David Bernstein chairs Debevoise’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. He is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading intellectual property litigators. Mr. Bernstein is ranked in the top tier by Chambers Global and Chambers USA, which notes that “he is always a step ahead of the game,” “his knowledge and expertise as one of the leading trademark practitioners in the US is unmatched” and he is “best in class.” Chambers has also reported that he is “a real litigation rock star,” “the wizard of trademark law and strategy,” and “a luminary in the field.” He is said to provide “high-level strategic thought” and “incredible client service.” Mr. Bernstein is highly regarded for his “encyclopedic knowledge of trademark law as well as the understanding of strategy needed to win big cases.” Clients note he is “excellent on his feet,” “an exceptional, dynamic lawyer and a tenacious litigator” who is “just incredible in terms of strategic planning,” and “a great thinker, strategist, business adviser, and, when necessary, the best litigator out there, bar none.” Mr. Bernstein is recognized by The Legal 500 US, and included in its Hall of Fame, where he is seen as a “superstar” and one of “the best trademark litigators, hands-down,” “exceptionally knowledgeable,” “a brilliant litigator,” and “the dean” of the IP litigation bar. Sources say he is “one of the best, if not “the” best, attorney in advertising litigation and his opinions are thorough, well-reasoned, practical, and trustworthy.” He is also ranked in the top tier in the World Trademark Review 1000, where sources note that he is the “one you turn to when you have a fight you cannot lose” and is undoubtedly one of if not the best trademark lawyer in the country.” The praise he receives from his peers is equally emphatic: “Going up against him is quite an eye-opening experience. He exudes authority and really does live up to his reputation as an all-star litigator.” Managing Intellectual Property magazine has selected Mr. Bernstein as the Outstanding IP Litigator of the Year, The International Trademark Association has awarded Mr. Bernstein the President’s Award, and the International Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers has selected Mr. Bernstein as one of the top ten trademark lawyers in the world.

Mr. Bernstein is active in alternative dispute resolution. He has served as a neutral in ADR proceedings administered by the London Court of International Arbitration, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and the Czech Arbitration Court.

Mr. Bernstein is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, where he teaches Advanced Trademark Law, and at the University of California at Berkeley where he teaches Trademark Practice. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and chapters on intellectual property, as well as the leading treatise on advertising law, The Law of Advertising, Marketing and Promotion.

Mr. Bernstein is Past Counsel to INTA, has served on the Board of Directors, co-chaired the Annual Meeting, and chaired the International Amicus, Programs and Emerging Issues Committees.

Mr. Bernstein joined Debevoise in 1990. He received an A.B. magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1985, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1986, and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1989. He served as law clerk to the Hon. Robert E. Keeton, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, from 1989-1990.

Mr. Bernstein is admitted to the bars of California, Connecticut and New York.


  • Yale Law School, 1989, J.D.
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, 1986, M.S.
  • Princeton University, 1985, A.B.

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • California