The rare New York firm that has made a name for itself within
the entire state that exists outside of the Big Apple, HSE is the
largest law firm in Rochester. Armed with a renowned M&A
practice adept in negotiating millions to billions of dollars
transfers, HSE is sought after by Fortune 100 companies and clients
the likes of Wegmans, MacKenzie-Childs, Kodak, American Express,
HSBC Holdings and Buchanan Ingersoll.
Who Needs the Big Apple?
In the wilderness known to Manhattan residents as upstate New
York, HSE was founded by James Havens and Nathaniel Foote all the
way back in 1893 and has made a comfortable and successful home for
itself. Foote served as a Justice of the State Supreme Court,
appointed by Governor of New York, and later moved up to Appellate
Division. Havens turned away from the government path, turning down
a run for Governor of New York in 1910. In fact, HSE was so
comfortable in Rochester that it took nearly a hundred years for
the firm to take its first steps outside the Western New York city.
Its first additional office, in Naples, Florida in 1981, was its
farthest. After that, HSE stuck with the Western New York region,
opening offices in Albany in 1989 and Buffalo in 1995.
HSE houses 43 Super Lawyers and 51 Best
Lawyers, made the National Law Journal's prestigious
"Midsize Hot List" 2012, and ranks nationally, Corporate/M&A
and Immigration in Chambers USA 2012 Immigration Law in
New York State. What's more, HSE has an enviable good rep even
among its associates, having placed 11th nationally in the American
Lawyer Mid-Level Associate Survey 2012's, and boasting one of the
highest average scores of any firm ranked in the survey over the
past five years. HSE racks up awards for being a star dealmaker and
emerged a dual winner in the Global M&A Network's 2011 Americas
"Atlas" awards, taking away the Top Deal of the Year
Award-North America Corporate Deal of the Year/Small Mid
Markets and the Industry Deal of the Year Award-Technology
& Telecom Deal of the Year/Middle Markets.
HSE and Eastman Kodak-Old
Harter Secrest and Eastman Kodak go way back. From the early
days of founder James Havens's friendship with George Eastman,
founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, and his position of general
counsel and later promotion to vice president, HSE has stood by the
photo and technology company throughout, guiding it through sales
of operations, businesses, assets in silver, light film, imaging
technology, micrographics, photo kiosks and software. Most
recently, HSE won the Acquisitions International M&A Award for
USA Leading Dealmaker for representing Eastman Kodak in the sale of
its image sensor business to Platinum Equity Portfolio Company.
HSE attorneys most likely get free tickets to Buffalo Sabres
games. The halls of HSE are filled with hockey fans, judging by its
active sports M&A deals. HSE negotiated the $189 million
transfer of hands of the National Hockey League team the Buffalo
Sabres from Tom Golisano to its new owner, Terry Pagula. It wasn't
the first time HSE had helped the Buffalo Sabres out; it also
negotiated the Rochester Americans AHL hockey team sale to the
Government and Internal Investigations
HSE opened its Government and Internal Investigations group in
2011 to defend clients being investigated or prosecuted by the
government. Not that HSE's experience in this field is new; the
opening of the group just makes it official. The Group is staffed
with officials who know what they're talking about, including a
federal magistrate judge, an assistant U.S. attorney for Buffalo
and a DC Justice Department trial attorney, among others.
Harter, Secrest & Emery Diversity
HSE offers diverse 1Ls who "evidence great promise" its
eponymous Harter, Secrest & Emery Diversity Scholarship, which
includes a $7,500 tuition scholarship for the 2L year and a paid
ten-week summer associate position in the post-1L summer.