Who We Are

After more than 24 years at two large, national law firms, Paul Berning opened his own practice in the San Francisco Bay Area to continue providing clients with high-quality, sophisticated representation in construction, energy, business and regulatory matters – but at substantially lower rates made possible by a streamlined overhead structure.


Mr. Berning draws on the skills and experience gained at the large law firms to serve clients from his new platform.  As a litigator, he has represented clients in trials, arbitrations, appeals, mediations and administrative proceedings.  He has drafted contracts, advised clients in negotiations and assisted with regulatory compliance.  Mr. Berning has worked with clients of all sizes – from individuals and start-ups to large international corporations.

As a member of the nationally and internationally recognized Construction Law Practice Groups at Thelen LLP and Howrey LLP for more than two decades, Mr. Berning was involved with projects and stakeholders from across the United States and around the world – including the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Ecuador, Uruguay, Dubai, Spain, Japan and South Korea.

He is trained as and has served as an arbitrator and a mediator.


From the earliest days of his practice, Mr. Berning found that working closely with clients to solve their legal problems gave him the most professional satisfaction.  He enjoys learning about their businesses and technologies.  He listens carefully to understand their needs.  He uses his skills to find practical solutions to their problems.

Like clients, Mr. Berning prefers solving problems to litigating disputes.  But, not all disagreements can be resolved – because of the personalities involved, the issues in dispute or the amounts demanded.  For such matters, Mr. Berning has in the past and will continue to litigate vigorously to trial or arbitration.


By using technology and avoiding expensive downtown office space and other high fixed costs, Mr. Berning offers clients lower rates.

Mr. Berning draws on a network of consultants, experts and service providers to aid him on an as-needed basis.  For large matters, he augments his staff and joint ventures with former colleagues with equivalent skills, experience and rate structures.

Mr. Berning’s office is located in Alameda, California, which is just across the Bay from San Francisco and just across the Estuary from Oakland, California. Click here for a map and directions.

Professional Background

Mr. Berning's professional profile provides more information about his education, training, publications, presentations and honors.  The pages linked below provide more information about his experience in particular practice areas.

The California Department of General Services has certified the Law Offices of Paul W. Berning as a small business.

Practice Areas

Mr. Berning will continue to practice in these areas of law: