Seyfarth Shaw LLP announces the addition of Gary D. Friedman, a nationally recognized leader in the area of labor and employment law, to help launch a new cross-practice advisory group at the nexus of labor and employment law and complex commercial litigation. Friedman, who joins the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, will be a partner and member of Seyfarth’s national labor and employment department leadership team and is based in New York.
“We are seeing a significant increase in demand for our employment-related commercial litigation work,” said Lorie Almon, Seyfarth’s managing partner and chair. “In looking at strategic options for better addressing our clients’ needs, we decided to form an advisory group of labor and employment leaders to guide these efforts. Gary’s talent and legal pedigree made him a natural choice to help lead this group, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Seyfarth.”
The former head of Weil’s employment litigation practice group, Friedman is a first-chair trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience representing employers in bet-the-company class actions, restrictive covenant disputes, internal investigations, and other complex employment and commercial litigation and arbitration matters.
His practice includes representing employers in a wide cross section of industries, including technology, financial services, entertainment, defense contracting, insurance, retail, pharmaceuticals, and private equity, among others. Friedman has represented those companies in all areas of labor and employment law with particular expertise in defending them across industry sectors in employment discrimination and wage and hour class actions, including some of the largest and most complex cases ever filed. He also has extensive experience litigating restrictive covenants and trade secrets matters and has a robust arbitration practice. Friedman also is frequently retained by public and private companies to conduct or advise on sensitive internal investigations and regularly advises companies and their boards of directors on these matters. For more than 20 years, he has been consistently recognized by Chambers USA and others as one of the nation’s top employment lawyers.
“Gary is a brilliant lawyer and a proven leader who will unquestionably strengthen our ability to provide our clients with the elite level service they deserve,” said Laura Maechtlen, chair of Seyfarth’s national labor and employment department. “In addition, our clients are looking more and more closely at talent and board level labor and employment issues, and few are better at those issues than Gary.”
Friedman has written and lectured extensively on numerous employment-related topics and has been invited to testify before legislators and government agencies as an expert on topics including artificial intelligence, workplace harassment and discrimination, non-disclosure agreements, background checks, and wage deductions. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Duke University.
“I am thrilled to be joining the national labor and employment leadership team. I have long admired Seyfarth’s high stakes commercial litigation and labor and employment practices. The firm’s strategic thinking in forming this interdisciplinary, bet-the-company litigation group, along with the level of sophistication it consistently demonstrates in handling client matters, were very attractive to me and primary drivers of my decision to join the firm,” said Friedman. “Seyfarth also has the kind of deep expertise needed to provide unique client crisis management services. This is a skillset that few firms possess, and I am excited to join such a talented group.”
Friedman’s addition continues the growth of the firm’s New York office, which has grown by almost 25 percent in the past three years and is now nearly as large as Chicago, the firm’s largest office.
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