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Lauren J. Wachtler, Esq.

Lauren J. Wachtler, Esq.

Lauren J. Wachtler, Esq. is an acclaimed commercial litigator with more than 45 years of courtroom and trial experience. She is also a trained and successful mediator, focusing her efforts on commercial and business-related matters. She has acted as a court-appointed mediator in a number of commercial cases and is qualified to act as a referee and receiver on commercial and other matters.

Over the years, she has honed her skills to recognize and understand issues, assess strengths and weaknesses in cases, evaluate evidence and most importantly, to listen with an eye toward resolving disputes. Her background as a courtroom lawyer, arbitrator, mediator and adjunct professor of law and her reputation among lawyers and judges for honesty, fairness and competence makes her an excellent addition to the Mediation Solutions panel.

Lauren is currently a partner in the law firm of Barclay Damon LLP, where she is an integral part of the firm’s Litigation Department in the New York City office. At Barclay Damon, she has successfully litigated cases in state court and Federal Courts  in New York and New Jersey. She has conducted and participated in a number of mediations and arbitrations, both remotely and in person.

Lauren has had a long history of litigating many and varied issues on behalf of large and small corporations, partnerships and individuals, which has given her an understanding of issues from both the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ points of views and the legal issues attendant to both.

In 1994, Lauren was a founding partner of the boutique New York City commercial litigation firm of Montclare & Wachtler, where she had an opportunity to try dozens of cases to verdict for a major insurance carrier involving construction claims, Labor Law issues, design defects, and personal injury. The firm also simultaneously operated a modest mediation company for several years called “Cadre.”

In 2008, Montclare & Wachtler was asked to join Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, (MSK) a major California- based entertainment and commercial law firm.  Lauren was a partner in the New York City office of  MSK from 2008-2018 . While at MSK, Lauren appeared regularly in State and Federal Court, most frequently in the Commercial Division in New York State Supreme Court and argued a number of appeals in both State and Federal courts. Her work included participating in mediations and other alternative resolution matters.

In 2018 Lauren was asked to join the law firm of Phillips Nizer, LLP and to co-chair its Litigation Department. While at Phillips Nizer, Lauren litigated numerous cases in both State and Federal Courts, engaged in significant motion practice on behalf of clients and participated in mediations and arbitrations.

In 2018, Lauren was added to the Commercial Division panel of mediators. Since that time, she has mediated more than a dozen cases assigned by the Commercial Division, and continues to be selected as a mediator in the Commercial Division Program. She has  acted and continues to act as a Court-appointed fiduciary as a receiver, and referee in a number of commercial and real estate matters.

Before founding her own firm in 1994, Lauren was with the law firm of Shea & Gould. In 1988 she became the first woman partner in the history of Shea & Gould’s litigation department and tried no less than 10 state and federal court jury and non-jury trials to verdict. She also took an active role in the settlement of many cases through both mediation and arbitration.

During the course of her career, Lauren has represented many high-profile clients including Leona Helmsley and Stanley Stahl; Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery; L. Knife and Sons, one of the largest beer distributors in the Northeast; and Pratesi Linens. She has represented famous graphic designers, artists, record producers, internationally famous singer-songwriters and other high-profile clients in disputes involving labor and employment law, real estate, contracts, business disputes, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as members of the judiciary for whom she performed commercial litigation work.

In 2022, Lauren was chosen as the recipient of the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom by the New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, awarded to an attorney who has demonstrated superlative trial and litigation advocacy skills, and has also demonstrated a devotion to mentoring the next generation of attorneys.

She has been a member of the faculty of the New York State Bar Association Trial Academy and has presented programs for the New York State Bar Association. In 2005, she chaired the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, where she played an active role in developing the rules for the Commercial Division. She has served in the House of Delegates and other leadership positions in the New York State Bar Association.

Lauren has been an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law School since 2022, teaching an immersive course on pretrial litigation. Her curriculum includes a segment on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and the importance of ADR in our changing litigation landscape. She is the author of several publications and has lectured extensively and participated as a faculty member in numerous CLE programs.

Lauren is available to mediate or arbitrate cases virtually or at any of our offices.

Mediating/Arbitrating Cases In:

  • Commercial and business disputes
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance coverage
  • Personal injury and property damage
  • Employment and Labor Law

Honors and Awards

Shira Scheindlin Award for Excellence in The Courtroom (2021)

New York Times "Super Lawyer," General Litigation (2006-2023)
among top 5% of attorneys selected in New York State

Best Lawyers in America (2017-2023)

“Champion for Change” award from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention (2015)

Professional Experience

Barclay Damon LLP, Partner, Litigation Practice Group (2020-Present)

Phillips Nizer LLP, Partner, Co-Chair Litigation Department (2017-2019)

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Partner (2008-2017)

Montclare & Wachtler, Partner (1994-2008)

Shea & Gould, Associate (1985-1987); Partner (1987-1994); First woman partner in
Litigation Department in history of Firm

Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander, Associate (1978-1985)

Adjunct Professor of Law, Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, (2022- present); courses taught: “Pretrial Litigation”


St. John's University School of Law, J.D. 1978 (Accelerated Program)

Mount Holyoke College, B.A. 1976, cum laude

Memberships and Professional Activities

New York State Bar Association

  • Chair, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section “Women’s Initiative” Task Force (2018-2021)
  • Chair, "Committee on Lawyers in Transition" (2006-2011)
  • Member, Committee on Youth Courts (2006-2011)
  • Member, Task Force on Wrongful Convictions (2008)
  • Member-at-Large, Executive Committee (2006- 2010)
  • Executive Committee liaison to the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
  • Committee for Women in the Law; and Gender Equity Task Force (2006-2010)
  • Member, House of Delegates (2006-2010)
  • Representative to the House of Delegates for the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (2004-2006)
  • Chair, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (2004-2005) and Member of the Section Executive Committee (1996-present)
  • Member, Nominating Committee for the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section (2004-2018)

Member, Committee for Courts of Superior Jurisdiction of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York which developed the Confidentiality Stipulation and Order adopted by the Commercial Divisions in New York State (2004-2008)

Member, Task Force to Review the Practice of Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege in Plea Agreements by Prosecutors and Investigators (2005-2009)

Member, Task Force on Electronic Filing of Court Documents (2005-2007)

Member, Commercial Division Advisory Committee of the State of New York
and Commercial Division Advisory Committee, New York County (2003-2012)

Member, PJI ad hoc Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section: Constituted to draft jury instructions for commercial cases for the PJI Committee of the State of New York (2017-2019)

Board Member, New York Bar Foundation, and Grants Committee, (2015-present)

New York Bar Foundation, Vice-Chair of the Fellows (2019-present)

Board Member, RiverSpring Health and Hebrew Home of Riverdale; Committees
for Quality Control and Corporate Compliance (2016-2022)

Board Member, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA), and Chair of the Nominating Committee (2012-present)

Founder of Hebrew Home of Riverdale’s “Pets by Your Side” program designed to bring dogs to visit and provide support and therapy programs for residents (2016)

Ambassador and counsel to the Same Sky Foundation, a trade initiative providing education and opportunity for women and girls world-wide and assisting under-served women survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and formerly incarcerated women in in Jersey City. (2008- present)