Steven G. Eckhaus, head of Cadwalader's Executive Compensation and Benefits Group, concentrates his practice on executive compensation, employment law and related litigation. Steve has earned a national reputation representing industry leaders in financial services, technology, sports, media, real estate and education, for whom he has negotiated more than $6 billion in pay.
Equally adept in the courtroom as around the negotiating table, Steve has successfully litigated matters involving trade secrets, confidentiality and inventions agreements, restrictive covenants, fiduciary duties, contracts, Title VII, ERISA, securities, RICO, trusts and estates, and criminal allegations. Steve has successfully argued cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Steve is rated by Lawdragon and Human Resources Executive as among the 100 Most Powerful Employment Lawyers in America and, for each of the past four years, he has been recognized as one of the 20 leading ERISA and Employee Benefits Attorneys.
The technical core of Steve's executive compensation practice includes negotiating and drafting operating, partnership, and employment agreements, restrictive covenant, confidentiality, trade secret and inventions agreements, carried interest, equity and cash compensation plans, deferred compensation plans, and incentive compensation plans. He represents public and private companies, as well as their decision makers, hedge and private equity funds, as well as their partners and limited partners.
Steve served as the owners' representative on the supervisory boards of iconic New York City properties such as the Empire State Building, negotiated and supervised the purchases and sales of New York City office buildings, 1031 exchanges and multi-million dollar leasing transactions.
Steve received his J.D. from Cornell University Law School, and his B.S. from Cornell University. He is admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey. Steve is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and District of New Jersey. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and formerly a member of the Cornell University Library Advisory Council, and Hastings Law School Center for WorkLife Law Advisory Board.
Steve continues to have considerable courtroom success for his executive employment clients, successfully litigating disputes involving trade secrets, covenants not to compete, confidentiality and inventions agreements. Steve is also responsible for important public policy achievements, advancing individual rights that we now take for granted.
•In the Matter of Trezza, 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 20206 (S.D.N.Y.), Steve fought for, and established, the right of mothers to equal treatment in employment.
•In Goldstick v. The Hartford, Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15247 (S.D.N.Y.), a matter he filed in 2000, Steve was among the first lawyers to champion flexible work arrangements.
•Steve's successful argument in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Morelli v. Cedel (141 F. 3d 39 (2d Cir. 1998)), overturned more than a decade of adverse precedent and expanded the jurisdiction of the courts to protect US workers employed by foreign corporations.
News & Resources
•Cadwalader Represents BankUnited in Agreement to Acquire Certus's Small Business Finance Unit Mar 09, 2015
•More Than 40 Cadwalader Attorneys Recognized by Super Lawyers 2014 New York Metro Edition Sep 15, 2014
Clients & Friends Memos
•Sun Capital Partners Decision Expands the Risk to Private Equity Funds of Incurring Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities Aug 28, 2013
•Quorum: February 2015 V3N1 Feb 11, 2015