Practice Areas

Employment Litigation and Counseling

Harris, St. Laurent & Chaudhry represents individuals and teams in employment negotiations and disputes. We specialize in representing financial industry professionals, corporate executives, company founders, and partners in hedge funds, medical practices and other partnerships. The employment practice is led by the firm’sĀ founding partner, Jonathan Harris.

Our primary specialties within employment are:

Compensation and Termination Disputes
We negotiate, litigate and arbitrate compensation and termination disputes for employees and partners including breach of contract (written and oral), bonus disputes, disputes over membership in a partnership or limited liability company, disputes involving claims of discrimination, and termination for alleged cause. We have won substantial awards for clients in FINRA, and have successfully negotiated the resolution of numerous disputes.

Litigation of Restrictive Covenants: Non-Competes and Non-Solicits
New York law allows for reasonable restrictive covenants. We litigate and negotiate for employees against employers, including brokerage firms and other financial institutions, seeking to enforce these covenants. We have an excellent record of success in limiting or voiding these covenants in New York state courts, in bringing counterclaims against the employers, and in resolving these matters through negotiations.

Negotiation of Employment and Severance Agreements
On joining a new company, we counsel employees in the negotiation of employment agreements including stock grants and options, signing bonuses, guarantees, formulas for compensation, provisions relating to the termination for Good Reason and for Cause, and unique aspects of individual arrangements. On departure from a company, we counsel employees on the negotiation of severance agreements and, where necessary, litigate to enforce rights and promises.

Representative Matters

Current and recent employment representations include:

  • Negotiation of a formula based compensation contract for an investment banker with a leading boutique investment banking firm
  • Negotiation of a severance arrangement for a long-time senior executive at a large charitable foundation
  • FINRA arbitration for an investment banker resulting in a $550,000 award in a bonus case
  • FINRA arbitration for an investment banker against a major international bank seeking unpaid bonus compensation and asserting claims for sexual and gender discrimination
  • Successful defense of a financial advisor whose prior employer (a major financial institution) sought to enforce a non-compete clause. On a motion for an injunction, relief was denied at the trial and appellate level and our client was permitted to work for his new firm.
  • Representation of a medical doctor to successfully eliminate a non-compete and separate his practice from his partner.