Jeffrey S. Kleinof counsel (646) 398-5071 firstname.lastname@example.org Download Vcard
Mr. Klein focuses his practice on complex employment disputes, trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes, and sports law. He regularly collaborates with leading companies and well-known sports figures to craft strategies that address their most challenging business and legal issues. He also counsels corporate Boards of Directors, Special Committees and senior executives of public companies with respect to internal investigations and sensitive human resources and corporate governance matters.
Prior to joining CGR, Mr. Klein retired as a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he led the Employment Litigation Practice Group for 25 years and also served as Co-Head of the Complex Commercial Litigation practice. He is a nationally and internationally recognized counsellor, collecting accolades such as the elite Band 1 rating in both Chambers Global and Chambers USA, Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” Human Resource Executive’s “100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys,” and Benchmark Litigation’s 2019 Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year. Mr. Klein was designated as a “Legend” by Lawdragon in 2018 and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2022. Mr. Klein also provides sports and management consulting services for Klein Advisors, LLC.
Columbia Law School, J.D., 1981
Amherst College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1978
Voided a predatory agreement that did not comply with statutory requirements between NBA number 1 draft pick Zion Williamson and a marketing agent.
Represented many prominent sports figures, including University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, Major League Baseball Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Joe Torre, National League MVP and all-star second baseman Jeff Kent, former Texas Rangers Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg, the University of Notre Dame, seven-time MLB MVP and all-time leading home run hitter Barry Bonds, women’s basketball legend and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, former Washington Wizards' President Ernie Grunfeld, and corporate clients including Under Armour, Hasbro, CAA Sports, the YES Network, and the Nicklaus Companies.
Obtained favorable ruling for Sterling Jewelers in a putative class action brought by sales employees bring claims under the Equal Pay Act, Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that, among other things, denied certification of intentional discrimination and rejecting claims that Sterling operated under a general policy of discrimination in pay and promotion.
Obtained a complete defense jury verdict on all claims against Mastercard, and won damages in favor of Mastercard on counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty, in a suit for discrimination and retaliation brought by a former executive under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and the New York Human Rights Law.
Defeated a motion for a temporary injunction in Wisconsin state court by Kohl’s seeking to block the new Chief Information Officer from commencing employment with competitor Hudson’s Bay Company. After a two-day hearing, the Court found that Kohl’s failed to demonstrate that the restriction was reasonably necessary for the protection of Kohl’s business interests.
Won a four-day preliminary injunction trial, successfully enforcing a two-year non-competition agreement and preventing the former president of an industrial bank from commencing employment with the bank’s principal competitor.
Represented the Board of Directors of Ingevity in connection with matters relating to the departure of its President and CEO.
Represented the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of American Realty Capital Properties in regard to employment issues relating to an investigation into the company’s financial reporting.
Represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Restoration Hardware, Inc. in an independent investigation involving the former chairman and co-CEO.
Represented the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels in an independent investigation and subsequent termination of employment of Starwood’s then-CEO, in which the CEO departed without receiving any severance.
Secured a landmark ruling on cost-shifting in e-discovery and won summary judgment on behalf of Creative Artists Agency in a multi-hundred million dollar action brought by concert promoters alleging race discrimination and antitrust violations.
Won the dismissal of a putative class action litigation alleging a nationwide practice of discrimination in a retention bonus program for Merrill Lynch. This action was of considerable importance to the financial services industry, and presented a question of first impression with respect to intentional discrimination in the creation of retention bonus programs.
Represented Goldman Sachs in successfully enforcing employee arbitration clause.
President’s Council, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
New York Law Journal – Employment Law columnist (1994-2021)
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Advisory Board, Center for Labor and Employment at New York University Law School
Band 1 Labor & Employment: Chambers Global (2015-2023)
Band 1 Labor & Employment: Chambers USA (2007-2023)
500 Leading Lawyers in America: Lawdragon
Burton Legal Writing Award (2019)
Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year: Benchmark Litigation (2019)
Leading or Recommended Lawyer: Labor and Employment Disputes, Sports, Workplace and Employment Counselling and Trade Secrets Litigation: Legal 500
Top 30 Labor and Employment Lawyers in the United States: Euromoney’s Best of the Best
Best Lawyer Labor and Employment Law and Employment Litigation: Best Lawyers in America
500 Leading Corporate Employment Lawyers: Lawdragon
Top 100 Lawyers in New York: Superlawyers
Labor and Employment Star: Benchmark Litigation
Who’s Who Legal: Top Lawyers for Labour & Employment Benefits
The Best Lawyers in America – Employment Law: Management and Litigation: Labor and Employment
SELECTED PUBLIC INTEREST PROJECTS
For many years Mr. Klein has provided pro bono legal services to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Public Art Fund and Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation. Among other projects, Mr. Klein assisted the Public Art Fund in connection with its agreements with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the public art installations that grace the new LaGuardia Airport Terminal B and the installations in the new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station.
SELECTED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
American Employment Law Council Annual Meeting (Ojai, California), Best Practices for Media Management (October 2019)
Practicing Law Institute (New York City), Pursuing and Defending Mental Disability and Emotional Distress Claims (April 2019)
Weil webinar (New York City), Avoiding Management Myopia in the #MeToo Era: Lessons Learned from Recent Investigations (May 2018)
Practicing Law Institute (New York City), Hitting Home Runs: the Rainmakers Speak (March 2018)
Association of General Counsel (Washington, DC), Mediation, Arbitration or Trial? (October 2017)
NYU Workshop on Employment for Federal Judges (New York City), Fiduciary Claims Against Employees (March 2017)
American Employment Law Council Annual Meeting (Ojai, California), Post Dukes and Pre-Tyson: An update on class actions for in-house senior legal advisors and Litigators (October 2015)
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Annual Conference (Scottsdale, Arizona) Employment High Profile Issues March 2015)
State of New York
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit