PARTNER AND GENERAL COUNSEL
Russell Kornblith is a Partner, the General Counsel of Sanford Heisler Sharp, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Representation Practice Group.
Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Russell has been recognized in the legal community as a Law360 Rising Star and as a Benchmark Labor & Employment Star.
At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Russell’s practice has focused on employment discrimination, sexual assault, and whistleblower cases, representing both individuals and classes. Russell’s representations have included:
- Litigating pay discrimination claims on behalf of a class of thousands of female pharmaceutical sales representatives, culminating in a court-approved settlement.
- Litigating a proposed ERISA class action alleging that the employer and trustee misled participants in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and redeemed their shares for less than fair market value.
- Negotiating six-figure settlements on behalf of sexual assault survivors against powerful academic institutions.
- Representing the general counsel of a publicly-traded corporation in gender discrimination and retaliation claims.
- Negotiating seven-figure settlements on behalf of AmLaw 100 lawyers challenging discrimination at their law firms.
- Negotiating a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of in-house attorneys who experienced discrimination and retaliation after complaining of discrimination.
- Negotiating seven-figure settlements on behalf of finance executives challenging discrimination.
- Winning court approval of a multimillion dollar gender-pay settlement with a large technology company on behalf of 1,800 women.
- Winning a major First Circuit appeal of a False Claims Act case involving defective medical devices.
- Obtaining a significant settlement involving customs and tariff fraud in violation of the False Claims Act.
- Obtaining a $22.8 million customs fraud settlement for the misclassification of vitamin imports in violation of U.S. tariff laws and the False Claims Act.
Russell received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Amherst College. While at Harvard Law School, Russell was an Articles Editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, a research assistant to Professor (now Deputy Dean) I. Glenn Cohen, and a clinical student in the International Human Rights Clinic, where he contributed to several briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A member of the New York and California bars, Russell is a co-chair of the amicus committee of the New York Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, where he has authored or co-authored amicus briefs to state and federal courts on important issues of employment law.
Before joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Russell completed clerkships for the Honorable James S. Gwin of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
When Russell is not lawyering, he enjoys visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites (115 to date), listening to audiobooks, lifting weights, and parenting.
- J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude
- Exchange Fellow, l’École Normale Supérieure
- B.A., Amherst College, magna cum laude
- International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School
- Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Honorable James S. Gwin, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- California, 2013
- New York, 2015
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- Law360’s 2020 Legal Industry Editorial Advisory Board
- NELA/NY Amicus Committee
- Taxpayers Against Fraud
- The 2023 Lawdragon 500 Leading Civil Rights & Plaintiff Employment Lawyers
- 2023 Benchmark Litigation 40 & Under List
- 2021 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2020-21 New York Metro Super Lawyer Rising Star
- 2020-22 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer
- 2020 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2020 Law360 Rising Star
- 2019 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
I couldn’t have done these things without you.
“David, Russell and Clare – thanks very much for your wise counsel and unflagging support. David, I turned to you for help during what was, without question, the worst experience of my professional life, and thanks to you and your colleagues, we achieved a successful resolution, restored my reputation, and enabled me to return to a fulfilling and challenging position. I couldn’t have done these things without you and am grateful for your support.”
– Senior In-House Counsel
My case lawyers were simply awesome.
“Prior to my engagement with Sanford Heisler Sharp, I had heard the law firm’s outstanding reputation for legal services. However, what I found out after my personal experience with the firm cannot even be put into words. My case lawyers, Russell Kornblith and Kate MacMullin, were simply awesome. I am forever grateful for their level of skill and compassion that they presented me. Russell and Kate are extremely knowledgeable lawyer — a team anyone could rely on for their case. They are extremely approachable and honest and go the extra mile to represent their clients. From the moment I met them the first time, I knew I was safe. Thank you very much, Russell and Kate.”
– Amsale Robi
Russell Kornblith is one of the highest caliber lawyers you could work with.
