Areas of Focus
“The key to litigation success is identifying a client’s objectives, developing credibility with opposing counsel and the court, and being prepared to fight aggressively, all to optimize the likelihood of securing a cost-effective, favorable resolution or court ruling.”
Neal Klausner, Litigation + Dispute Resolution Group co-chair and general counsel for the firm, represents wide-ranging businesses in court, arbitration and mediation proceedings and before regulatory agencies. Clients rely on Neal to handle their most complex and significant commercial disputes, from cases involving alleged breaches of restrictive covenants, executive compensation agreements, and real estate leases to consumer class actions, disputes arising out of corporate transactions, and other high-stakes litigation.
An experienced trial and appellate attorney, Neal has prevailed in cases throughout the nation. He has won pretrial dismissal of many matters and has also resolved numerous disputes through mediation. Neal is known for his exceptional pre-litigation analysis and risk assessment abilities. He identifies a client’s specific objectives and risk tolerance, and then devises practical solutions and strategies to avoid litigation, if possible, and works toward a resolution that is most beneficial to the client. When litigation is necessary, he helps clients secure desirable court rulings or settlements by identifying, developing and zealously advocating the client’s best arguments. Through forging professional relationships with adversaries, Neal has often persuaded opposing counsel to forgo lawsuits altogether or settle matters favorably for his clients.
Neal has litigated and arbitrated cases in more than 15 states. With extensive experience in restrictive covenant law, he has prevailed for numerous clients, across multiple industries, in disputes concerning the enforcement of post-employment restrictions on competition and misappropriation of confidential information.
He has served as a court-appointed special master for copyright, trademark and other matters. Neal is a trained mediator whom the New York Supreme Court Commercial Division has appointed to serve as the neutral in dozens of complex commercial disputes, and he has helped facilitate many settlements.
Neal is the co-author of “Employment Restrictive Covenants and Other Post-Employment Restrictions” in the highly acclaimed treatise Commercial Litigation in New York Courts. He frequently leads training sessions concerning alternative dispute resolution and attorney-client privilege matters.
Represented a retail tenant in a “baseball” arbitration to determine the rent it would pay during a 10-year extension of the lease. After we presented an expert witness to support our position on the fair market rent, the arbitrator determined that our proposed rent was closest to the arbitrator's determination of the actual fair market rent and should be the rent payable by our client for the duration of the lease.
Obtained dismissal of a putative class action against a media and home entertainment retailer alleging deceptive practices in connection with marketing and enrollment of customers in its loyalty program.
Resolved a dispute between an ad agency holding company and the former owners of a company it acquired regarding the purchase price, which was partially calculated based on the acquired company’s performance following the transaction. Convinced the former owners that our calculation of the purchase price was valid.
Represented the seller of a manufacturing business in a purchase price dispute against the buyer. Buyer had refused to authorize the release of a portion of the purchase price that our client had deposited in an escrow account to satisfy potential claims against the buyer related to the acquired company. Convinced the buyer that it had no right to withhold any of the escrowed funds and also obtained reimbursement for our client’s attorneys' fees in connection with the litigation of this dispute.
Won a post-trial motion to have a federal district court set aside a jury verdict of a multimillion dollar finder's fee claim related to the alleged lift out of a team of wealth management professionals. Then defeated the plaintiff's appeal and won court costs related to that appeal.
Defended a former computer programmer against a restrictive covenant lawsuit and arbitration brought by a hedge fund. Defeated the fund's application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing our client from starting a competing company and defeated its application to extend the life of the restrictive covenant. Then secured a favorable settlement, permitting our client to operate a competing company.
Defended a seller of natural supplements in a private attorney general action concerning compliance with California’s Prop 65. Plaintiff had alleged that our client improperly sold its product without providing a warning of health risks required by California law. Negotiated a consent judgment preventing any other similar lawsuits and permitting our client to sell its product without warnings as long as the ingredients in the product complied with a negotiated formula.
Insights + Events
- Press Mention PR Week | What a Ban on Non-competes Would Mean for the PR Industry
January 25, 2023
- Alert For Compete’s Sake! Delaware Court Declines to Enforce Sale-of-Business Restrictive Covenants
December 15, 2022
- Alert Washington, D.C. Rolls Back Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements
September 14, 2022
- Alert Colorado Limits Employer Use of Restrictive Covenants
July 21, 2022
- Publication PR News | Protecting Your Firm’s Exposure to Statements of Fact vs. Opinion
February 2, 2022
- Alert Illinois Takes Steps to Limit Employer Use of Restrictive Covenants
December 15, 2021
- Alert You Can Believe It’s Not Butter: NY Judges Dismiss “Butter” Class Actions
December 6, 2021
- Alert Court Enforces Arbitration Clause in In-Home Services App Agreement
October 11, 2021
- Event New York City Bar Association | Trade Secrets Claims at the Pleading Stage
September 9, 2021
- Alert New Caselaw Sheds Light on Enforceability of No-Hire Agreements Between Companies
June 28, 2021
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- New York University School of Law (J.D., 1987)
- Managing Editor, New York University Law Review
- Tufts University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1984)
- The New York County Lawyers Association “The Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal” 2013
- New York Metro Super Lawyers® 2007-2022, Business Litigation
- New York Metro Super Lawyers® “Top 100” 2011-2016
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District CourtSouthern District of New York
- U.S. District CourtEastern District of New York
- U.S. District CourtDistrict of New Jersey
- U.S. Court of AppealsSecond Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Member, Davis+Gilbert Retirement Plans Committee
Member, New York City Bar Association
– Member, Trade Secrets Committee
Member, American Bar Association
Fellow, American Bar Foundation