Robert William Hellner

Robert William Hellner: Attorney with Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP


Robert focuses his practice on the defense of employment, professional liability and commercial litigation claims. As part of his litigation practice, Robert has defended hundreds of sensitive discrimination, harassment and wage claims for his clients and in multiple jurisdictions across the country, including through verdict. In this practice, Robert and his team frequently litigate disputed claims under Title VII, the ADA, FLSA, FMLA, FDCPA, FCRA and associated state and local laws. In the area of professional liability, he has successfully defended attorneys, accountants, insurance agents and design professionals. Robert is also an experienced commercial litigator, defending matters involving massive electronically stored information (ESI) discovery disputes, international business tort, trade secret, and non-compete issues. In addition, Robert assists our national insurance coverage practice by advising and representing domestic and international insurers on first-party property (Homeowner’s and Commercial), commercial general liability, construction defect, and professional errors and omission claims. Robert has successfully litigated a wide variety of first-party and third-party insurance cases, including the interpretation of policy provisions and exclusions, quantum disputes, catastrophes, bad faith, and extra-contractual claims, as well as rescission and material misrepresentation disputes. Across all areas of his practice, Robert and his team leverage their knowledge of cutting edge e-discovery technologies for tactical advantage.

Beyond litigation, Robert and his team advise and consult with employers on issues involving internal policies, non-competes, trade secrets, intellectual property, as well as best practices for social media usage and anti-discrimination and harassment training. Additionally, Robert and his team advise employers on all aspects of responding to wage and hour audits conducted by the Department of Labor and similar state agencies, as well as conducting self-audits to ensure proactive compliance. They also represents employers in response to NLRB complaints of unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act, which applies to all workplaces regardless of union representation.

Robert also is well known for his legal prowess with homebuilders who tap his knowledge base and litigation experience in matters ranging from construction defect to employment issues. He is frequently sought out as a thought leader and speaks widely to industry groups about emerging trends and litigation practice pointers.

Robert is an invited speaker on topics including e-discovery litigation strategies and emerging employer liabilities, including under the Affordable Care Act, and has provided detailed advice to liability carriers and employer groups on the impacts of Sections 1557 and 1558 of that Act. In addition, Robert is a requested contributor to leading legal journals, including the CLM Magazine, where his article on handling politics in the workplace was featured on the cover during the most recent presidential campaign.

Awards & Accomplishments

CALI Award for Excellence in Employment Law

NITA Certificate of Trial Advocacy, August 2012

Events, Seminars & Presentations

“Effective Tactics for Handling Harassment Claims Involving Executives: The First 48 Hours,” Presenter, CLM Management & Professional Liability Conference, Boston, MA (2018)

“ADA Internet Access Litigation,” Presenter, CLM Annual Conference, Houston, TX (2018)

Beazley Group Defense Counsel Summit, Employment Practices Liability (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

“Employment Practices Liability Insurance & Risk Management Strategies,” Presentation, Women Construction Owners & Executives (June 2017)

“Employment Retaliation Trends in 2017,” Defense Counsel Summit, Beazley Group (May 2017)

“Employment Practices Liability & Trends in Defense Handling,” Presentation, Farmers Commercial Agents’ Conference (July 2016)

“ACA: Employer Liabilities,” Webinar, New Jersey State Bar Association (May 2014)

“The Affordable Care Act: Emerging Liabilities for Employers and Insurers,” XpertHR Webinar, March 2014


Interfacing in Florida: The ADA Meets the Digital Age

WSHB EPL Case Law Update: Baker v. Maricle Industries, Inc., et al.

Connecticut Supreme Court: Punitive Damages are not Recoverable Under State Employment Discrimination Statute

WSHB CO EPL Case Law Update: Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act

For Want of a Cupcake? Bakery’s Refusal to Serve Same-Sex Couples is Found in Violation of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act

Put Up Your Dukes

The New Epic Considerations for Employers & Arbitration Provisions

New York State Releases Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training Program

WSHB Case Update: DOL Proposes Increase to Minimum Salary Threshold

Editor and Contributor for National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) newsletter, 2009 - 2010

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in EEOC Crosshairs, L&E Alert (December 2014)

Politics in the Workplace, CLM (Issue - September 2016)

Areas of Practice (9)

  • Employment
  • Professional Liability
  • Commercial and Business Litigation
  • Construction
  • Directors and Officers (D&O) Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Hospitality
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mass Torts and Class-Action Defense

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
424-208-5755  Phone
(469) 210-2052  Phone
Year of First Admission:
U.S.D.C. Northern District of Texas; U.S.D.C. Southern District of Texas; U.S.D.C. Western District of Texas; U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Texas; U.S.D.C. Western District of New York; U.S.D.C. District Court of Connecticut; Mohegan Tribal Gaming Court - Court of General Jurisdiction (CT); Texas; New York; Connecticut; U.S.D.C. Southern District of New York; U.S.D.C. Eastern District of New York


New York Bar Association, Employment CLE Committee

Hartford County Bar Association, Member

Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Member

NAPEO - National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, Associate Member

Professional Liability Underwriting Society, Member

ReUnder40 - Under 40 Reinsurance Group

Loyal Scot, Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association

Broadway Impact, ING NYC Marathon, 2013

Birth Information:

Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (2)

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Dallas, Texas

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