About Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

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 Friends

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.

Hockey Fans

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 Buffalo Sabres.  

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 Scholarship

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.  

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

1600 Bausch & Lomb Place
Rochester, NY 14604-2711
Phone: (585) 232-6500
Fax: (585) 232-2152


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 128

  • Employment Contact
    Elizabeth Hofmeister
    Director of Legal Recruiting & Development
    Phone: (585) 231-1292
    Email: ehofmeister@hselaw.com

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $90,000
    Summer associate: $1,500/week (1L), $1,700/week (2L)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Agriculture, Food and Dairy
    Automobile Dealerships
    Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization & Insolvency
    Building and Construction
    Closely Held Businesses & Private Companies
    Design Professionals
    Education K-12
    Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
    Environmental, Land Use and Zoning
    Financial Services
    Government Affairs
    Government and Internal Investigations
    Health Care Professionals
    Health Systems and Hospitals
    Higher Education
    Intellectual Property
    Labor and Employment
    Long-Term Care
    Manufacturers and Distributors
    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Municipal Law
    Native American Law
    Not-for-Profit Organizations
    Optics and Photographic Industries
    Private Equity and Venture Capital
    Public Finance
    Real Estate
    Retailer Real Estate
    Secured Lending/Asset Recovery
    Sports Law and Sports Facilities
    Technology and Software
    Trusts and Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Rochester, NY (HQ)
  • Albany, NY
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Naples, FL

Get Our Career Newsletter

Interview, resume and job search tips emailed directly to you.