Profile

Managing Partner & Experienced Trial Attorney

Leon Ashford has been a trial lawyer for more than 40 years and has been the managing member at Hare Wynn for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Leon has a proven record of consistently obtaining multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements for his clients, their families and their small businesses. With great success in representing clients in complex litigation involving catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death, he has also been called to represent family-owned and closely held businesses in litigation where generations of success were on the line. When the stakes are high, he feels strongly that experienced trial lawyers and a team approach bring success in these cases for his clients.

Leon and his wife, Barbara, have been married for over 40 years. They have three children – David, Ben, and Laura – and four grandchildren – all boys! He is Alabama’s biggest fan, he loves to cook, and is an active member of Canterbury United Methodist Church. Leon has a big heart for others and proudly serves on the Advisory Board of Nick’s Kids Foundation, which is a foundation started by Nick and Terry Saban to promote and support children, family, teacher and student causes in the spirit of faith, giving and community (www.nickskidsfoundation.org).

Education

Born in 1948 and raised in Athens, Alabama, Leon was the first in his family to receive a college education. He attended the University of Alabama on an Athletic Scholarship as a student trainer and earned his undergraduate degree in 1970. That same year, he was lettered by Coach Paul W. Bryant and became a member of the University of Alabama “A” Club. Encouraged by Coach Bryant to attend law school, he then earned his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1973.

  • University of Alabama: B.S., 1970
  • University of Alabama School of Law: J.D., 1973

Notable Work

Notable Work

Leon has remained close to Alabama’s athletic department, representing two former head football coaches and the former women’s gymnastics coach. In 1994, the University administration and Office of General Counsel asked Leon and the firm to represent the faculty athletics representative before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. In the first successful appeal in NCAA history, the good name of the faculty athletics representative was cleared and many of the sanctions against the athletic department were overturned. He has also represented the current head-coach and members of his staff.

Admitted

Admitted

  • Alabama, 1973
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

Affiliations

  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Alabama Bar Association
  • Alabama Law Foundation
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Awards

Leon is now the senior and managing partner in the firm – one of the South’s oldest and most respected. He has obtained dozens of multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients and continues his work today with cases including a variety of senior injuries and wrongful death.

Honored by his peers as a trial lawyer, Leon is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Alabama Law Foundation. He has been included in the Best Lawyers in America® for the past 24 years and in Alabama Super Lawyers since its inception. In 2010, Best Lawyers® named him Birmingham “Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year” and, in 2012, Birmingham “Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation.” More recently, Leon has been recognized by The Birmingham Business Journal as a finalist in the 2017 CEO Awards. Most recently, he was selected for the 2018 Mid-South Super Lawyers® listing for his work as a personal injury attorney.

Leon has been recognized by his peers for his ability, professionalism, and integrity. According to Best Lawyers®, these “Lawyer of the Year” honors reflect the highest level of respect. Since 2008, he has been named one of the top 10 attorneys in the State of Alabama by Super Lawyers magazine and was featured on its cover in 2009.

For many years, he has also been profiled by Chambers USA as a “Tier 1” trial lawyer for personal injury and business litigation. Benchmark Plaintiff includes Leon as a “Litigation Star” in its national ranking of personal injury lawyers. In 2019, he was also chosen as an Alabama 2019 Benchmark State Litigation Stars award winner for his work in general commercial, product liability, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases. And B-Metro Top Flight Attorney Hall of Fame; 2019.

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News

  • Hare Wynn Sweeps Four Legal Categories in Birmingham Magazine's "Top Attorney" Peer Review Poll

    Four Hare Wynn attorneys were recognized in the ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Recognized By Benchmark Litigation

    Hare Wynn has been recognized as a 2019 Highly ... READ MORE

  • Two Hare Wynn Attorneys Recognized As 'Lawyers Of The Year' And 11 Listed Overall In 2019 The Best Lawyers In America© Published By Woodward/White, Inc.

