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Matthew T. Drenan

Matthew T. Drenan


WSG Practice Industries


California, U.S.A.


Matt Drenan is a member of the Labor & Employment, Litigation, and Corporate Practice Groups in the Firm’s San Diego office.  Mr. Drenan represents local, national, and international clients in employment and corporate matters, involving single plaintiff, complex, and class action defense.

Mr. Drenan’s labor & employment practice involves advising, counseling, training, and litigating in areas including wage and hour compliance, class actions, Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) litigation, single plaintiff wage and hour disputes, pay equity, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, religious exemption, executive compensation, federal and state leave law, and other matters of legal compliance.  Mr. Drenan also assists employers in drafting comprehensive employee handbooks, personnel policies, and employment-related agreements to ensure compliance with California and federal law. In addition, he conducts workplace investigations and management training on a wide array of employment law matters.

Mr. Drenan represents both individuals and for profit and nonprofit corporations across a wide variety of industries including maritime, oil & gas, logistics, transportation, construction, agribusiness, California wineries, breweries, technology, banking, food & hospitality, pharmaceutical, health care, education, health clubs, insurance, retail, as well as nonsecular and religious based clients. He practices in state and federal courts, arbitrates and mediates nationally and practices before state and federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).  Mr. Drenan also has significant experience conducting investigations involving sexual harassment, sexual impropriety, sexual abuse, hostile work environment, bullying, fraud, and retaliation in all sectors.

In Mr. Drenan’s corporate practice, he represents businesses, individual members, officers, and directors, both in defense and prosecution of state and federal litigation, including trade secret and employee mobility actions, breach of contract matters, collection actions, foreclosure of mechanic’s liens, and various business torts and commercial disputes involving unfair business practices, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty, among other areas of general corporate litigation and compliance.

As an accomplished maritime attorney, Mr. Drenan also has experience on an international scale, representing multi-national shipping, energy, and oil & gas companies in litigation matters, regulatory compliance, incident investigations, and pollution response.  Mr. Drenan is also adept at business formation and compliance specific to commercial and recreational chartering entities, including vessel documentation and finance, and preparation of charter parties, oil spill response agreements, and various safety protocols for both inspected and uninspected vessels.

Mr. Drenan was named by Best Lawyers to their 2021 & 2022 “Ones to Watch” list for his work in Labor & Employment Law: Management.

Community Activities

  • California Western School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, Director
  • Tulane Maritime Law Journal, Mentor Attorney
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Volunteer Attorney
  • Coronado Chamber of Commerce

Professional Activities

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • California Western School of Law
  • Tulane University Law School
  • Johns Hopkins University
Areas of Practice

Class Actions | Corporate Law | Government, Regulatory & Administrative Law | Labor & Employment | Litigation | Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility


California Labor & Employment Law Update – New Laws to Take Effect in 2021
Buchalter, January 2021

  California employers operate under the most comprehensive Labor Code and legal regime in the Nation.  The past year has challenged employers with unprecedented compliance during a global pandemic, which has already led to an influx of employment litigation.  In addition to managing remote work forces in an ever-evolving regulatory climate, employers in 2021 will also be required to comply with a substantial number of legislative additions taking effect in the New Year...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: San Francisco Moves to Lowest COVID Tier in California, Begins Process of Reopening Non-Essential Offices; Other Bay Area Counties Slower to Follow
Buchalter, November 2020

On October 20, 2020, San Francisco County was upgraded to the “minimal” tier within the California COVID-19 tracking system, meaning it has the fewest restrictions on reopening all businesses as promulgated by the State of California. In order to qualify for the “minimal” tier, a county must have an infection rate of less than one daily new positive COVID case per 100,000 residents and have a positive test rate of less than 2% for two consecutive weeks...

Additional Articles

  • California Labor & Employment Law Update – New Laws to Take Effect in 2021
  • The Ninth Circuit Writes an Obituary For Section 903(c) of the LHWCA in Kealoha v. Director, Office of Workers Compensation Programs
  • Watchdogs of the World: Global Liner Conference Regulators in the Modern Shipping Market and Why the P3 Agreement Failed
  • Breaking Down the Bumbershoot: Energy and Marine Umbrella Policies in the Wake of Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America v. W&T Offshore
  • Captaining the Ship Into Culpability: Barbetta, Franza, and the Efficacy of Imputing Liability to Corporate Shipowners in the Medical Malpractice Context
  • Gone Overboard: Why the Arctic Sunrise Case Signals an Over-Expansion of the Ship-As-A-Unit Concept in the Diplomatic Protection Context

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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