Labor & Employment: New York
THE FIRM This well-respected, large-scale team counsels a range of illustrious clients across the entire gamut of labor and employment matters, ranging from overseeing high-stakes wage and hour class actions and ADA cases to advising on the employment issues concerning mergers and transactions. It is particularly renowned for its representation of the major sporting leagues, such as the NFL and the National Basketball Association, securing collective bargaining agreements on behalf of both clients.
Sources say: "The attorneys are pragmatic in their approach, give great legal advice and are very communicative and responsive. We feel that we are a part of a single team."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bettina Plevan is described as "accessible and knowledgeable," and clients "value her judgment immensely." Plevan is renowned for representing law firms in employment disputes and many of her admiring peers have had cause to utilize her skills.
Clients see cochair Paul Salvatore as being "at the top of his profession," adding that "the reason our negotiations went so well was his ability to forge excellent relationships with people." Over the past year he has deftly negotiated a number of collective bargaining agreements for clients.
Howard Ganz comes recommended for his knowledge of employment as it relates to sports law. He has been busy of late representing the National Basketball Association as well as continuing to work with a number of other high-profile sporting clients on issues such as collective bargaining and labor practices.
Kathleen McKenna enjoys an enviable practice representing large performing arts groups and television networks. She has recently defended against several allegations of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, and is described by sources as "a very talented litigator - fantastic to deal with."
The highly regarded Joseph Baumgarten continues to advise companies and individuals on various labor and employment matters, but is particularly singled out as a fine choice for financial institutions facing employment disputes.
"Wonderful lawyer" Allen Fagin is known for successfully defending employers against class actions. He has also litigated on behalf of employers faced with individual plaintiffs alleging breach of contract, discrimination and wrongful discharge.
Elise Bloom enter the rankings after a successful year, acting on behalf of clients including financial institutions on high-stakes matters such as wage and hour class actions. "You'd want her to be your lawyer no matter what the issue was," a satisfied client reports.
Bernard Plum is co-head of the labor management relations group and continues to advise The New York Times, as well as a number of the city's major cultural institutions, including The New York City Ballet, Carnegie Hall and The Museum of Modern Art, on a range of labor and employment matters.
THE FIRM This group continues to develop its presence in the state and its successes in class action defense have attracted a number of Fortune 500 companies; the past year saw the group ward off class certification in an attempted action against its client IBM. Jones Day is also well qualified to provide more traditional labor advice in areas such as whistle blowing and union negotiations. In addition, the group also regularly acts for employers in front of the DOL.
Sources say: "They are extremely good at both major class actions and labor practice charges and they have offices all around the country, making for swift communication."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients admire Willis Goldsmith's approach to difficult cases: "He got a very good result when charges were brought against us by the DOL." His reputation is similarly strong among his peers, who enthuse: "He's a living legend." He continues to represent major clients in national labor disputes.
The "incredibly able" Matthew Lampe has enjoyed a run of success defending wage and hour class actions for Fortune 500 companies, and recently had a case against AstraZeneca dismissed. He is well versed in representing clients in multiple jurisdictions.
"Fantastic litigator" Terri Chase joins her colleagues in the rankings after a busy year, which included defending an insurance company against allegations of business misconduct and age and sex discrimination. As well as litigating in trial courts, she is sought after by clients to handle mediations, arbitrations and appeals.
THE FIRM This team boasts an ever-increasing number of lawyers dedicated to the practice of labor and employment. The group continues to be a leading player in large-scale wage and hour cases and also remains a preeminent name in the financial services market; the past year alone has seen it advise Morgan Stanley, The Bank of New York Mellon and Deutsche Bank, on a variety of employment matters.
Sources say: "The philosophy, core values and method of presentation have never failed us!"
KEY INDIVIDUALS Samuel Shaulson has developed an enviable practice with an emphasis on wage and hour class actions. His peers praise the national scope of his practice and also single him out as a fine choice to handle particularly "cutting-edge, complex work."
