Bernard Nash is co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General (AG) Practice, where he represents clients in complex state and federal legal matters. Under Bernie’s leadership, the State AG Practice has become the country’s largest and premier practice devoted to resolving State AG disputes.
Bernie’s work typically involves cases of first impression, matters having public policy implications and/or a governmental interest, and complex litigation. He routinely counsels major private sector clients on a wide range of matters involving state attorneys general and also has represented states in significant policy disputes against other states and the federal government. Representing a variety of Fortune 100 companies in industries such as financial services, telecommunications, technology and software, retail, energy, automotive, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture, Bernie advises clients in navigating and successfully managing AG scrutiny and oversight in investigations, settlements, and litigation. Bernie is the co-editor of Cozen O’Connor’s State AG Report blog, the go-to resource for issues relating to AGs.
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has ranked Bernie in its top-tier bands since 2011 and described him as “the leading practitioner in the country” who has “cornered the market” in representing clients before state attorneys general. The 2016 and 2017 Chambers USA editions noted that Bernie is “the dean of the state attorney general world” and “receives acclaim for his legislative and litigation practice, handling state Attorney General focused public policy and government interest matters. During his tenure, he has acted on an extensive array of Attorney General investigations and litigation matters across the USA, and offers an unparalleled depth of expertise in this area.”
Throughout the course of his career in chairing a state AG practice, Bernie has litigated or favorably settled multiple billion dollar cases and other high-stakes matters involving all 50 states; successfully shepherded multibillion-dollar mergers through the state AG approval process; litigated multiple first amendment cases; and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bernie’s legislative practice has included conceptualization and responsibility for enactment of the Patent Term Restoration Act; legislation authorizing Medicare to pay for the pneumococcal vaccine; federal childhood lead poisoning legislation; the Foreign Patent Licensing Act; the Federal Patent Policy legislation; transgenic farm animal patent issues; a Subchapter M tax issue for a mutual fund; federal escheat legislation for 31 states; preemption of local sales taxes; and federal boxing legislation.
As a former trial attorney and special counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly, Bernie’s government experience provides an additional valuable perspective to his current client work. As counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly from 1971 to 1977, Bernie was responsible for drafting the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act of 1976 and developing and executing the legislative strategy that overcame two filibusters prior to its enactment. Bernie was credited with “mastermind[ing] the strategic efforts while at the same time providing the technical and parliamentary expertise required for passage of” the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, Pub. L. No. 94-435 (1976) (The National Journal, Sept. 25, 1976).
In 2018, Brooklyn Law School presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Bernie Nash, in recognition of Bernie’s pioneering antitrust work and development of the first and most renowned state attorneys general practice.
His previous private practice career includes founding partner of Nash, Railsback & Plesser (1977-1988); and a partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLP (1988-2015).
While in law school, Bernie served as associate editor of the Brooklyn Law Review.