“Russell Kornblith is one of the highest caliber lawyers you could work with. I can’t recommend him enough.”
– Craig Abramson
Huge thanks to Russell Kornblith.
“Huge thanks to Russell Kornblith. He was very easy to work with. Would recommend and use again.”
– Meg Lentz
I was very fortunate to work with Russell Kornblith of the Sanford Heisler Sharp team.
“I was very fortunate to work with Russell Kornblith of the Sanford Heisler Sharp team. His knowledge of the law, professionalism, pragmatism and calm manner made a potentially stressful process that much smoother and easier. It also helped lead to a successful and fair outcome.”
–Senior International Development Professional
Knowledgeable, Honest, and Hard-Working
“When you first seek legal help, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. In my experience, it is best to have a guide who is knowledgeable, honest, and hard-working. My legal team at Sanford Heisler Sharp – Russell Kornblith, Steve Kelly, and Carolin Guentert – navigated me through complex and difficult questions with steady assurance. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I had felt powerless before coming out against my abuser and the institution that employed him. My attorneys made me feel like I had the power to hold them to account for their actions. Russell and Carolin were consistently professional, communicative, and receptive to my needs during the legal process. As a team, we overcame legal hurdles and took steps towards a favorable resolution. With Sanford Heisler Sharp I feel that I obtained the best possible outcome for my case. I give Sanford Heisler Sharp the highest recommendation to represent your legal needs and advocate for your rights.”
Very Responsive and Extra Proactive.
“Having gone through a process as lengthy as I did, I was very grateful to have Russell and his team support throughout. Since the moment I met Ross and Russell, I immediately could tell their professionalism and ethic was evident. In a city like New York City, it is not very easy to find compassionate lawyers, but I always felt I was heard and understood throughout those years. They made me feel confident about what I was fighting for, and I always felt they worked really hard for my case. They were always very responsive and extra proactive. They have a wonderful team that was always available, and sometimes Russell would even reply to my emails late and off working hours. I could not be happier to have found them, and I could not be more pleased with the outcome and results for our case. I will forever be grateful of all the efforts Russell and his team did to have made this happen.”
– A Whistleblower
Expertise and wisdom.
“This was an experience I never anticipated going through and, not surprisingly, a personal as well as professional challenge. I’m so glad I had the expertise –and wisdom– of you and your team to count on.”
– An Attorney Client
“I would like to share my experience and spread the word about my “attorney extraordinaire”, Russell Kornblith. Russell represented me and helped attain a settlement that was better than expected. As an attorney, Russell is dynamic, knowledgeable, reliable, approachable and much more. He has great communication skills and an approach which is practical and realistic. What makes Russell stand apart from others is his compassionate nature. I never felt alone. Russell stood by my side during turbulent times. There were dreary days where I would get frustrated and wanted to give up and, every single time, Russell was available to walk me through various scenarios, provide encouragement, empathize with me and always buck me up. Russell’s availability, willingness to listen and empathetic approach turned a very difficult and unpleasant process into a bearable experience. There were innumerable times where Russell would respond to my distressed emails past midnight. Knowing that I had a powerful, strong attorney standing by my side brought a huge sense of relief. During a difficult and complicated encounter, Russell came as a breath of fresh air when I was feeling extremely suffocated.”
– Former Client
“I’m eternally grateful to Russell, Alok and Kate for their impressive work with my case. I expected outstanding legal service based on the firm’s reputation and track record. In addition, the team brought compassion and a strategic approach to managing the case, which ultimately brought a longstanding matter to a close. I’ve worked with numerous employment law firms in my profession, and I would unhesitatingly refer clients and friends to the team at Sanford Heisler Sharp.”
– Former Client
Outstanding legal service.
“Based upon Sanford Heisler’s reputation, I expected outstanding legal service. However, I cannot express how much I respect and appreciate the skill and compassion David, Russell, and Nicole demonstrated every single day. With their expert guidance and attention, they made an otherwise very difficult process tolerable. The Sanford Heisler team always made me believe the fight was worthwhile! Thank you all so much!”
