Alexandra Harwin

Alexandra Harwin Sanford Heisler Sharp
Alexandra Harwin
New York Partner

(646) 401-0475

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Ali Harwin is a Partner in the New York Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group.

Meet Alexandra Harwin

Meet Alexandra Harwin

Ali Harwin represented me in a case of wrongful termination from my employer. This employer was particularly difficult and used a very combative attorney. Ali stayed focused and steady throughout the case. She gave me insightful advice and was always responsive despite her heavy case load. She strategized the best way to resolve the case and brought it to a timely and successful close. She is one of the best attorneys I’ve worked with and I'd recommend her without hesitation. Pharmaceutical Executive

Alexandra Harwin expertly helped me navigate and win an extremely difficult and painful wrongful dismissal dispute. I was unbelievably impressed with her level of legal acumen, strategic negotiating prowess, transparency and authenticity. What I think sets Alexandra apart even further is her compassionate and empathic approach to her clients, providing much needed comfort and reassurance at times and thoughtful sage advice at critical junctures. Pharmaceutical Executive

As a lawyer, my job is to problem-solve and advocate fiercely for my clients. Despite my professional experience, I felt unable to protect my own reputation, livelihood, and health when I was being discriminated against by my large law firm. That changed once Ali Harwin was representing me. I quickly learned that Ali is a hardworking attorney with a sharp legal mind, but also a kind, empathetic, and honest individual. Ali was able to obtain an extremely favorable settlement for me at mediation, thus allowing me to end one of the most difficult chapters of my life with dignity. I will be forever grateful to Ali and her team at Sanford Heisler Sharp! Attorney Client

Ali Harwin represented me in my action against my employer while I was still employed there. I had suffered almost five years of harassment and marginalization and, frankly, I had a very deep fear of retaliation from my manager. I felt absolutely powerless to defend myself. David Sanford and Ali took action to immediately legally protect me while I was in a very vulnerable position. Ali then guided me through the entire process, striking the right balance between providing transparency regarding what was happening and protecting me from the very negative aspects of the firm’s rebuttals. She held me up when I felt no strength to continue and fought hard to get me what I deserved. She is a successful balance of tenacity, integrity and a soft touch in her advocacy. I was very fortunate to have Ali on my side and I highly recommend her to those considering retaining Sanford Heisler Sharp! Financial Services Professional

David Sanford, Felicia Gilbert, Alexandra Harwin on Benchmark Litigation Awards Podcast

Benchmark Litigation Awards Podcast

Alexandra Harwin is Co-Chair of the Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, as well as a Partner in the firm’s New York office.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College.

Alexandra is known for her legal acumen, strategic thinking, pragmatism, and outstanding results in representing victims of discrimination and retaliation.  She was one of just five employment attorneys nationwide named a Rising Star by Law360 in 2017, and she has also been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers and a Labor & Employment Star – Northeast by Benchmark Litigation.

Alexandra has served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in some of the highest-profile employment lawsuits in the country.  She spearheaded litigation against Columbia University brought by a female faculty member named Enrichetta Ravina, which recently resulted in a $1.25 million jury verdict.  She is lead counsel for plaintiff Graham Chase Robinson in her gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against actor Robert De Niro.   She is also lead counsel for plaintiff Nimrod Reitman in his widely publicized gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against NYU.

Alexandra has also played a leading role in Sanford Heisler Sharp’s groundbreaking gender discrimination lawsuits against BigLaw firms.  She litigated 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.

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, including law firm partners, faculty, students, and staff at leading universities, and executives at pharmaceutical corporations.   Alexandra’s settlements have totaled in excess of $50 million.

Alexandra’s focus on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation law reflects her longstanding commitment to civil rights and gender equality.  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 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism.


  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2011
    • Managing Editor, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism
  • A.B., Harvard University, 2007, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 2011
  • District of Columbia, 2012
  • New Jersey, 2015
  • New York, 2015

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Robert De Niro Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges that De Niro and Canal Productions subjected their longtime employee, Graham Chase Robinson, to a hostile work environment, including unwelcome physical contact, sexually-charged comments, verbal abuse, and sex-stereotyping.

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Allstate ERISA Class Action

Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP is currently evaluating whether Allstate mismanaged its 401(k) plan.

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UnitedHealth Group ERISA Class Complaint

Case Description Case Type: ERISA Company Name: UnitedHealth Group Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP filed a class complaint in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota alleging that the UnitedHealth Group breaches basic fiduciary duties under ERISA and violates its employees’ trust by mismanaging their retirement funds. The complaint alleges UnitedHealth Group failed to remove from its employee […]

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Rabbi Freundel Voyeurism Class Action

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.

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Transamerica ERISA Class Action

The complaint alleges the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform their investment benchmarks and other similar collective investment funds.

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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.

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Ian Jack Miller v. Zara USA, Inc. et al.

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.

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Fabio Silva v. Giorgio Armani Corp., Et. Al.

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.

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Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case – $1.25 Jury Verdict

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

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