    Hare, Wynn, Newell, and Newton, LLP is pleased to ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Sweeps Five Legal Categories in Birmingham Magazine's "Top Attorney" Peer Review Poll

    Five Hare Wynn attorneys were recognized in the ... READ MORE

  • Leon Ashford Featured In The Birmingham Business Journal's Who's Who In Law

    Leon Ashford, managing partner, was included in ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys Highly Ranked in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

    Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP is pleased to ... READ MORE

  • Eleven Hare Wynn Attorneys Named in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

    Eleven Hare Wynn attorneys were recently listed in ... READ MORE

  • National Law Journal Names Hare Wynn Verdict as Top 100 for 2013

    The National Law Journal recently announced that ... READ MORE

  • Judge Ralph Cook Becomes City Attorney for Birmingham

    Judge Ralph Cook will be leaving Hare Wynn in ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Selected as "Best Law Firm" by U. S. News - Best Lawyers

    Hare Wynn has been selected for inclusion in the ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America© 2014

    Eleven Hare Wynn attorneys have been selected by ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Recognized by Chambers USA

    Hare Wynn was recently recognized in the 2013 ... READ MORE

  • Samples Inducted Into American College of Trial Lawyers

    Hare Wynn Partner, Shay Samples , was recently ... READ MORE

  • Benchmark Litigation Honors for Hare Wynn

    Eight Hare Wynn attorneys have been recognized as ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys in Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ranking

    Twelve attorneys from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton ... READ MORE

  • National Law Journal Selects Hare Wynn as One of Top Plaintiffs' Firms in United States

    Hare Wynn Newell & Newton has been selected to The ... READ MORE

  • Leon Ashford Recognized by Birmingham Business Journal

    Leon Ashford has been recognized in the Birmingham ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn's 2011 Super Lawyers

    Ten attorneys from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton ... READ MORE

  • Meds IV Media Coverage

    Hare Wynn is moving forward with the filing of ... READ MORE

  • Seven Hare Wynn Lawyers Recognized By Their Peers

    Mike Ermert, Scott Powell, Leon Ashford, John ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Lawyers Named as Best Lawyers in America

    Six lawyers from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton were ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Hosts Party for Alabama Young Lawyers Section

    Hare Wynn hosted an afternoon Beach Party for the ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Participates in the Exceptional Foundation Chili Cook-Off

    The Hare Wynn Chili Team served up their unique ... READ MORE

  • Leon Ashford named as the "Birmingham Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigator of the Year" for 2010

    Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected ... READ MORE

  • Three firm attorneys honored in the Benchmark Litigation's Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys for 2009

    Hare Wynn Newell & Newton lawyers were honored in ... READ MORE

Awards & Accolades

  • Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25
    Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25

    Membership in the Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25 is reserved for the top 25 attorneys in the state who best exemplify superior qualifications in the organization’s ranking factors: reputation, leadership, influence, advocacy training, and continuing legal education.

  • ABA
    ABA

    Members of the American Bar Association work to uphold the organization’s mission of “defending liberty and delivering justice.” Attorneys are expected to act in ways that eliminate bias, enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    The American Board of Trial Advocates and its members aim to foster improvement in both the ethical and technical standards of the legal field. Attorneys are held to high standards of integrity, honor, courtesy, and education/training.

  • AV Preeminent
    AV Preeminent

    The Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating™ symbolizes strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Selected attorneys have been evaluated on their professional legal abilities and the services they have to offer.

  • American Society of Legal Advocates
    American Society of Legal Advocates

    Less than 1.5% of attorneys across the nation are selected for membership in the American Society of Legal Advocates. These attorneys have demonstrated proven commitment to their practice and hold themselves to the highest professional standards.

  • The Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America

    The Best Lawyers in America uses a tried and true peer review process to select the top legal talent in America. Lawyers who make the list are recognized as the most sophisticated, transparent, and conscientious in their fields.

