The leader in workers’ compensation defense law.

Counseling employers and insurance carriers throughout California.

Career Basics

Mark Thorndal followed an unconventional career path. Mark grew up in North Dakota and Montana. After high school, he served as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger based in Fort Lewis, Washington, followed by 15 years of college, grad school and law school. Mark has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since starting grad school at U.C. Berkeley in 1991. He joined Mullen & Filippi in 2019 after 17 years with Hanna Brophy. Mark has practiced workers' compensation defense since 2002, representing insurance companies, self-insured employers, and the California Insurance Guarantee Association.


Mark earned his B.A. in Liberal Arts with Asian Studies Emphasis from the University of Montana in 1991. He attended grad school at the University of California, where he completed his M.A. in Chinese in 1995, and specialized in early vernacular Chinese literature. In 1998, after meeting the woman who would become his wife, Mark dropped out of his Ph.D. program and went to law school. Mark attended the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he served as senior articles editor for Hastings Law Journal, and earned his J.D. in 2001.

Professional Membership

Mark has been an active member of the State Bar of California since 2001, and a certified specialist in workers' compensation law since 2011.

Personal Note

I first fell into the practice of workers' compensation defense with no background in the field and no expectations. I have stayed with it all these years because it continues to interest and challenge me. Each case is factually unique, and the law is constantly evolving.

I enjoy public radio and classical music. My favorite musicians include Glenn Gould, Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter and Arthur Rubinstein--dead white men all. Regarding popular music, if it came out within the last 30 years I probably have never heard it and would not recognize it if I did.