Gilbert Purcell

gil purcell headshotBorn in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, Gil Purcell relocated to California in 1971 when Chevron closed its Midwest offices and his family moved to San Francisco. He attended Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, California where he was Valedictorian of his 1976 class. In 1979 Mr. Purcell attended Pembroke College at Cambridge University, studying International Economics and Courts before returning to UCLA to complete his B.A. in Economics. He studied law at Pepperdine University Law School, clerking for prominent plaintiff firms in Los Angeles and was a founding member of a mid-sized plaintiffs firm with trial lawyers Federico Sayre (former founding partner with legendary trial lawyer Melvin Belli) and Raymond Boucher. He tried his first asbestos case in 1986 before California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George. After achieving a sizeable verdict, and one of the first verdicts against the John Crane Packing Company, he was asked to return to the Bay Area and try asbestos cases for Steve Kazan, founding and senior partner of Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood and Harley, PLC in Oakland.

It was through this trial work that he met current partner, Alan Brayton. Before relocating to the Bay Area, Mr. Purcell tried to verdict the first successful asbestos property damage action in California against W.R. Grace & Co., manufacturer of asbestos–containing spray–applied fireproofing, obtaining the first of several multimillion-dollar verdicts. In that case, Mr. Purcell represented the owners of a 32–story condominium building in downtown Los Angeles and had many current and former Superior Court Judges and prominent attorneys as clients.

Widely regarded as the premiere asbestos trial lawyer – Mr. Purcell has tried, and been more successful in obtaining verdicts for victims of asbestos disease, than any other attorney. His trials span the western United States (Washington, Oregon and Utah) and throughout California (Alameda, Los Angeles, Solano, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Contra Costa counties). In addition to numerous mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis trials, Mr. Purcell tried the very first asbestos-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases in Washington and Oregon, as well as asbestos-related colorectal cancer case in California.



Pepperdine University School of Law

  • J.D. - 1983
  • Law Review: Pepperdine University Law Review

University of California, Los Angeles

  • B.A. - 1980
  • Honors: Alumni Scholar
  • Major: Economics

Pembroke College at Cambridge University

  • Major: International Economics and Courts

Published Works

  • “Rostker v. Goldberg: A Step Backward in Equal Protection, or a Justifiable Affirmation of Congressional Power?”, Pepperdine Law Review, Vol.9, No. 2, p. 441

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney, National Board of Trail Advocacy
  • Certified in Civil Practice Advocacy, National Board of Trial

Professional Associations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Diplomat, 2008 to 2008
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Directors
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Governors
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Member
  • Public Justice, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA), Member
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco, Member, Present
  • Marin County Bar Association, Member, Present

Bar Admission

  • California - 1984
  • District of Columbia - 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004 – 2022
  • Rated AV – Preeminent; Highest Possible Rating by Martindale–Hubbell
  • Attorney of the Year – The Recorder, – 2011
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award – Pepperdine University School of Law, – 2013
  • Commencement Address – Graduation Ceremonies – Pepperdine University School of Law, – 2013
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year Award – Marin Trial Lawyers Association , – 2014
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year Award – San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, – 2015
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California – The National Trial Lawyers Association, 2007 – 2015

Classes & Seminars

  • Speaker, Try Asbestos
  • Lecturer, Substantial Factor Causation in Asbestos Litigation
  • American Lung Association Meetings
  • Lecturer, Trial Practice
  • Featured Speaker, Southern California Trial Lawyers Conference
  • Pepperdine University, 01/29/2016 to 01/29/2016

Current Employment Position

  • Senior Trial Partner

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. . .