“Becker Scores Veteran Litigator With BigLaw Experience,” Law360

“Becker Scores Veteran Litigator With BigLaw Experience,” Law360

Florida-based commercial firm Becker & Poliakoff LLP has armed itself with a veteran employment law litigator to boost its New York business practice.

Ned H. Bassen has joined the firm as a shareholder and will focus on labor and employment litigation, an area in which he has practiced for decades, the firm said Monday.

Bassen joins from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, where he was a partner at the firm’s New York office for 24 years.

“It took me a very long time to get here,” Bassen told Law360. “I’m quite excited. I call it ‘dreaming a new dream.'”

With most of his career spent in BigLaw, Bassen worked on complex cases that involved years of work and high billing. But that kind of work didn’t keep him busy enough, he said.

“I like working hard. I don’t really like sitting around for five years … for the next big case,” he said.

Bassen said he had been looking for a more competitive platform to put his extensive knowledge of employment law to work. Becker, a midsize firm that employs about 130 lawyers, was the perfect fit. The firm lacked a stand-alone labor and employment practice, he said.

“I didn’t want to be an add-on to a firm. I wanted to be able to add value and something to a firm,”
Bassen said. “I’ve been looking for a long time and I think I found the right place, and I’m really excited
about it, and they seem very excited to have me.”

Becker’s regional managing shareholder, Victor DiGioia, said in a statement the acquisition of an
experienced litigator such as Bassen will give the firm’s labor and employment practice an edge.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ned to our growing New York office,” DiGioia said. “Ned is a talented
litigator who brings over 45 years of expertise across all areas of employment law. He also brings a well-
deserved reputation for negotiation and advocacy on behalf of his clients.”

Bassen, a native New Yorker who has taken on cases across the country, will be leading a growing team
of labor and employment litigators that currently includes three other seasoned lawyers. A team of
associates made up of both seniors and younger recruits will also work on Bassen’s team.

“Part of my role here is to be a mentor and teach people this area of law,” Bassen said.

In a career that spanned over 45 years, Bassen took on difficult employment litigation cases,
representing both individuals and corporations, including defense contractors, financial institutions,
universities, and individuals, according to Becker’s website.

Bassen played a role in the highly publicized Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP bankruptcy case when he defended
the firm’s executive director from charges of fraud.

Becker, which is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and has offices all over the East Coast — 11 of its
offices are located in Florida — represents corporations in various stages of development.

The firm recently represented Venus Acquisition, a blank-check company targeting businesses that have
a connection to the Asian market, in a $40 million public offering filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission in late December.

Becker scored several high-profile additions in recent months. In November, it welcomed a former
Florida state legislator, Katie Edwards-Walpole, to beef up its government law and lobbying practice.
And earlier in 2020, the firm hired Bill Huo, a lawyer with an extensive background in intellectual
property law who joined the firm to focus on domestic and international securities, financings, mergers
and acquisitions and general corporate representation.

The firm’s expanding workforce underscores its growing ambitions in 2021, according to its leaders.

“I would love to continue expanding our profile on a national level,” said Gary Rosen, the firm’s
managing shareholder. “That doesn’t mean that Becker is suddenly going to become a firm with offices
in every major city. But we enjoy a great reputation in certain practices that I feel are well-positioned to
create an expanded and more nationally-oriented footprint.”

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