Charles Field

Charles Field



Charles H. Field is a partner in the San Diego office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville, and Baltimore. He received his J.D. from McGeorge Law School in 1986 and his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Indiana University-Indianapolis in 1977. Mr. Field also completed European legal studies at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg.

Mr. Field is Co-Chair with David Tracey and Grant Morris of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Financial Services Litigation practice. He has been practicing in the securities law area for more than 28 years. His practice focuses on protecting the interests of investors. Having served from 2002 to 2013 as the General Counsel of Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management and its successor, Allianz Global Investors Capital, he brings a combination of private practice experience and a deep knowledge of the laws governing investment advisers, broker-dealers, and commodity trading advisers, which he uses to assess whether a seller has breached a legal obligation and to evaluate whether an aggrieved investor can recover damages. In addition to his General Counsel experience, he has held industry roles as Chief Compliance Officer, FINRA General Securities Principal, General Options Principal, and General Municipal Securities Principal.

Mr. Field understands the daily activities and needs of investors and other market participants. He has been involved in matters related to employee relations, including bonus structures, management of 401(k) plans, wage and hour compliance, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Under the ERISA laws, Mr. Field represents employees challenging their employers’ mishandling of their 401 (k) plans and violation of fiduciary standards related to the plan’s investments. Actions on behalf of investors can be brought against employers for mismanagement of investments and for charging inappropriately high fees.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Mr. Field represents elder victims of financial abuse under state laws, including California Elder Abuse Law. Seniors are often dependent on others to handle their personal and financial affairs and unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to financial advisors who take advantage of a lack of oversight.

Investors, both the most sophisticated and novices, are vulnerable to stockbrokers, investment advisers and financial planners who operate not in the client’s interest, but in their own interest by churning accounts, buying unsuitable investments and charging excessive fees. Mr. Field seeks justice for abused investors, based on decades of experience and his knowledge of the laws in place to protect investors.

Another risk area for investors is the sale of various forms of annuity contracts and universal life schemes — retirement, insurance, and saving products — promising to be the “silver bullet” of investments with unusually high yields and often a cash bonus paid up front. Unfortunately, the real benefit is the commissions paid to the agents and not the dividends paid to the investor. A number of class actions have been filed and settled in this area of continuing the abuse. Sanford Heisler Sharp will analyze your policy and the sales materials and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Mr. Field is licensed to practice in California and Indiana and in the Federal Court of the Southern District of California. He is a member of the San Diego and California Associations and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Society of Compliance Professionals. He is a frequent speaker to business, professional and service groups on a variety of securities law and regulatory topics.

Click here to read an Amicus Brief Mr. Field wrote in support of the new Department of Labor’s Fiduciary rule.


  • J.D. McGeorge Law School 1986
  • B.A. Indiana University-Indianapolis 1977
  • European legal studies the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg
  • California, 1997

Major Cases


The amended complaint alleges Mark Bernier trolled a dating website, exchanging over 29,000 messages with over 3,000 women in a two-year period, to lure unsuspecting women into investing their money in his fraudulent scheme. Read More


The complaint alleges Walgreens failed to remove from its employee retirement plan a suite of ten target retirement date funds that have underperformed their investment benchmarks. Read More


Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP is evaluating whether workers at Linear Technology were victims of mismanagement by the company of their 401(k) plan. Read More


In the fight to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, Sanford Heisler Sharp has obtained a $2.1 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of a San Diego client whose investment nest egg was decimated by an imprudent, high-risk investment strategy that her stockbroker David Barber had recommended. Read More


The complaint alleges the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform their investment benchmarks and other similar collective investment funds. Read More


According to the complaint, Home Depot has selected multiple poorly-performing funds for its 401(k) plan, allowed investment advisers to charge its employees unreasonable fees, and turned a blind eye to a kickback scheme between an investment adviser and the plan’s recordkeeper. Read More


The complaint states the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform compared to other similar collective investment funds. The company also steers these investments to Morgan Stanley’s own poorly performing mutual funds, profiting off employees’ retirement savings. Read More


The Complaint asserts that GE and the Plan violated the Federal Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions and unlawful self-dealing detrimental to the three named plaintiffs individually and as representatives of a class. Read More

If you or someone you care about has been taken advantage of in a securities or other financial transaction, Sanford Heisler Sharp can help right that wrong.

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Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a public interest law firm representing individuals and groups against corporations and governmental entities. The firm also represents individual citizens when a corporation is committing an act of fraud against the U.S. Government. As a private attorney general, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP specializes in employment, Title VII and wage and hour matters; representation of executives and attorneys; qui tam whistleblower cases; consumer fraud; housing discrimination; mass torts; and appellate and complex litigation.

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