Photo of Elizabeth S. Balfour

Elizabeth S. Balfour



  • J.D., Harvard University, 1999, cum laude
  • B.A., Yale University, 1996, magna cum laude
  • Served for one year as Law Clerk to the Honorable Marilyn L. Huff, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
Thought Leadership


Elizabeth Balfour is a healthcare lawyer and litigator and works out of the firm's Del Mar Heights (Northern San Diego) office.

Ms. Balfour’s healthcare practice focuses on representing clients in proceedings initiated by the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and other federal and state regulatory agencies. Elizabeth advises hospitals and medical groups in relation to HIPAA, the Stark Law, anti-fraud and abuse compliance, and mandates arising out of the Affordable Care Act. She advises management companies in relation to disputes involving the provision of property and healthcare practice management services. Elizabeth advises public hospitals and public officials on the Brown Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Political Reform Act, California Government Code Section 1090, and other conflict of interest laws.

Ms. Balfour handles securities litigation, including the defense of shareholder derivative suits, actions to rescind mergers, and Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement cases. Ms. Balfour also represents clients in disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, and enforcement of buy-sell agreements. Ms. Balfour assists clients in responding to government investigations. Ms. Balfour represents franchise businesses in contract disputes and reviews by the California Department of Business Oversight and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Ms. Balfour provides guidance to clients in a variety of industries on document retention, insurance coverage, and corporate governance matters.

Ms. Balfour clerked for the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.


  • 2017 Recognized as BTI Client Service All-Star
  • 2016 Recipient of YWCA of San Diego’s TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award
  • AV® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2014 Rated one of the Top Lawyers in Healthcare by San Diego Magazine
  • 2010 Recipient of Lawyers Club of San Diego's "Community Service Award" for exemplary leadership and dedication to serving the under-represented in the San Diego and cross-border communities
  • 2007 Recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association's "Service to the Bar" Award for extraordinary contributions towards the mission of the Bar Association
  • 2005 Recipient of San Diego Metropolitan's "Forty Under 40" Award, which recognizes business and professional leaders in San Diego under the age of 40
  • 2005 Recipient of the Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award for outstanding commitment to working in the community and providing legal services to the indigent
  • 2002 Recipient of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Distinguished Service Award
  • 2002 Recipient of the California Bar Association Wiley Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services


Representative Matters

Representing former officer of a publicly traded company in relation to the Board of Directors Special Litigation Committee’s investigation of allegations in a derivative shareholder suit in Delaware Chancery Court.

Represented a medical group in an investigation initiated by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Justice.

Represented a footwear company in a derivative lawsuit brought by a shareholder alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Obtained a favorable settlement.

Represented national franchisor in litigation filed by franchise group. Obtained complete dismissal of all claims.

Represented software company in federal securities class action against and AOL. Motion to dismiss on behalf of client was granted and resulted in published opinion regarding "secondary liability" under Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act.

Represented a national bank in an action brought by franchisees of a tax preparation service in which plaintiffs asserted unfair business practices and sought to certify a nationwide class. Obtained a complete dismissal of the action before any discovery had occurred.

Represented a private, for-profit, university in an action against a former employee asserting claims against the former employee arising out of the former employee's improper disclosure of confidential information.

Represented a national bank in a lawsuit in which plaintiffs attacked the bank's lending practices and sought to certify a nationwide class of bank customers. Obtained an order dismissing plaintiffs' claims under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Settled the case after limited discovery.

Advised a manufacturer of office technology products in conjunction with products liability claims and reporting to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Represented a national weight loss company in a class action lawsuit alleging unfair business practices and misrepresentation. Defeated motion for class certification and negotiated a class-wide settlement involving minimal payments to the two named plaintiffs and a coupon offer for company product to any other putative class-members.

Represented a for-profit education company and its principal in an investigation of the company's compliance with immigration and tax laws.

Defended a Foundation accused of committing tax violations and successfully opposed the Government's request for a temporary restraining order and appointment of a receiver. Ultimately, the Government withdrew its case and the Court found the Government was required to pay the Foundation's legal fees incurred in opposing the Government's action.

Represented the President of a corporation in an enforcement action brought by the SEC for an alleged Ponzi scheme involving PinnFund mortgage company. Negotiated a settlement of the enforcement action with the SEC that involved working with the court-appointed Receiver and a bankruptcy Trustee.

Represented a provider of international telecommunications services as plaintiff and cross-defendant in federal court, in an action in which the parties sought damages for trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition.

Represented a company whose controller was convicted of embezzling over $1.5 million in both civil and criminal proceedings.

Represented a victim of securities fraud in NASD/FINRA Arbitration proceedings. Case involved unauthorized trading and churning by the broker and failure to supervise by the brokerage firm. After a 5-day arbitration proceeding, reached a settlement with the broker and brokerage firm.

Represented a manufacturer in a products liability case against a materials supplier. As a result of defective products, manufacturer suffered damages of over $13 million, including loss of business. Took critical depositions, after which the case settled on favorable terms for the manufacturer.

Thought Leadership


Eye on Privacy Blog Posts

Corporate & Securities Law Blog Posts

Healthcare Law Blog Posts

San Diego Daily Transcript Articles published in conjunction with special editions on:

  • Top Corporate Counsel in San Diego, September 3, 2008
  • Best Young Attorneys in San Diego, November 21, 2007

Speaking Engagements

  • "Interactive Data Breach Simulation," Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, April 25, 2018
  • "You've Revised Your Arbitration Agreements in Light of AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, Now What?" Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, November 15, 2012
  • "Building Your Network," Law Practice Management and Marketing Section of the San Diego County Bar Association, June 9, 2011
  • "Knock Knock: What to do When the Government Knock on Your Door (and how to prevent it from happening)," Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, December 16, 2010
  • "Privacy Law Perils in California, the Nation, and Beyond: Securing Data Responding to Theft of Data and Other Business Assets, Assessing Your Company's Privacy Policy, Evaluating Risks Presented by Your Employees' Computer Use, and Understanding Government Enforcement Mechanisms," Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter, Mini-MBA Program, November 18, 2008
  • "Effective Negotiating Skills for Women," California Women Lawyers Continuing Legal Education Seminar, April 16, 2008
  • "Responding to the Crisis Situation: Do's and Don'ts, Best Practices for Responding to the Unexpected in the Context of Government Investigations," Annual CAPA Conference, June 23, 2007



  • Board of Directors, Center for Employment Opportunities
  • Advisory Board Member, Genesis International Orphanage Foundation
  • Served on the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association
  • Vice President and Secretary, Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Association (2008 - 2010)
  • Board Member, Legal Aid Society of San Diego (2008 - 2010)
  • Co-Chair, Children at Risk Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association (2004 - 2006)
  • Fundraising Chair, Women's Resource Fair Task Force
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, California Women Lawyers
  • Member, Lawyers Club of San Diego