Barry MacNaughton has spent more than 40 years litigating and resolving significant business and commercial litigation matters for clients in the real estate, construction, manufacturing, technology and environmental sectors in Southern California. He solves clients' problems, litigates their disputes and advocates for them at trial.

Barry understands the impact of disputes and litigation on business—he not only litigates matters once disputes arise, he actively preaches and manages pre-litigation problem resolution and litigation avoidance.

Distinctive among Southern California litigators for his depth of experience and knowledge, Barry has more than three dozen trials or arbitrations to his credit. Areas of significant experience include:

  • Real estate disputes
  • Construction close-out, scope and change order claims
  • Construction defect litigation
  • Purchase and sale disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Inverse condemnation and eminent domain
  • Corporate and LLC governance matters
  • Trade secret and unfair competition litigation
  • Business tort claims
  • Trademark rights
  • Insurance coverage litigation on behalf of policyholders

A co-managing partner of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, Barry has served in that leadership role since the position was created. His more than 10 years on the firm’s Executive Committee includes acting as the primary partner for strategic planning and internal financial management. During his tenure, the firm’s profits have more than doubled and attorney headcount has grown significantly. Barry's breadth of experience helps him not only understand trial and litigation practice and tactics—he also understands how businesses work and how to increase profitability and collaboration in a company and among business teams.

Barry brings both his business and legal acumen to representing clients, many of whom rely on him as a trusted business advisor and sounding board. He works with them in the style of an outside general counsel who provides sound business judgment, and creativity for commercial and legal issues far beyond litigation and dispute resolution.

Barry has received a number of prestigious awards for his substantive work and expertise. He was named Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law by Best Lawyers in 2023 and has been recognized as being among the top litigators in construction lawyers in the United States by Best Lawyers since 2021. He has also been recognized by Super Lawyers since 2021. Ervin Cohen and Jessup LLP has been ranked among the Best Law Firms in the United States by Best Lawyers since 2022, coinciding with the time that Barry and Randall Leff have been acting as co-managing partners for the Firm.

Representative Matters

Represented investors who purchased a Power Center based upon the fraudulent concealment of material facts affecting the financial viability of the center. Barry was completely successful after a six-week trial, which resulted in a more than $34 million collected cash award to his clients, plus a decree that the seller take over all obligations in an underlying $62 million loan, plus attorney’s fees. This result was recently confirmed on appeal in CRCH v. Lakha Properties-Chino Hills, et al.

Represented a distributor terminated by a manufacturer who attempted to disintermediate the market and appropriate the distributor’s business relations. Following a more than two-week trial, Barry achieved a verdict for his client in excess of $2 million, plus attorney’s fees, and a defense verdict on the manufacturer’s crossclaims for alleged contract and trademark violations.

Represented a condominium developer in two separate actions brought by disgruntled investors alleging financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest. Barry achieved defense verdicts validating his client’s actions in their entirety in both actions.

Represented a restaurant developer in a suit brought by a contractor for alleged nonpayment. Barry achieved a settlement whereby the restaurant developer received a significant amount on his crossclaims for construction deficiencies without paying any sums to the contractor on its claims.

Represent a manufacturer of construction components in matters alleging product deficiencies on commercial, large-scale hotel and multifamily residential projects. Barry has successfully resolved those matters without significant payment by that manufacturer. Barry regularly represents manufacturers and resolves claims against them without any significant payment by the manufacturers, which includes achieving defense verdicts at trial.

Represented a contractor and subcontractor in matters alleging nonpayment for work on a large-scale project, including violation of the Prompt Payment Statutes. Barry achieved a settlement resulting in significant payment to the contractor and subcontractor while defeating claims for alleged defective construction.


Represented an aftermarket automobile component manufacturer in a contract, trademark and trade secret action brought by a competitor alleging contract violations and theft of product design. Barry achieved a defense verdict on the competitor’s claims and a recovery on his client’s crossclaims, which resulted in significant financial gain for the client and the eventual bankruptcy of the competitor.

Represented multiple clients in contract disputes involving contract interpretation and performance, resulting in significant victories at trial and settlements which advanced the business purposes of the clients.


Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America, 2022

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2021-2022

Top Litigator in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2019

Top Rated Lawyer, The National Law Journal, 2019, 2021

Leaders in Law Nominee, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2016

Community & Professional

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member

ProVisors (Professional Association of Trusted Advisors) Host and Member



  • Toxic Mold – The Centers for Disease Control Weigh In
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 09.2004
  • How to Survive an Eminent Domain Action
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 08.2003
  • Proper Use of the Lis Pendens – The Best Way to Protect Your Real Property Interests – Part I and II
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 04.2003
  • Specific Performance – The Right Tool for the Right Job
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 03.2003
  • A Facelift For Construction Defect Claims
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 01.2003
  • Toxic Mold – It’s Not the New Asbestos
    Real Estate Reporter, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 11.2002
  • At Last…Environmental Liability Relief for Lenders and Fiduciaries
    Legal Update, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, Winter 1997
  • Lead Paint Disclosure: New Rules & Regulations
    Legal Update, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, Summer 1996
  • Beware: A Trap for the Unwary: Real Estate Construction Contracts
    Legal Update, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, Summer 1991
  • Environmental Damage: Who Will Pay
    Legal Update, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, Spring 1991
  • Attorney’s Guide to Law of Competitive Business Practices
    Antitrust, Chapter 5, Supp., 1985
  • Do Recent Liberalizations in Trade and Currency Regulations Put Japan in the Mainstream of World Commerce or Are They Merely an Illusion?
    Comment, 16 Texas International Law Journal, 1982



J.D., The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, with Honors

B.A., Trinity University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta

Practice Areas


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • 2024 Best Law Firm
  • Best Law Firms 2022
  • Best Lawyers - _Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers 2021 - MacNaughton
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