Kenneth Turnbull's practice places an emphasis on discrimination cases. Of late he has successfully defended employers against allegations of sex discrimination, wrongful termination and defamation.
Andrew Schaffran heads the team's financial services industry employment law group. He represents numerous major companies in litigation across the country, and most recently achieved a favorable result for his client in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration. "He knows our business, is client-focused and gets good results," an impressed source attests.
THE FIRM This impressive team is well placed to advise clients on the whole gamut of labor and employment matters. The group has an excellent track record in labor relations matters and has substantial experience in litigating individual plaintiff and collective class action cases. It is also an excellent choice for counsel on complex multijurisdictional cases. Bank of America, IBM and Verizon are among its illustrious client list.
Sources say: "A-plus or ten out of ten in the field of employment matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Zachary Fasman is regarded as a leader in this field. As chair of the team, he is known for handling labor negotiations for managers and he recently negotiated a collective bargaining agreement for his client, Agence France-Presse.
Clients are quick to cite Patrick Shea's "piercing intellect" and say: "His strategy and tactics enable us to win trials." He has a wealth of experience advising employers on employment disputes, and is currently representing a client in trade secrets litigation.
Erika Collins is much admired for her leadership of the firm's international employment practice, which involves counseling public and private clients on the labor and employment issues arising from a multijurisdictional presence. She recently provided advice on an acquisition affecting employees in more than a dozen countries.
The "very thoughtful" Allan Bloom specializes in defending employers against claims of wrongful dismissal, breach of contract and unpaid compensation, and enjoys a formidable record of trial success. He recently won summary judgment for a client faced with a damages inquest.
Stephen Sonnenberg is "brilliant on wage and hour litigation" and is currently embroiled in a national wage and hour class action defense for Bank of America.
THE FIRM The class action defense team of this employment practice draws particular admiration from the market, and in a recent highlight it obtained summary judgment of a high-profile nationwide collective action brought against an insurance provider. The firm achieved a similar triumph on behalf of Tribune Company and is also currently defending a major hospital system against a class action alleging wage violations. In addition, the firm is highly sought after to advise on traditional labor matters, such as grievance handling and union avoidance.
Sources say: "They have superior talent coupled with world-class responsiveness, flexibility and business acumen."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very knowledgeable" Marshall Babson is well versed in representing employers before the EEOC and the NLRB, and is also well equipped to advise on OSHA disputes and collective bargaining negotiations. He recently represented Science Applications International in a dispute over union organization.
Clients reserve specific praise for Lorie Almon's listening skills. Her expertise in the class action arena is similarly remarked upon by her peers. This year sees her enter the rankings following a string of good results for clients in the healthcare sector.
THE FIRM The highly regarded labor and employment department of this multifaceted firm works with other practices to provide a streamlined service to its high-profile corporate clients. It has an excellent record on class actions, and the past year has seen its success continue, notably for client Merrill Lynch. The group is also sought after to advise on matters pertaining to whistle-blowing and noncompete issues surrounding high-level executives.
Sources say: "If it's a critical case, we use them! They are really good at difficult things. They have a lot of credibility."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Klein is head of the employment litigation service, and in a recent highlight obtained a dismissal on behalf of Merrill Lynch concerning a pay for actual production class action. "He has a great presence, relates well and we know we're in good hands," an impressed client attests.
Gary Friedman maintains a fine reputation for his strengths in high-profile complex class actions, with peers commenting: "He is commanding and articulate in court - judges respond." Sources also value his ability to "analyze an issue from top to bottom, explaining all the issues and ramifications."
"Great strategist" Allan Dinkoff is well versed in class actions, and is also commonly called upon to handle international cross-border disputes and the negotiation of separation agreements.
