big Spender” corruption investigation of L.A. Sheriff’s Department deputies.  Before starting BKLW, Tom worked in the private sector at Irell & Manella.

Tom is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Orange County Bar Judiciary Committee.  He is also a former board member of the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association (“OCBA”), and the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  Tom served as President of the OCBA from 2014-2015.  Tom has also served as a Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. 

Tom attended Tulane University School of Law, where he was an honors graduate, an editor of the Law Review, and a member of the Order of Barristers.  He has also been an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and a frequent lecturer on legal issues.

Representative Matters

  • After successfully litigating summary judgment issues, a $280 million settlement for BKLW’s client in a pharmaceutical industry whistleblower/qui tam action under the False Claims Act. It is the second largest settlement ever in a non-intervened qui tam case.
  • A dismissal of all charges after trial against BKLW’s client, a former employee of a substance abuse treatment facility, charged with second degree murder and dependent adult abuse when a client of the facility died. After a nearly four-week trial, Tom and the BKLW team secured a jury vote of 10-2 in favor of acquittal, which led to the government dismissing the charges not only against Tom’s client but against related co-defendants.
  • A multi-million dollar jury verdict for an electrician injured by an arc flash on an offshore oil platform.
  • A favorable settlement after winning at trial on the issue of whether Tom’s client could collect a several million dollar judgment against a debtor’s purported retirement funds.
  • A dismissal in the middle of trial of all charges against BKLW’s client, the owner and operator of a large farming operation who had been accused of forced labor charges and related felony counts.
  • A favorable resolution shortly before trial for a corporate executive charged with violations of the FCPA, the Travel Act, and conspiracy. Although the client faced over 100 years in prison, the case resolved with an agreed sentence of minimal home confinement.
  • An acquittal after a two month trial for a physician client charged with Medicare fraud.
  • After winning several motions, a dismissal of felony charges against a client accused of pharmaceutical diversion, conspiracy to defraud the FDA, and wire fraud. The case resolved with a one-count misdemeanor and probation.
  • A hung jury in favor of acquittal after a four-month trial on charges that BKLW’s client, an executive of a publicly traded company, had engaged in revenue recognition fraud.
  • A $21 million jury verdict against a major corporation that wrongfully terminated BKLW’s client.

Professional Highlights


  • Selected to the Super Lawyers® list for 2021
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2002
  • Selected to the Super Lawyers® list every year since 2006
  • Selected to the Best Lawyers® list every year since 2009
  • Recognized as one of the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” every year since 2011
  • Named Orange County’s “White-Collar Lawyer of the Year” for 2011 by Best Lawyers®
  • Repeatedly recognized as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County” by Super Lawyers®
  • Selected among “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®”
  • Received the Lifetime Achievement Award by “America’s Top 100 Attorneys®” 
  • Recognized as one of “America’s Top 100®” Civil Defense Litigators for Southern California