Principal, Mass Torts Section Head
Andy Birchfield manages Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Mass Torts Section, which is recognized as a national leader in pharmaceutical litigation. The section successfully resolved claims for thousands of clients in the Vioxx, Bextra/Celebrex, Baycol, Rezulin, PPA and Ephedra litigations.
Most recently, the Mass Torts Section filed a federal class action against Johnson & Johnson, seeking to hold the company accountable for benzene-tainted sunscreen products.
After graduating cum laude from Samford University in 1988, Andy went on to graduate magna cum laude from Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. Beginning his legal career at a small law firm in Montgomery, Alabama, Andy gained trial experience in both state and federal courts. His practice encompassed a wide range of legal matters including personal injury and civil rights cases.
Andy’s efforts have been indispensable in heading the firm’s Vioxx litigation. In April 2005, he was chosen to co-lead the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the federal Vioxx Litigation Multidistrict Litigation; and he has been lead counsel or co-lead counsel in five Vioxx trials, including one that resulted in a $51 million verdict against Merck.
After joining Beasley Allen in 1996, Andy handled cases involving consumer fraud and commercial litigation. He later proved to be instrumental in developing the Mass Torts Litigation Section in 2000 and was named section head for Mass Torts, which now consists of 11 lawyers and 60 support staff. To date, Andy has been involved in cases resulting in settlements and verdicts totaling in excess of $7.5 billion.
Andy is a member of the American Association for Justice and the Montgomery Trial Lawyers Associations. He has served as president of the Montgomery County Young Lawyers and the Alabama Young Lawyers, as well as numerous task forces and committees of the Alabama State Bar. He has served on the Committee for Character and Fitness, which assesses those attributes with respect to applicants for admission to the Bar.
Andy also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association and is an active member of the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.
Awards and Recognitions
Andy received Beasley Allen’s 2017 Chad Stewart Award. This honor was created in memory of Beasley Allen lawyer Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in April at the very young age of 41. It was created to recognize an attorney who best exemplified Chad’s spirit of service to God, his family and the practice of law in the service of “helping those who need it most.”
In December 2010, Andy was named one of Beasley Allen’s Litigators of the Decade. The award was created to recognize the attorney or attorneys who have demonstrated consistent excellence on behalf of their clients and the firm.
He also has been selected to Midsouth Super Lawyers annually since 2009, Best Lawyers in America annually since 2007, and has been named to the LawDragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, which is the 500 best attorneys across the nation in this category.
Andy was named the Best Lawyers Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” in Montgomery in 2020 and 2022.
A regular speaker at national, regional and state seminars pertaining to mass tort litigation, Andy has been quoted in a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Lawyers Weekly USA, American Lawyer, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and the New York Times. He has also appeared on Sixty Minutes, CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” National Public Radio, CNN and MSNBC. Quotes about him include:
- “The field general for his firm’s mass torts group has marshaled $450 million in wins over Vioxx, Bextra, Rezulin and others.” — Lawdragon, February 2007
- “He’s taken on the makers of many troubled medicines, including Baycol, Clelbrex, ephedra, hormone replacement therapy, Rezulin and Vioxx.” — Lawdragon, March 2006
In addition to his professional duties, Andy is active in the community. He and his family are members of First Baptist Church of Montgomery, where he has served as chairman of the Deacon Board, and chairman of the Prayer Ministry. Currently, he teaches an adult Bible study class, and he is serving as the chairman of the Church Leadership Council.
Andy has also incorporated his faith with his professional life by starting and leading a weekly Bible study and devotional time at the firm. Since its inception in 1997, this weekly devotion has grown from a small gathering of co-workers to a large group of employees, clients and friends. He became a member of Samford University’s Board of Trustees in December 2017 and will serve on the board through 2022.
In 2010, Andy and his wife started an orphan ministry, Children’s Hope, that operates an orphanage, schools and a medical clinic in Jacmel, Haiti.
Andy and his wife, the former Tanya Payne, grew up in Pell City, Alabama. They have five children, two sons (Dow and Will) and three daughters (Beth, Hope and Lena).