ProfessionalsLiza M. Velazquez
A partner in the Litigation Department, Liza Velazquez has extensive experience representing corporate clients, financial institutions, media and entertainment companies, and non-profit institutions in a broad range of employment-related litigations and investigations. Liza also regularly counsels clients on employment-related issues including litigation risk assessment, review of internal policies, developments in employment law and compliance.
Liza has represented clients before state and federal courts across the country, in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, and before federal and state regulatory agencies. Liza also has extensive experience handling sensitive workplace investigations on behalf of public companies, financial institutions, private equity funds, non-profit institutions and their executives and principals. Liza’s diverse client list includes Barnes & Noble, Citigroup, Columbia University, Conair, Etsy, Frederic Fekkai, Home Depot, Hudson’s Bay Company, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, NBCUniversal, Prudential Insurance and 21st Century Fox. Among her significant employment matters, Liza has represented:
- Citigroup's brokerage unit, Smith Barney, in a nationwide employment class action involving claims under Title VII and California state law based on alleged discrimination against female brokers in the distribution of client accounts, administrative support and partnership opportunities;
- NBCUniversal in two collective actions alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law;
- Prudential Insurance in trial court and appellate litigation involving claims brought by over 200 current and former employees challenging the prior settlement of their employment-related claims in an alternative dispute resolution process;
- Columbia University in matters brought by current and former students involving allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment under Title IX and municipal law;
- 21st Century Fox in employment-related matters involving gender discrimination, sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims; and
- IBM in matters related to enforcement of employment non-competition agreements.
Liza has significant trial experience. Her representation of clients in a broad range of complex civil and corporate litigation matters enables her to bring a well-rounded perspective to her clients. At trial, Liza has represented:
- Citigroup in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy proceedings and multi-month trial;
- Aurora Bank in a trial victory in Colorado state court concerning the conduct of an independent mortgage foreclosure review; and
- Bosnian women in the successful trial of a landmark human rights case brought under the Alien Tort Statute.
Liza is a member of the Board of Advisors of Human Rights First and the Secretary of the Board of Legal Services NYC. She serves on the Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. Liza has also successfully represented numerous asylum clients. She is a member of the Board of the Fund for Modern Courts as well as the Practical Law Litigation Advisory Board.
Liza writes and speaks frequently on employment law issues and was recently recognized in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation as a “Labor & Employment Star – Northeast.”