Neil J Wertlieb

Lecturer in Law

  • B.S. Berkeley, 1980
  • J.D. Berkeley, 1984

Neil J Wertlieb teaches Life Cycle of a Business: From Start Up to Sale. Mr. Wertlieb has taught a version of this course as a faculty member at UCLA Law since 2002. He is an experienced transactional lawyer who provides expert witness services in litigation and arbitration matters. He has served as an expert witness in dozens of litigated disputes, relating primarily to either business transactions, corporate governance and fiduciary duties, or attorney ethics and attorney standard of care.

Mr. Wertlieb has practiced transactional law for over three decades, most recently as a Partner at the law firm of Milbank LLP (formerly known as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP), where his practice focused primarily on acquisitions, securities offerings and restructurings. He has represented clients in a wide variety of business matters, including formation and early round financings, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, international securities offerings and other international transactions, fund formations, joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability companies, reorganizations and restructurings, independent investigations and general corporate and contractual matters.

Mr. Wertlieb is a former Chair of both the California State Bar’s Business Law Section and its Corporations Committee. He is the general editor of the legal treatise Ballantine & Sterling: California Corporation Laws. He has been recognized by in The Legal 500 for his M&A work and was recognized by California Law Business as one of the top 100 most influential lawyers in California.

In addition, Mr. Wertlieb is a Founding Member and Inaugural Co-Chair of the Ethics Committee of the California Lawyers Association, and a former Chair of the Ethics Committees of the California State Bar and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He also serves as Senior Advisor, Milbank@Harvard, at the Harvard Law School Executive Education, and served as a Judicial Extern for Justice Stanley Mosk on the California Supreme Court.

Mr. Wertlieb received his law degree in 1984 from the UC Berkeley School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Management Science from the School of Business Administration also at the University of California at Berkeley. He is admitted to practice in California, New York and Washington, D.C.

For more information, please refer to Neil Wertlieb's profile on his firm's website:


  • Books
    • Litigating and Judging Business Entity Governance Disputes in California. LexisNexis/Matthew Bender Publisher (2019-Present). Contributing Author and Editor.
    • Lexis Practice Advisor: Ethics For In-House Counsel, Contributing Author (2015-present).
    • Ballantine & Sterling: California Corporation Laws. LexisNexis (2012-present). General Editor.
    • Lifecycle of a Business. Course Reader (2002-present).
  • Articles
    • Sometimes You Need an Expert Witness, California Lawyers Association eNews (October 2020).
    • The New Ethics Committee of the California Lawyers Association: An Active First Year!, 26(3) California Trusts and Estates Quarterly (2020).
    • Attorneys and Cannabis Clients: Know Your Risks, 16(2) American Bar Association Expert Witnesses (Summer 2020).
    • Legal Ethics and the Coronavirus, California Lawyers Association eNews (April 2020).
    • Consensual Sexual Relations With Clients? No. Not Ever. Not Even On Valentine’s Day!, California Lawyers Association eNews (February 2020). LACBA Update (February/March 2020
    • Advance Fee Deposits and Your Client Trust Account, California Lawyers Association eNews (December 2019).
    • The Importance of Knowing Who Is, and Who Is Not, Your Client, 37(4) California Real Property Journal (2019). Also published in Business Law News (Issue 3, 2019).
    • The Importance of Knowing Who Is, and Who Is Not, My Client, California Lawyers Association eNews (September 2019).
    • Cannabis Clients – High Times, or Buzz Kill?, LACBA Update (August 2019).
    • Warning: New Rules of Professional Conduct Are Here & They Apply to You!, California Young Lawyers Association eNews (Spring 2019).
    • An Update: Rules of Professional Conduct, The Practioner (Summer 2018).
    • New Rules: The Entirely New Rules, Daily Journal (June 1, 2018). Part 3 of a 3-part series.
    • New Rules of Conduct: The Uncontroversial, But Important, Daily Journal (May 25, 2018). Part 2 of a 3-part series.
    • New Rules of Conduct: The Disruptive and Controversial, Daily Journal (May 18, 2018). Part 1 of a 3-part series.
    • Proposed New Ethics Rules, and Their Impact on Solo Practitioners, The Practitioner (Spring 2018).
    • The Proposed Rules of Professional Conduct, Business Law News (2018).
    • Proposed New Ethics Rules: What You Need to Know, Family Law News (2018).
    • Best Behavior: Proposed Conduct Rules, Los Angeles Lawyer (Nov. 2017).
    • Ethics Issues in the Use of Expert Witnesses, The Professional Lawyer (2017).
    • Special Coverage – Proposed Rules of Professional Conduct: Lawyer as Third-Party Neutral (Rule 2.4), Daily Journal (Sept. 11, 2017).
    • Special Coverage – Proposed Rules of Professional Conduct: Organization as Client (Rule 1.13), Daily Journal (April 24, 2017).
    • What Transactional Lawyers Should Know About Conflicts of Interest (with Nancy T. Avedissian), 2016(1) Business Law News (2016).
    • The No Contact Rule Actually DOES Apply to Transactional Lawyers (with Nancy T. Avedissian), 2015(4) Business Law News (2015).
    • The Rules of Professional Conduct DO Apply to In-House Lawyers (with Adam S. Bloom), 2015(3) Business Law News (2015).
    • Ethical Issues for the In-House Transactional Lawyer (with Adam S. Bloom), 2010(2) Business Law News (2010).
    • Addressing Conflicts of Interest in a Transactional Practice (with Nancy T. Avedissian), 2008(4) Business Law News (2008).
    • Ex Parte Communications in a Transactional Practice (with Nancy T. Avedissian), 2009(1) Business Law News (2009).
    • Hostage Situation: Holders of Preferred Stock Can Become the Victims of Legal Blackmail by Common Stockholders When an Early-Stage Firm Fails - Unless They Take a Simple Step Up Front, The Deal (2004).