– General Counsel
“If you are reading this, you are likely in the midst of a very difficult journey. I know, because I went through it myself, and I am here to tell you that if you stay positive and trust your Sanford Heisler Sharp team, the road can be transformational and yield amazing results. . . . Russell fought for me, and also held my hand throughout the process, during which I experienced some of the lowest lows of my life. We spoke almost every day, to the point where I was very sad to see our relationship end (although they will always be in my life because I’ll never stop emailing them :)). Most importantly, they got me to the best possible resolution for me. My path has taken a sharp turn for the better, and they had a huge part to play in that fact. You will be OK at the end of this because you have Sanford Heisler Sharp; trust the process and know that life is infinitely better on the other side of an environment that is holding you back from realizing your full potential in life.”
“David Sanford called me on Super Bowl Sunday (imagine that!) to let me know that Sanford Heisler Sharp would represent me. From start to finish, my legal team, Russell Kornblith, , Adán Martinez,and Natalie Chew, demonstrated its intricate knowledge and interpretation of employment law, specifically the risks and psychology of my employer’s strategy. As the case progressed quickly and constructively, I felt understood and respected throughout each step of the journey. The outcome was beyond what I could have imagined! I thank Sanford Heisler Sharp in my heart every time I read about them in the press. Just be thankful that they are on YOUR side and not the opposing counsel!”
– Former Banking Executive
Extraordinary counsel, concern, and attention.
Russell and David are extraordinary attorneys. Focused on detail but also the human side of events. Stellar in all regards. Extraordinary counsel, concern, and attention. Recommend with the highest possible rating.
– Former Client
The Complaint alleged that International Vitamin Corporation violated the False Claims Act by skirting customs duties on thousands of imports of nutritional supplements from China. IVC agreed to pay the government $22.865 million.
The Complaint, filed on behalf of three doctoral students in Harvard’s Anthropology Department, alleges Harvard’s deliberate indifference to a nearly decade-long pattern of sexual harassment and retaliatory threats by a prominent professor.
This gender discrimination class action against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. was originally filed by Plaintiff Kelli Smith in May 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In January 2014, four additional class representatives from around the country joined the suit as plaintiffs alleging pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination against the company.
This case has been settled and the class settlement is pending court approval. If the Court approves, Western Digital will make a non-reversionary payment of $7.75 million to settle class claims for gender discrimination and unequal pay for female employees.
The complaint alleges that when Ms. Saltzman complained to EXL Board Member Clyde Ostler about the discrimination that she was personally experiencing, the company fired her.
The whistleblower alleged that the San Diego-based Scripps Health System unlawfully billed the United States Government for physical therapy services on behalf of a physician who was not present while the services were rendered. The case claimed that Scripps persisted in this conduct despite warnings from the whistleblower.
The case is thought to be the first in New York to recover money for the United States government based on the defendant’s failure to properly mark its products with their country of origin.
Katrina Henderson v. Jones Day, Gender and Race Discrimination Lawsuit
The complaint details how the Big Law firm’s culture harms female associates in compensation and partnership decisions.
Sanford Heisler Sharp brought whistleblower claims on behalf of Dr. Antoni Nargol and Dr. David Langton, two physicians and researchers who were first to uncover that medical-device company DePuy Orthopaedics manufactured and sold large numbers of defective hip implants to the government.
