Jay W. Waks - Kaye Scholer LLP

Jay W. Waks

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1987
Phone: 212-836-8558

Mr. Waks is Chair of Kaye Scholer’s ADR practice and immediate past Chair of its Employment & Labor Law practice founded by the late Frederick R. Livingston in 1947. He is respected for his defense of U.S. and international companies and is known for his successes in high-profile public sector cases. In 2012, Chambers USA 10th edition noted that Mr. Waks is “regarded as ‘a dean of the Bar.’” It also described his “distinguished career” in advising employers and his “recently presid[ing] over the defense of retaliation cases in the financial services industry.”

The 2004 Chambers USA Guide reported: “Recommended to Chambers’researchers as a firm with a ‘really positive atmosphere,’ [Kaye Scholer’s] labor and employment practice group has recently handled a number of substantial class actions involving age and sex discrimination, plant closures and wage and hour issues .... Peers attribute much of the group’s prestige to Jay Waks, the cochair [sic] of the employment department. He is renowned for his discrimination and alternative dispute resolution work and for his skill in negotiating executive compensation packages. Leading market figures characterize him as an attorney who ‘knows the law, chapter and verse.’” In its 2004–05 rankings, Chambers added: “[Kaye Scholer’s] labor and employment group is seen as ‘high-powered,’ and is respected for cases such as the defense of class action suits pertaining to race, religion and ethnicity discrimination. Emphasis is also placed on alternative dispute resolution ... Jay Waks, chair of the labor and employment group, garnered plaudits for his ‘intellectual grasp and experience’ as well as his ‘street-smart’ approach. In 2003 the team won its first dismissal of an alleged violation on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The claim concerned disclosure of controversial management practices.” Kaye Scholer’s Employment practice also was given highest marks in terms of “service, quality and value” in American Lawyer’s 1995 listing, based on its poll of in-house counsel.


Additional Information

Court Admissions
  • US Supreme Court


    US Court of Appeals for Second, Third and DC Circuits


    US District Courts in Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York

Cornell UniversityBS Cornell Law SchoolJ.D.

Client Comments

"Jay Waks has provided insightful and business-focused counsel to me for over 20 years, in my capacity as counsel for investment banks and hedge funds. He has dealt with senior levels of the firm and has the capacity to bring bottom-line sense to complex issues. He is excellent in defusing the emotions that can complicate employment issues and in creating strategic solutions. His reputation is impeccable among clients and adversaries alike."

-Barbara Hack
Vice President, Human Resources (retired)
D.E. Shaw & Co., LP

"Jay Waks is a superb lawyer; he is knowledgeable, sympathetic, civil, and both patient and persistent. He is also sensitive to cost issues. "

"Mr. Waks recently handled an extremely delicate employment matter with tremendous skill. His experience and judgment were crucial to the excellent result that was achieved."

-Samuel R. Newborn
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
4Kids Entertainment, Inc.

"Jay is an excellent attorney and he's very responsive."

"Jay Waks is most highly qualified. He is a truly experienced gentleman with sensitivity, responsiveness in the extreme, and smooth civility."

-Steven Crane
The Honorable

"Jay Waks is a highly visible labor and employment lawyer. He is courteous, energetic, proactive, and prompt."

"I receive prompt, practical and actionable advice every time I call Jay Waks. My calls are returned right away, and I feel I am listened to carefully and sensitively. I rely on his good judgment and I have never been disappointed in his work or recommendations. I would highly recommend Jay for solid, timely and helpful employment advice."

-Kathy Bryan
President and CEO
CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution

Office Location

250 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019-9710
United States

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management
Litigation - Labor and Employment