  • Best Lawyers 2019 - Lawyer of the Year
    Best Lawyers 2019 - Lawyer of the Year

    For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has used a tested peer review process to select the best lawyer of the year, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • Best Lawyers 2018
    Best Lawyers 2018

    Every year, the Best Lawyers organization publishes a list of best lawyers and best law firms in the state, recognizing those with commendable professional achievements.

  • Americas Top 100 Attorneys
    Americas Top 100 Attorneys

    Only the most qualified and accomplished legal professionals are selected to the prestigious list of American’s Top 100 Attorneys. The organization uses proprietary methodology to select the top 100 attorneys from a given state.

  • American Association for Justice
    American Association for Justice

    The American Association for Justice’s mission is to promote a fair and effective justice system, and that’s exactly what attorneys who are members of the organization work to do.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    This is an invitation-only fellowship consisting of trial lawyers from diverse backgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada. Selected lawyers have demonstrated the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, trial advocacy, integrity, and collegiality.

  • Multi-Million Advocates
    Multi-Million Advocates

    Membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® is limited to only those attorneys who have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. The organization is so prestigious that fewer than 1% of all U.S. lawyers are members.

  • American Judicature Society
    American Judicature Society

    Members of the American Judicature Society aid in the organization’s mission to secure and promote an independent, qualified judiciary, along with a fair system of justice.

  • US News Best Law Firms 2019
    US News Best Law Firms 2019

    Qualitative and quantitative data are used to rate the overall best law firms in the nation. Law firms are rated using a tiering system that compares legal practices in similar metro areas.

  • Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
    Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association

    Members of ATLA are committed to protecting the safety and health of families in Arkansas by increasing consumer protections and preserving people’s right to trial by jury.

  • Benchmark Litigation
    Benchmark Litigation

    We are proud to be included in Benchmark Litigation’s annual publication, which serves as America’s definitive guide to leading litigation firms and lawyers.

  • Alabama Association for Justice
    Alabama Association for Justice

    Attorneys and members of the Alabama Association for Justice work to protect and preserve people’s constitutional right to trial by jury by ensuring that victims of misconduct and/or negligence can hold their wrongdoers accountable.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Fellowship in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers is by invitation-only and involves a carefully crafted vetting process.

  • International Society of Barristers
    International Society of Barristers

    The era’s best advocates are recognized and invited to come together as part of the International Society of Barristers, where they are expected to support common goals of upholding justice and improving legal advocacy, among others.

  • Kentucky Justice Association
    Kentucky Justice Association

    The Kentucky Justice Association and its members act as a voice for consumers, working to protect their health and safety and to preserve their right to trial by jury.

  • Lawdragon 2017
    Lawdragon 2017

    Every year, Lawdragon publishes a guide that lists the nation’s leading lawyers, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
    National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys

    The Academy’s mission to provide advanced educational opportunities helps personal injury attorneys like ourselves ensure our clients are provided with the best representation available.

  • National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts
    National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts

    The National Law Journal is considered to be the nation’s premiere legal source for timely, trusted legal news, and we are proud to have their list of top 100 verdicts.

  • National Trial Lawyers
    National Trial Lawyers

    Membership in the National Trial Lawyers organization is by invitation-only and is reserved for only the most qualified attorneys in their respective fields of practice.

  • Top 40 Under 40
    Top 40 Under 40

    Membership in this exclusive organization is extended only to the top 40 attorneys under the age of 40 in a given geographic location.

  • NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers
    NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers

    The NBLSC offers board certification to trial lawyers and is recognized as the first American Bar Association accredited attorney board certifying agency in the entire world.

  • Phoenix Club of Birmingham
    Phoenix Club of Birmingham

    Young, professional men who are members of the Phoenix Club of Birmingham have the opportunity to support the organization’s mission to impact the direction of the local community’s youth through interaction and fund-raising opportunities.