- Affected Women Applaud GMU For Sexual Misconduct Action, Law360, September 14, 2023
- Former GMU Law Professor Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Law.com, August 17, 2023
- George Mason University law professor is accused of sexual misconduct and abuse of power by female students, DailyMail.com, August 15, 2023
- ‘I Suffered Silently’: Ex-Law Prof Allegedly Preyed On Students, Law360, August 14, 2023
- Harvard Must Face Suit Over Professor’s Harassment, Retaliation, Bloomberg Law, April 4, 2023
- Harvard Must Face Suit Over Prof’s Alleged Harassment, Law360, April 4, 2023
- Vitamin Biz Agrees To $22.8 Million Deal To End Customs Fraud Suit, Law360, January 31, 2023
- International Vitamin Pays 22 Million To Settle Fraud Lawsuit, Bloomberg Law, January 31, 2023
- Legal Industry Is Split on FTC’s Proposed Ban on Non-Competes, Law.com, January 18, 2023
- Analysis: 2023 To Be a Busy Year For The Plaintiffs’ Bar – Here Is What You Need To Know, Law.com, December 21, 2022
- U.S. Backs Students Claiming Harvard gInored Professor’s Sexual Harassment, Reuters, September 08, 2022
- Harvard Asks Judge to Dismiss Comaroff Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, The Harvard Crimson, June 02, 2022
- Benchmark Litigation Reviews – Sanford Heisler Sharp, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, October 15, 2020
- In BigLaw Gender Bias Suits, Anonymity Is Fleeting, Law360, September 28, 2020
- Rising Star: Sanford Heisler’s Russell Kornblith, Law360, July 10, 2020
- Law360 Names Top Attorneys Under 40, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, July 05, 2020
- Law360’s 2020 Legal Industry Editorial Advisory Board, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
- Jones Day’s ‘Sleight Of Hand’ Draws Fire In Sex Bias Suit, Law360, February 04, 2020
- Ex-Jones Day Associates Blast Bid for Sanctions in Gender Bias Lawsuit, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, January 08, 2020
- Ex-Jones Day Attys Rip Sanctions Bid In Gender Bias Suit, Law360 Employment Authority, January 08, 2020
- Female executive told ‘ladies’ should cut the cake sues firm for gender discrimination, Global News, May 01, 2019
- Supreme lawyer says CEO directs her to serve cake because she is a woman, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, May 01, 2019
- A high-ranking lawyer claims her CEO directed her to serve cake at a party because she’s a woman, NDTV, May 02, 2019
- Ex-General Counsel Sues ExlService Holdings for Gender Discrimination, Retaliation, Law.com, April 29, 2019
- Fired EXL Service General Counsel Seeks $20M for Gender Bias, Bloomberg Law, April 29, 2019
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files $20 Million Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Suit on Behalf of the Former General Counsel and Executive Vice President of EXL Service Holdings, Inc. Against the Company and Its Senior Officers, GlobeNewswire, April 29, 2019
- Female Attorneys Hit Jones Day With $200M Bias Suit, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, April 03, 2019
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files $200 Million+ Class and Collective Action Against Jones Day, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, April 03, 2019
- Merck Can’t Sink Cert. In $250M Sex Bias Class Action, Law360, August 01, 2018
- Scripps Health will pay $1.5M to settle whistleblower suit over billing errors, Fierce Healthcare, January 22, 2018
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Announces Promotions & New Leadership Roles, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, January 04, 2018
- J&J, DePuy To Face Partly Revived FCA Suit Over Hip Device, Law360, July 26, 2017
- Customs Fraud: Recent Developments Present Opportunities for Whistleblowers
- New York’s Salary History Ban: Still Waiting to be Enforced
- Confidentiality Provisions: What You Need to Know and the Unique Strategy of the Trump Campaign
- More than a Reasonable Accommodation: The New York City Human Rights Law’s Protections for Workers with Disabilities
- Supreme Court to Cell Phone Users: The Right to Be Free From Spam Calls Is Alive and Well
- Laid Off? Did your Employer Fail to WARN you?
- Customs Fraud: What Whistleblowers Need to Know
- The Supreme Court Clarifies the Definition of Whistleblower Under Dodd Frank: What You Need to Know
- New York’s New Paid Family Leave Program: What You Need to Know
- Non-Competes: Can My Employer Stop Me From Taking a New Job?
- Free College Tuition Does Not Mean Diversity
- Judge Merrick Garland and Class Actions: What Will Happen?
- Reflections on The New York Times’ Report on Working Women in Rural India
- The Issues of Graduate Student Parents