Labor and employment
Labor and employment
Alexandra Harwin is the Executive Chair of the Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp, as well as a Partner in the firm’s New York office. Recognized by Bloomberg Law as one of its top 40 under 40 lawyers nationwide and by Law360 as a Rising Star in Employment, Alexandra is known for her legal acumen, strategic thinking, pragmatism, and outstanding results in representing employees.
Alexandra has served as lead or co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in some of the highest-profile discrimination lawsuits in the country, including on behalf of female partners in BigLaw. She was part of the Sanford Heisler Sharp team that litigated the firm’s closely watched, multi-plaintiff gender discrimination lawsuit against Chadbourne & Parke LLP (now part of Norton Rose Fulbright). In one of the first major cases brought to trial and won in the #MeToo era, Alexandra represented a junior faculty member at Columbia University in her sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against the school over the actions of a senior professor, which resulted in a $1.25 million jury verdict. Alexandra is currently lead counsel for plaintiff Graham Chase Robinson in her gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against actor Robert De Niro and his company, Canal Productions.
In addition, Alexandra has successfully overseen major class action litigation, in both discrimination and 401(k) mismanagement matters. Alexandra currently serves as class counsel in a certified ERISA class action against UnitedHealth Group, Inc., representing over 150,000 class members who were invested in underperforming funds through UnitedHealth’s 401(k) plan. With founding partners David Sanford and Jeremy Heisler, Alexandra litigated and reached a $14.25 million settlement on behalf of more than 150 women victimized by disgraced Orthodox Rabbi Bernard Freundel, who for nearly a decade surreptitiously videotaped women in a Jewish ritual bath facility known as a mikvah. She was also co-lead counsel in a gender discrimination and unequal pay class and collective action against the BigPharma company Novartis and its subsidiary Alcon that resulted in an $8 million settlement.
In addition to her ongoing litigation activity, Alexandra maintains an active practice negotiating lucrative settlements for her individual clients, including law firm partners, faculty, students, and staff at leading universities, and executives at pharmaceutical corporations. To date, she has achieved settlements valued in excess of $50 million.
Alexandra’s focus on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation law reflects her longstanding commitment to civil rights and gender-equality issues. As an undergraduate at Harvard, where she was the top-ranked student in her graduating class, she studied gender-based employment discrimination through the disciplines of history and economics. At the Yale Law School, she served as Managing Editor of the School’s Journal of Law and Feminism.
Updated Sep 2023