  • Plaintiffs Steering Committee
    Plaintiffs Steering Committee

    We proudly sit on the plaintiff’s steering committee, where we have the ability to direct multi-district litigation along with other lawyers on the committee.

  • SuperLawyers
    SuperLawyers

    A patented, multiphase selection process is used to choose attorneys for the Super Lawyers® organization. Both peer recognitions and professional achievements are assessed to select the top lawyers in a given state.

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
    Super Lawyers Rising Star

    Only attorneys who are 40 years of age or younger, or those who have been practicing for 10 years or less, can be selected to the prestigious list of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars.

  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers
    Tennessee Trial Lawyers

    All citizens, families, and small businesses should have access to justice, and that is the mission of TTLA. Members of the association are committed to protecting and upholding people’s right to justice and trial by jury.

  • Top Ranked USA Chambers
    Top Ranked USA Chambers

    Through independent research, Chambers assesses a number of criteria to collect information on the top-ranking law firms in the country.

  • Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award
    Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award

    We are honored to have been selected to Arkansas Magazine’s annual pick of the very best lawyers and law firms in the state.

  • National Featured Verdict
    National Featured Verdict

    Only the top verdicts in a given field, and from a given state, are listed here. We are honored that some of our verdicts have made the list.

  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019
    Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019

    For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has used a tested peer review process to select the best lawyer of the year, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • Top Rated Lawyers
    Top Rated Lawyers

    Top-rated lawyers are those who have been identified by Lawyers.com as the most elite in their corresponding fields of practice.

Our Results

More
  • $2,860,000,000 Securities Fraud

    Hare Wynn obtains a $2.86 billion judgment in compensatory damages against Richard M. Scrushy, the largest judgment against an individual in history in any American jurisdiction....More

  • $750,000,000 GMO Rice Contamination

    Hare Wynn represents more than 2,500 rice farmers in a historic $750 million settlement against Bayer Cropscience....More

  • $422,000,000 Whistleblower

    Hare Wynn attorneys Scott Powell and Don McKenna represent one of four whistleblowers who brought False Claims Act suits against Novartis Pharmaceuticals for off-label marketing of Trileptal and paying illegal kickbacks to doctors in ass...More

  • $410,000,000 Qui Tam

    U.S. ex rel. Johnson v. Shell, resulting in the company’s agreement to pay $410 million to resolve claims that it underpaid royalties due for oil produced on federal leases...More

  • $310,000,000 Corporate Fraud

    In 2016, a team of Hare Wynn lawyers, including Scott Powell, John Haley, Bruce McKee, Ralph Cook, Brian Vines, and Tempe Smith secured a $310 million dollar settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of investors who had been defrauded...More

  • $218,000,000 Syngenta GMO Corn

    Scott Powell and three long-time colleagues are responsible for securing a $217.7 million dollar verdict on behalf of a class of more than 7,000 Kansas farmers. This was the first of a number of trials against Syngent....More

  • $133,000,000 Securities Fraud

    This was a shareholder derivative suit on behalf of HealthSouth Corporation. It alleged that UBS Securities knew about Richard Scrushy’s accounting frauds at HealthSouth, yet helped Scrushy to continue to make acquisitions and to c...More

  • $40,250,000 Wrongful Death

    Hare Wynn has obtained a $40.25 million jury verdict in Jefferson County, Alabama, in a case involving the death of Derric Rush, a Hoover resident killed on his way home from Wednesday night service at the church where he worked....More

  • $40,000,000 Whistleblower

    Healthways Inc. will pay $40 million to end a lawsuit alleging the company’s Diabetes Treatment Center of America received kickbacks for paying doctors to send their patients to hospitals that are the unit’s clients....More

  • $37,500,000 Death of a Police Officer

    Hare Wynn lawyers, Matt Minner and Jamie Moncus, obtained a large punitive damages verdict from a Madison County jury in a case involving the death of a Huntsville Police Officer. The family of slain Officer, Daniel Golden, bro...More

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