Julie E. Fink
Julie Fink is the Managing Partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. Julie leads an active commercial and public interest litigation practice and oversees all aspects of the firm’s management, growth, and strategic planning. As one of the youngest managing (and named) partners at a major law firm, Julie has been recognized for her “revolutionary” approach to firm operations, her strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her sizable contributions to the firm’s litigation practice. Before joining the firm, Julie worked as in-house counsel at Pfizer Inc. and as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Julie has received substantial recognition from the larger legal industry for both her leadership of Kaplan Hecker and her own legal practice. She was named Managing Partner of the Year at Corporate Counsel’s 2019 Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards, and has also been honored as a Notable LGBTQ Leader and Executive, Notable Woman in Law, and 40 Under 40 Rising Business Star by Crain's New York; a Leading Lawyer in America by Lawdragon 500; and a 40 & Under Hot List member and Future Star by Benchmark Litigation. Julie’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the law has also been recognized. She was named a finalist for Crain’s New York’s 2021 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion “Champions of Change” award, and Kaplan Hecker is likewise a current finalist for The National Law Journal’s Diversity Initiative Award at the publication’s upcoming Elite Trial Lawyers event.
Throughout her career, Julie has successfully represented companies and individuals in a range of litigation matters at both the trial and appellate level across a range of industries, from manufacturing companies to financial institutions. Her broad practice has included product liability and mass tort, employment class action, regulatory, securities fraud, mergers and acquisitions, consumer fraud, and complex commercial and antitrust litigation. She also has extensive experience advising clients on pre-litigation matters. Having managed substantial litigation portfolios both as inside and outside counsel, Julie is mindful of the importance of communication and collaboration between an outside firm and in-house teams.
Julie has particular expertise in matters concerning allegations of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. She advises clients on Title IX and Title VII compliance and litigation matters, represents individuals in matters involving sexual assault and discrimination, and conducts complex and sensitive internal investigations related to these and related topics. Finally, Julie also helps organizations to review, strengthen, and implement robust anti-harassment policies that both protect employees and minimize risk.
Julie also maintains an active pro bono and public interest practice, often at the forefront of civil rights and social justice issues. She represented ten plaintiffs in a groundbreaking lawsuit against twenty-five white supremacists and neo-Nazis, bringing claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act and the Civil Rights Act based on their roles in organizing the racial and religious-based violence in Charlottesville during the summer of 2017. Julie also represented Amber Heard in a defamation lawsuit filed against her by her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. In 2018, she successfully represented Melanie Kohler, who was sued for defamation by a Hollywood director after sharing her #MeToo experience on Facebook.
At Paul, Weiss, Julie was a key member of the team representing Edith Windsor in her historic challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), where the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. She also represented thousands of individuals in an action brought against the Governor of the State of New York and other New York officials challenging the State's practice of segregating individuals with mental illness in institutional adult homes. After more than a decade of litigation, Julie helped negotiate a landmark settlement ending the State's discriminatory practices. Julie continued her work at Pfizer, where she served as the global Pro Bono Lead, significantly expanding the Company's legal pro bono programs throughout the world. She also served as a member of Pfizer’s Global LGBT Colleague Council.
Julie is a frequent speaker on civil rights issues and pro bono work, and she has won awards for her public interest advocacy, including HELP USA's HERO Award, the Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award, and Immigration Equality’s Safe Haven Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Representation. Julie has also co-authored numerous articles and amicus briefs on reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights issues and serves on the boards of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and MAKERS@. Previously, she represented Pfizer as a member of the Advisory Council for The Duke Conferences.
Julie clerked for the Honorable Eric N. Vitaliano in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where she was a Florence Allen Scholar and a member of the Order of the Coif. She received her B.A. in Economics from Emory University.