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Fred W. Alvarez
Of Counsel


(T) +1.650.739.3977
(F) +1.650.739.3900


  • Stanford University (J.D. 1975; B.A. in Economics with honors 1972)

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice LaFel E. Oman, New Mexico Supreme Court (1975-1976)

Government Service

  • Assistant Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor (1987-1989); Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (1984-1987); and Trial Attorney, National Labor Relations Board (1976-1980)

Fred Alvarez, one of the preeminent employment lawyers in the United States, combines a distinct blend of public service with legal profession leadership. He has an active individual and class action litigation practice devoted to defending employers in claims brought by private and governmental parties and by former senior executives. Fred represents clients in a range of industries, including energy, retail, communications, financial services, and technology. He focuses substantial attention on providing strategic and compliance advice, conducting internal investigations, and serving as a court-appointed monitor of class action decrees. He has testified before Congress on several occasions.

Appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate, Fred served in two federal government sub-cabinet positions. As Assistant Secretary of Labor, he managed the Wage and Hour Division and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. He also served as a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He began his career as a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Fred is consistently ranked in legal guides as among the top employment law practitioners representing employers. He is an adviser to the ALI Restatement of Employment Law and has been appointed to serve on judicial-selection committees. He is a former chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, has served on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and is a former president of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Fred chairs the board of governors of Public Advocates Inc. and recently served on the board of trustees of Stanford University.

Areas of Focus

Honors & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America (2007-2016), including 2015 and 2016 Northern California "Lawyer of the Year" in Labor Law — Management

    Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

    One of the "Most Powerful Employment Attorneys," Lawdragon/Human Resource Executive (2012-2016) and "Hall of Fame Inductee" (2017)

    Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School, Labor Law (Spring 2016 and Winter 2018)

    Cited in Chambers USA for his "strong track record," designated in 2018 as 1 of 5 "Senior Statesman" in California


Fred Alvarez