Hugh Cook

I have played a pivotal role in the litigation and trials of numerous mesothelioma and asbestos-related injury cases, culminating in countless multimillion-dollar recoveries for our clients and their families. My expertise and dedication have consistently yielded favorable outcomes, providing vital compensation to those affected by the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure.

I come from a family of attorneys and newspapermen. Due to a family legacy steeped in law and journalism, I decided to dedicate my career to advocating for truth and justice.  

My paternal grandfather was one of five brothers who grew up in the Central Valley of California. All four of my grandfather’s brothers, followed their father, into the law, while my grandfather was drawn to the newspaper industry. My father followed in my grandfather’s footsteps, both of whom worked for the Hearst Corporation as reporters and eventually managing editors at both the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. As a reporter, my father covered the courts and was awarded a law school fellowship at Yale University where he studied under United States Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork. During my time in New Haven, Connecticut my father would come home filled with excitement about what he was learning and that excitement rubbed off on me even at that early age. I was always fascinated by the stories my uncles, who were judges and District Attorneys from the Central Valley through the Sierras, would tell during family get-togethers. One of my uncles was the sole judge in Markleeville, the county seat of Alpine County, California.  I remember sitting in his courtroom being enthralled by the activity and stories being told by the attorneys in the courtroom.  I went to law school with the intention of following in his footsteps and eventually becoming a judge. During school I interned with the Marin County District Attorney’s Office during law school, and I intended to prosecute crime as a District Attorney upon graduation.

I worked full-time for four years during law school to put myself through night school in San Francisco. By the time I graduated from law school, my wife was already establishing her career in Marin County as an Estate Planning attorney and I needed to find a position in the Bay Area.  When I got the opportunity to work for Brayton Purcell in Novato, California I was thrilled to be able to remain in Marin County but also to aggressively litigate cases involving workplace injuries on behalf of the men and women who helped build and defend our country.  

Our clients are people who just wanted to support their families and help protect their country and were unknowingly exposed to deadly toxins through their work. From very early on the asbestos industry knew about the deadliness of asbestos, yet continued to manufacture and supply products for use in a multitude of industries, without any regard to the health and welfare of the end users. As I learned more about the insidiousness of the asbestos industry, I knew I made the right choice in joining the Brayton Purcell team and became even more driven to help our clients and their families receive the compensation that the asbestos industry owes to them.

For the last few decades, I've been privileged to journey across the nation, visiting families in their homes to guide them on their legal rights against corporations that ignored established scientific and medical evidence concerning the dangers of asbestos, all in pursuit of profit. Aware that these families reach out to us during some of their most challenging times, my approach is one of empathy and support. My aim isn't just to familiarize our clients with the legal procedures but, above all, to foster trust in our team.  As trust continues to grow, my team and I often find ourselves being regarded as integral members of our clients' families. There is no greater compliment.

I also manage the Investigations Department at the firm. My skilled team of investigators are dedicated to uncovering crucial evidence to establish liability and exposure for our clients through client and coworker interviews and research of corporations. One of the greatest tools I have to help our clients is a job site, coworker, and product identification database that we have built over the past 40 plus years, through summary of interviews, depositions, and documents obtained in prior litigation. This tool allows me to pinpoint potential exposures that my clients may have endured many years earlier at job sites around the nation and ships. 

I came to work in asbestos litigation through a somewhat circuitous route, but I have dedicated my career to helping the amazing men and women I am proud to know as our clients.  There is no greater satisfaction than holding corporations accountable and securing justice for those whose lives have been shattered by corporate greed and negligence.  That satisfaction is tempered by the tragic loss of our clients, which only serves to fuel my motivation to continue to help our injured clients and hold the entire asbestos industry accountable for their greed.

I live in Sonoma County where my wife and I have raised three boys, all of whom are in college. I was born in San Francisco, grew up in Marin County, and have been a part of the northern California community all of my life. During my spare time I enjoy volunteering with local youth sports, hiking, golfing, and cheering on the Oregon Ducks, SF Giants, Warriors, and 49ers.


San Francisco Law School, San Francisco, California

  • J.D. – 1999

University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California

  • B.A. - 1993
  • Major: English
  • Minor: Political Science

Professional Associations

  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • Public Justice, Member
  • Marin County Bar Association, Member, Present

Bar Admission

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Current Employment Position

  • Managing Attorney

What Our Clients Say

  • Brayton Purcell has done a lot of work for me and I appreciate very much what you’ve done, what everyone has done…Thank you very, very much and I appreciate everything that has been done.
  • I just wanted to thank you so very much for all the work that you’ve done for us. This has allowed me to help my daughter an awful lot…This allowed me to buy her her first home, also put away a savings bond and started a little annuity for her. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this had you not worked so hard to get the monies that you did. I just want to let you know I really appreciate it.
  • On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude for the way your firm handled my late husband’s case. Everyone that I dealt with was courteous, patient, and prompt in responding to my questions and concerns. Thank you very much for the excellent job, and most of all for your support during the process. Your guidance and the resolution to our case has brought closure to a difficult chapter in my life.
  • When The Brayton-Purcell Firm took my case I had almost given up hope of ever getting before a jury. I had a difficult and long standing case and had already been with two firms. Brayton-Purcell attorney Jason Rose worked closely with me, keeping me updated and giving me access to him which gave me a feeling of having someone truly on my side; a feeling that they were putting their whole effort into my case. Just getting this case a court date was an amazing feat. When we went to trial I met Gil Purcell and watched these two work professionally against great odds. They knew what they were doing, knew how to adapt to issues as they came up and all the while helped me hold up. We received a terrific verdict and are now in the appeal process. I have confidence that the Brayton-Purcell appellate team will be as competent and compassionate for me as my trial team was. Coming together with this firm has brought me a sense of confidence and peace that I wasn’t sure I was going to get a chance to feel.
  • I’d like to thank Brayton & Purcell for all the work your firm has done for me. I have asbestosis and without Brayton Purcell representing me the likelihood of getting compensated by asbestos manufacturers and the material suppliers of asbestos products would be zero. The law partners who run the show already know this, but I am going to write it down anyway. Every contact I had with anyone at Brayton Purcell LLP be it phone, fax, email and or personally, I’ve been treated courteously and promptly by your great employees.
  • From my first contact with your firm, I have been treated with respect, compassion, and in a most professional manner. …Nothing will ever take away this pain of loss but the settlement will help provide since I have health problems and am unable to work.
  • Your work has allowed us to continue to live our lives without fear of financial ruin and to be able to plan a future. . .
  • . . .Thank you for all you have done for me and for Bill before he died. You have been so caring. . .