THE FIRM This firm's work on corporate whistle-blower claims is seen as a standout strength and it is also well placed to advise in discrimination class actions on a national and international scale. In addition, it comes highly recommended for matters concerning EEOC and trade secrets, and counts Oracle, Facebook and Morgan Stanley among its very distinguished roster of clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "extremely gifted" Michael Delikat presides over the firm's global employment law practice. The past year has seen him make a number of EEOC-related representations and he also successfully represented an employer in an alleged noncompete case.
Jill Rosenberg receives much acclaim for her client-focused approach to matters and maintains a particular focus on traditional labor law. She also has specialist knowledge in whistle-blowing and discrimination matters, and is currently representing a client in an alleged case of unfair termination.
THE FIRM This practice maintains close ties with the firm's litigation group and is well equipped to handle employment-related disputes, such as wage and hour disputes and discrimination actions. It is also highly proficient in negotiating labor contracts and advising on workforce restructuring. Additionally, the team remains an excellent choice of counsel for clients in the financial services sector.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers describe Theodore Rogers as "smart, thorough and creative." He continues to counsel and litigate on behalf of high-profile clients and has recently defended a major bank in a series of arbitrations, which challenged the terms of the bank’s stock award program concerning a workforce of tens of thousands.
THE FIRM Much is made of Bond, Schoeneck & King's labor practice, which involves advising on compliance, union matters, workplace health and safety and general labor relations. The group has extensive experience of issues relating to the FLSA and is also sought after by employers to provide management training programs across a range of topics. Alongside this, it is regularly chosen to provide defense when litigation becomes necessary.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The esteemed Michael Bernstein "is highly regarded for traditional labor work." He continues to represent clients from a variety of sectors, including financial services, construction, healthcare and education.
Louis DiLorenzo is regarded as "a wise, wise choice for union matters" and is noted for his experience in EEOC litigation, NLRB investigations, and collective bargaining and organization. He is well versed in representing clients in jury trials before federal and state courts.
THE FIRM The team at Epstein Becker & Green is well placed to handle litigation arising from whistle-blower disputes, allegations of discrimination and wage and hour class actions. The firm's client list includes such powerhouses as Sumitomo and Deutsche Bank, and it is also well known for representing members of the healthcare sector.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ronald Green has years of experience in labor and employment and is well equipped to handle wage and hour and trade secrets allegations. His practice also extends to international employment law issues.
THE FIRM This boutique enjoys an excellent presence in the state with offices located in Albany, Long Island, New York City and White Plains. It provides counsel to employers on a vast array of specialist areas, including collective bargaining, trade secrets and e-discovery. The team also maintains a strong track record in discrimination and noncompetition matters.
Sources say: "They're experienced and cost-effective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Lauri is managing partner of the New York City office.
THE FIRM This firm represents employees in various areas of labor and employment, including in the protection of civil rights of workers, executives and partners. The past year has seen it successfully act on behalf of clients fighting systematic discrimination in the workplace. In addition, it is well placed to advise on class actions, as well as representing individuals in employment agreements, whistle-blowing and breach of contract issues.
Sources say: "It is a premier plaintiffs' firm in New York City."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Wayne Outten and class action chair Adam Klein are key contacts at the firm.
is founder and managing partner of Curley, Hessinger & Johnsrud LLP and enjoys "a very good reputation for trade secrets work."
In the past year he has represented a number of bodies in labor practice cases. He has also been recently joined at the firm by Christie Del Rey-Cone
. Del Rey-Cone continues to work on contentious employment issues as well as offering guidance on compliance and FLSA matters.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP's Jonathan Sulds
is currently serving as lead counsel in a national class action relating to overtime issues. His expertise spans a variety of matters, including collective bargaining agreements, advising on equal employment legislation and ERISA matters. At the same firm, Jerrold Goldberg
advises on labor issues related to company takeovers, and he is currently defending an employer faced with a wage and hour class action. "He's very quick to respond with great advice - we admire his straightforward attitude and we haven't lost a case yet!"
enthused one impressed client.
is head of Kaye Scholer LLP's labor and alternative dispute resolution practice and is regarded as "a dean of the Bar."
