Kasowitz Benson Torres

United States (National)

1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
United States (National)

Telephone:+1 (212) 506 1700
Fax:+1 (212) 506 1800

Kasowitz’s Employment Practices and Litigation Group brings a respected and feared presence to the courtroom, the boardroom, and the negotiating table. Our arrival as counsel often generates quick and favorable outcomes, and deters frivolous claims.

Our Group is comprised of trial-seasoned former prosecutors and other talented litigators who leverage their employment litigation know-how and experience to achieve extraordinary results early in cases, or by taking the case through discovery to trial and verdict.  

Our lawyers have experience in all areas of employment litigation and arbitration including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; enforcement and defense of non-competition agreements, confidentiality agreements, and breaches of fiduciary duty; wage and hour issues under the FLSA, New York and California Labor Laws and other statutes; disciplinary matters before FINRA and other regulators; and disputes under executive employment, consulting and severance agreements.

The New York Law Journal
named our group as its 2019 Labor and Employment Litigation Department of the Year.  We are recognized as leaders in employment litigation by Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation and the 2019 Burton Awards recognized Mark Lerner and Jessica Taub Rosenberg for exceptional legal writing for their article “When Sexual Harassment Is Also a Crime,” published by the New York Law Journal.

Work Highlights:

Non-Competition Agreements and Other Restrictive Covenants

  • Northwell Health, one of the largest hospital systems in the U.S., in multiple successful matters relating to restrictive covenants.
  • mGage, a global mobile messaging company, in obtaining a preliminary injunction enforcing restrictive covenants and enjoining former employees from working for a competitor or soliciting employees or client of mGage. 
  • GXO Logistics, in multiple matters enforcing restrictive covenants in the transportation and technology industries. 
  • Douglas Elliman Real Estate, in a successful trial against a former manager and her new competitor firm involving a wrongful scheme to move a dozen agents to the competitor firm. Kasowitz won a $3.8 million jury verdict on behalf of Elliman, including $2.5 million in punitive damages.
  • Triad Life Sciences, an early stage biotechnology company, in a non-competition, non-solicitation and trade secret dispute.
  • Celebrity real estate broker Ryan Serhant – of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing - in his separation from Nest Seekers, his prior employer, and in founding his new independent brokerage and media company, “SERHANT.”

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

  • A manager at Dentons, the international law firm, in defending highly publicized sexual harassment allegations.
  • Easy Spirit and Marc Fisher in defending of allegations that the companies’ websites were not fully accessible to sight-impaired individuals. 
  • The New York Post in defending a race discrimination lawsuit brought by two reporters, resulting in summary judgment dismissing all claims.
  • Quinn Emanuel, the international law firm, and its partners in defense of a claim of national-origin discrimination and retaliation.
  • Godiva, the international chocolate company, in defense of disability discrimination claims alleging inaccessibility of Godiva’s website to sight-impaired individuals.
  • Yellow, the transportation company, in defense of discrimination and retaliation claims.

Private Equity Compensation and Other Disputes 

  • Saw Mill Capital in defense of claims for carried interest and other compensation by a former partner, resulting in a complete victory for Saw Mill Capital after a trial and on appeal.
  • John Brice, former Chief Investment Officer and board member of private equity fund CarVal Investors, in a case against CarVal after it terminated Mr. Brice’s employment and threatened to withhold $230 million in compensation. After winning a preliminary injunction, Kasowitz settled the matter favorably. 
  • Senior Managers of Och-Ziff Capital in their dealings with the company’s founding partners and board of directors.
  • Bregal Partners, in various employment-related matters.

Wage and Hour Litigation

  • Douglas Elliman Real Estate in defeating misclassification claims by a real estate sales agent.
  • Yellow in defeating multiple wage-and-hour class actions in California alleging denial of meal and rest breaks.  
  • Dravier f/k/a DriverDo in defense of a California class action alleging misclassification of workers. 
  • As pro bono counsel, 6 home health aides in prosecuting minimum wage and overtime claims. The case successfully settled, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for our clients.

Contract-related Employment Disputes

  • The Witkoff Group in multiple litigations relating to the termination of certain executives from a hotel-casino development project.
  • Three former executives of a $1 billion public international company in securing a $11.2 million arbitration award against the company. The executives claimed that they were entitled to additional payments associated with their departure. The $11.2 million includes amounts for severance, interest, attorney’s fees and arbitration fees.
  • Elie Tahari, Ltd. in multiple litigations involving contract disputes.
  • Ryan Serhant in a successful defense of a fraud claim relating to NYC property purchases. The decision provides important protection for New York real estate brokers against liability for certain types of statements made during the sales process.

Updated Aug 2023