For more than 25 years, U.S. multinational and domestic employers needing strong legal representation have sought out attorney Rob Lewis. He helps clients in the financial services, health care, luxury retail, and other industries with all their employment law matters arising under U.S. and foreign law, including defending employers in litigation, arbitrations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Clients turn to Rob for advice on cross-border and domestic matters involving harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour requirements, gender pay equity, and restrictive covenants and trade secrets. Rob also structures layoffs in compliance with federal and state WARN Acts and, most recently, has provided guidance on COVID-19-related issues. Additionally, his practice includes advising on issues arising from cross-border acquisitions and mergers, developing employment best practices and codes of conduct that apply internationally, and conducting investigations of employee misconduct. The matters Rob has defended at the federal, state, and local levels involve discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, wrongful discharge, individual employment contracts, employee disloyalty and restrictive covenants, commission and compensation disputes, and other work-related tort claims.
Rob has lectured and written extensively on issues of international employment law. Additionally, he has led groundbreaking global pro bono projects relating to global poverty, international human rights, and anti-terrorism legal initiatives. For his efforts, Rob was bestowed the Jeremy G. Epstein Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service from the New York City Bar Association's City Bar Justice Center in 2014.
Directly after graduating with honors from George Washington University, Rob served as a motions law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Defended a German real estate investment bank against New York-based executive’s multimillion-dollar claims for breach of contract and fraud arising from a performance-based bonus dispute, as well as constructive discharge, in arbitration before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.
- Defended a Hong Kong-based financial technology company specializing in cross-border financial transactions against breach of contract, fraud, and California whistleblower claims alleged by a terminated Chief Compliance Officer.
- Defended a European state-owned airline against claims of age and national origin discrimination by a high-level executive and, subsequently, claims of religion and national origin discrimination and retaliation asserted by U.S.-based in-house general counsel who was involved in handling executive's discrimination claims.
- Defended a UK-based media company against whistleblower claims asserted by a former employee under New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act arising from termination following the employee’s report of accounting irregularities.
- Defended a German-based high-end fashion designer and manufacturer against claims of sexual harassment by a member of the Managing Board of the German parent asserted by two New York-based female employees.
- Defended a diagnostic services and devices company against claims by a purported class for alleged wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, in which the court decertified the class.
- Legal 500 United States, Litigation; Workplace and Employment Counseling; Labor & Employment Disputes (Including Collective Action): Defense (2022)
- New York City Bar Association's City Bar Justice Center, Jeremy G. Epstein Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service (2014)
- New York Metro Super Lawyers, Labor and Employment Law (2006 to 2022)
- Who’s Who in American Law (2011 to 2019)
- The George Washington University Law School (J.D., with honors, 1980)
- Articles Editor, Journal of International Law & Economics
- University of Connecticut (B.A., cum laude, 1977)
- District of Columbia
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Professional & Community Involvement
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- New York State Bar Association, Committee on International Employment Law
- American Bar Association, International Law Section
- ACI National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions: Tracking the Latest Initiatives of the New Secretary of Labor, and What Is on the Horizon for Labor Agendas in the Year Ahead?
Pro Bono and Community Activities
- Generated, organized, and led a project for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate of the United Nations Security Council to draft a Regional Judicial Toolkit based on public international law for judges in SAARC nations recommending “best practices” for conducting terrorism-related trials in their national courts (the project was profiled in the July 2016 edition of The American Lawyer, in an article titled “Support For Judges Under Fire”).
- Generated, organized, and led a project for a major financial institution in connection with its purchase and securitization of the loan portfolio of, and providing of funding to, the largest microfinance institution in the United States.
- Obtained political asylum in the United States for (i) a Russian painter based on membership in a persecuted social group, (ii) an Ivory Coast resident based on membership in a persecuted ethnic group, and (iii) a Pakistani journalist based on political beliefs expressed in news reports he wrote criticizing a political party.
- Provided, on behalf of the Public International Law and Policy Group, comprehensive advice to the Government of Kosovo regarding legal issues relating to an effort to attain independent nation-state status, and to the Government of Sri Lanka regarding negotiations with Tamil Tigers rebels.
- Helped found, and serve as outside General Counsel for, Women's Microfinance Initiative, a Washington, DC, microfinance lender in various villages in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.