His distinguished career has seen him advise employers on matters such as collective bargaining and employee relations, and he has recently presided over the defense of retaliation cases within the financial services industry.
sits as head of the employment practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and elicits praise for his "totally responsive attitude toward client needs and concerns."
LeBlang represents employers in litigation, as well as offering strategic advice on a comprehensive range of labor issues.
Holland & Knight LLP's Michael Starr
enjoys an excellent reputation among his peers and is currently representing the New York Post in what may become a precedent-setting discrimination matter. Frederick Braid
is also at Holland & Knight, and enjoys a fine reputation for his expertise in traditional labor matters. Clients particularly value his meticulous approach to union negotiations, and he is also seen as a good choice for company restructures, closures, restrictive covenants and OSHA disputes.
at Littler Mendelson, PC continues to provide management with specialist advice on class actions, labor disputes and whistle-blower cases, and is also noted for his international experience of labor and employment matters. "He is absolutely responsive, on top of the legal discussion and very pragmatic - that's exactly what we need,"
remarks one satisfied client.
Since publication, Barbara Hoey
has joined Kelley Drye & Warren LLP from Littler Mendelson. Hoey focuses on issues concerning sexual harassment, disability and wrongful discharge. She has a wealth of trial experience and draws praise from the market for her skillful and tenacious approach to matters.
of Mayer Brown LLP continues to enjoy a thriving labor and employment practice and acts for clients including Goldman Sachs and the Chamber of Commerce of the USA. Davis recently acted as defense counsel in the largest FLSA case ever to receive a defense verdict from a jury.
at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP enters the rankings following a raft of acclaim from sources, and is singled out for his "excellent understanding of business needs."
Hamid has lately focused on restrictive covenant disputes.
is managing partner of the New York branch of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, where he also chairs the employment practice. Kohn continues to deftly defend employers faced with national class actions, and is similarly well equipped to guide them through the process of arbitration. He ticks a number of boxes for clients, who describe him as "very practical, experienced and well connected."
of White & Case LLP is well versed in international employment matters, including assisting clients in drafting global codes of conduct and global collective redundancy policies, and advising on cross-border compensation packages.
of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates draws praise for his ability to handle complex matters and to quickly coordinate cross-border teams in order to efficiently serve clients. Schwartz has recently worked on a number of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations and continues to provide guidance on the employment ramifications of acquisitions.
Vedder Price LLP's Laura Sack
is "an experienced, insightful and efficient counsel."
Sack's practice includes litigating various types of employment law cases and counseling managers on fair standards and training.
is cochair of the litigation and employment practice at Davis & Gilbert LLP and has substantial experience of defending employers in alleged discrimination cases. He is currently advising a client on employee misclassification matters. Sources describe him as an "excellent, strategic litigator who is dedicated to finding solutions." Gregg Brochin
is at the same firm and counsels management on various aspects of employment law, as well as assisting with the drafting of policies and contracts. He represents a number of clients from the advertising and social media spheres and comes recommended for his "extensive technical knowledge of the laws and regulations."
Rubin and Brochin are ably assisted at the firm by new partner Jessica Cortes
. Cortes continues to work on high-profile cases and draws praise from clients for her ability in tricky negotiations. She recently contributed to the successful defense of an employer in a retaliation suit.
of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP continues to focus on trade secrets and unfair competition litigation. Clients appreciate his ability to inspire confidence with his knowledgeable and personable approach to matters.
Highly esteemed Edward Cerasia
of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC provides a range of employment services to clients. The past year has seen him successfully defend JetBlue Airways in an EEOC investigation, a matter he undertook while at his previous firm, Seyfarth Shaw.
Since publication, Amy Traub
has joined Baker & Hostetler LLP from Epstein Becker & Green. Traub is described by sources as "communicative, responsive and pragmatic."
The past year has seen her work on several large wage and hour class actions.
Since publication, Barbara Hoey has joined Kelley Drye & Warren LLP