Gary D. Friedman

Biography

Gary Friedman
Gary D. Friedman is Head of Weil’s nationally recognized Employment Litigation Practice Group. He is a first-chair trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience who specializes in representing employers in employment class actions, restrictive covenant disputes, internal investigations, and other complex employment and commercial litigation and arbitration matters.

For more than 15 years, Mr. Friedman has been recognized consistently as one of the top employment lawyers in the country. He has been ranked every year since 2005 in Chambers USA, in which he has been described as a “fantastic lawyer” and “leading light” in the field who is “innovative, creative, persuasive and smart,” and “excellent at formulating strategies that are focused on the legal as well as the business side of the case” whose “strategic thinking is hugely impressive,” and whose “analysis, research and judgment at every decision point have been outstanding”; a class action defense “heavyweight”; and “one of the next generation of superstars” who “consistently provides sound advice.” Mr. Friedman likewise has long been recognized nationally by Legal 500 in a variety of areas, including presently as a top-ranked “Leading Lawyer” for both Labor and Employment Litigation as well as Workplace and Employment Counseling, and a recommended lawyer for Trade Secrets. In 2018, he was inducted into that publication’s Hall of Fame, which highlights law firm partners at the “pinnacle of the profession” who have “received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.” Since 2010, Mr. Friedman has been named by Human Resource Executive Magazine and Lawdragon as one of the “100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” in the United States, and every year since 2019, he has been named a Labor and Employment Star by Benchmark Litigation.

Mr. Friedman’s practice includes all areas of labor and employment law, including: defending employers in class actions, mass actions and high-profile single plaintiff employment cases in federal and state courts and before federal, state, and local administrative agencies, and in public and private arbitration forums; advising companies and their boards of directors and board committees in sensitive employment-related internal investigations; counseling employers regarding employment law implications of organizational changes such as reductions in force, restructurings, reorganizations, and changes of control; negotiating complex executive employment, executive compensation, and separation agreements; formulating and implementing important company employment-related policies, manuals, and programs; and advising clients on various employment-related issues emanating from corporate transactions.

Mr. Friedman has particularly deep expertise in defending companies across industry sectors in employment discrimination and wage and hour class actions, including some of the largest and most complex cases ever filed, and prosecuting and defending restrictive covenant and trade secrets litigation on behalf of employers. In the wage and hour space, he has defended numerous clients in dozens of California putative class and PAGA actions, and regularly litigates novel and complex claims in California state and federal courts. In the field of restrictive covenant and trade secrets litigation, Mr. Friedman has handled these matters in more than 30 states nationwide, and is a recognized national leader in this area. He also has extensive experience in the field of arbitration, and has tried numerous cases before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (and its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers), the New York Stock Exchange, the American Arbitration Association, and JAMS.

Mr. Friedman has written and lectured extensively on numerous employment-related topics, and also has been asked to testify before legislators and government agencies as an expert on subjects such as workplace harassment and discrimination, non-disclosure agreements, background checks, and wage deductions. More broadly, as a speaker and moderator, Mr. Friedman has addressed restrictive covenants and trade secrets, state and federal wage and hour laws, gender discrimination and sex harassment, document retention and preservation, seminal Supreme Court decisions, disparate impact litigation, the use of statistics in defending class and collective actions, religious accommodation, retaliation and whistleblowing, how to conduct effective internal investigations, the use and inadvertent waiver of the various privileges, and strategies in conducting large-scale workforce reductions.

Mr. Friedman is also frequently quoted in the media on a variety of employment-related subjects, and has appeared in such national publications and media sources as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The National Law Journal, Bloomberg, Crain’s, and MarketWatch.

Mr. Friedman has represented numerous clients in a variety of industries including: Goldman Sachs, Apple, Air Methods Corporation, Berkshire Partners, Legg Mason, Core-Mark International, Cushman & Wakefield, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Kroll Associates, Inc., New York Public Radio, Wal-Mart, AIG, Prudential Securities, Claire’s Stores, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Epiq Systems, L3 Harris, Providence Equity Partners, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Ford Motor Company, GEICO, TIAA-CREF, Allergan, Forex Capital Markets, Sears, Elite Model Management, Bank of Montreal, Balfour Beatty, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, EMI Group, Deutsche Bourse, Tuesday Morning, United Airlines, Gate Gourmet, Protection One, Seacor Holdings, Heidrick & Struggles, Panera LLC, and Vonage.

Mr. Friedman received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and was a member and editor of the law journal, The Tax Lawyer, and has a B.A. from Duke University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Friedman also served as a Judicial Law Clerk to The Honorable Stanley S. Brotman, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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