Ali Harwin is a partner in the New York Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Title VII practice.
Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.
As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.
Alexandra Harwin is Co-Chair of the National Title VII Practice at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, as well as a Partner in the firm’s New York office. One of just five employment attorneys nationwide named a Rising Star by Law360 in 2017, Alexandra is known for her legal acumen, strategic thinking, pragmatism, and outstanding results in representing victims of discrimination and retaliation.
Alexandra has served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in some of the highest-profile employment lawsuits in the country. She spearheaded the gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Columbia University brought by a female faculty member named Enrichetta Ravina, which recently resulted in a $1.25 million jury verdict. Alexandra is also co-lead counsel for Fabio Silva, the former Vice President for Legal Affairs at Giorgio Armani Corporation, in a $75 million case alleging national origin discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation.
Alexandra has also played a leading role in Sanford Heisler Sharp’s groundbreaking gender discrimination lawsuits against BigLaw firms. Alexandra played a leading role in the firm’s closely watched, multi-plaintiff gender discrimination lawsuit against Chadbourne & Parke LLP, as well as a high-profile gender discrimination and retaliation case against defense firm Proskauer Rose LLP.
In addition to representing individual plaintiffs, Alexandra has successfully overseen major class action litigation. Alexandra was integrally involved in negotiating a $14.25 million settlement for the women victimized by disgraced Rabbi Bernard Freundel, who surreptitiously videotaped women in a Jewish ritual bath facility known as a mikvah. She was also co-lead counsel in a multi-million dollar gender discrimination class action and collective action against pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Alcon; she represented thousands of directors, managers, specialists, and sales professionals against these companies in their class claims of discrimination in pay, promotion, and assignments.
In addition to her ongoing litigation activity, Alexandra has achieved lucrative negotiated settlements for her clients. Her clients have included law firm partners, executives at pharmaceutical corporations, and employees of other corporations. Their claims have included gender, race, age, and other discrimination in their workplaces. Alexandra’s settlements have totaled more than $40 million.
Alexandra’s practice, focused on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation law, reflects her longstanding commitment to civil rights and gender equality issues. As an undergraduate at Harvard, where she was the top-ranked student in her graduating class, she studied gender-based employment discrimination through the disciplines of history and economics. At the Yale Law School, she served as Managing Editor of the School’s Journal of Law and Feminism and helped design Yale Law Women’s annual survey of family-friendly law firms. In addition, she conducted research on the history and prospects of using Title VII litigation to protect minority men from employment discrimination based on criminal records.
- J.D., Yale Law School, 2011
- Managing Editor, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism
- A.B., Harvard University, 2007, summa cum laude
- Maryland 2011
- District of Columbia 2012
- New Jersey 2015
- New York 2015
Norton Rose Fulbright/Chadbourne & Parke LLP Gender Discrimination Class Action – $3.1 Million Settlement
According to Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner in Chadbourne’s Washington, DC office, female partners at the firm are excluded from positions of decision-making authority and receive less pay and bonuses even when they out-perform their male counterparts. There is only a one-tier partnership, with every partner characterized as an equity partner.
The complaint alleges the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform their investment benchmarks and other similar collective investment funds.
Early in 2015, Freundel plead guilty in a criminal proceeding before the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to numerous counts of illicitly filming women as they used the “mikvah”- a Jewish ritual bath frequently used by married Orthodox women as well as by women undergoing conversion to Judaism.
In 2015, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP filed a $40 million lawsuit against Zara USA, Inc., the flagship brand for the largest fashion retailer in the world, Inditex Group. The lawsuit alleges that Zara discriminated against and then fired its in-house counsel, Ian Jack Miller, because he is Jewish, American, and gay. The case seeks damages for creating a hostile work environment, pay discrimination, and unlawful and retaliatory termination based on Mr. Miller’s nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.
According to his complaint, during his tenure at Giorgio Armani Corporation, the company’s Chief Financial Officer informed General Counsel Fabio Silva he did not trust Mexicans, and thereafter subjected Mr. Silva to increased scrutiny and discriminatory treatment. When General Counsel Silva reported this treatment to Chief Operations Officer, Giorgio Fornari, and Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Lucinda Rosso, General Counsel Silva was berated for complaining. General Counsel Silva was then denied a raise for reporting the discrimination.
The complaint provides extensive details regarding how the senior leadership of Columbia – including the Provost of the University and the Dean of Columbia Business School – allowed one of Columbia’s senior, tenured professors to sexually harass and obstruct the work of a female junior faculty member, plaintiff Enrichetta Ravina. Read More
- Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP: Court Grants Final Approval of $14.25 Million Settlement in Rabbi Freundel Secret Videotaping Case
- Court Grants $14.25 Million Settlement In Rabbi Freundel Secret Videotaping Case
- Voyeur Rabbi’s Victims to Get $25,000 Each
- Court Grants Preliminary Approval Of Settlement In Rabbi Freundel Secret Videotaping Case
- Victims of Voyeur Rabbi Reach $14.25M Settlement in Mikveh Case
- Victims of rabbi filming ritual baths reach settlement
- Victims of voyeur-rabbi with Baltimore ties reach $14.25 million settlement
- Voyeur Rabbi Victims Reach $14.25 Million Settlement
- Orthodox Jewish organizations reach $14.25 million settlement with victims of voyeur-rabbi Barry Freundel
- Victims of mikvah-peeping rabbi reach $14.25 million settlement with his synagogue
- 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- Named a 2017 Rising Star by Law360
- Named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers in New York by the National Trial Lawyers Association
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