Douglas WigdorFounder Of
Wigdor LLP

Who empowers those who’ve been mistreated by powerful institutions?

Douglas Wigdor, that’s who.

Accountability for Corporations. Justice for All.

Justice takes time and effort. It’s not straightforward, no matter what the evidence may say. And if there’s one thing about plaintiff’s litigation, it’s that it is a massive undertaking.

Fortunately, Douglas Wigdor has all day. And he loves a challenge.

It’s precisely that grit and tenacity that has won this renowned, New York City–based trial attorney and his firm Wigdor LLP more than $1.5 billion in trial verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements for his clients.

“That’s what sets us apart from the rest of the pack,” says Douglas. “A lot of plaintiff’s lawyers don’t want to put in the time and effort to go to trial. They’d rather settle a case cheaply and quickly, get their money, and move on to the next client.”

But for Douglas, trying cases is what it’s all about. It’s the only way he can fight back on behalf of clients who have been discriminated against, harassed, and/or assaulted – oftentimes at the hands of global institutions, corporate monoliths, or some of the most powerful individuals in the world.

“People really feel that they’re helpless – that they don’t have the ability to make a case,” Douglas says. “After we [agree] to take the case, that person knows our ability to take [it] to trial is going to empower them, and we’re going to hold the person [or institution] who committed the wrongdoing accountable for what they did.”

This all-in approach has won Douglas every superlative in the book, punctuating his prolific law career. Financial Times called him “America’s most prominent #MeToo lawyer.” Businessweek described him as “One of New York City’s most aggressive employment lawyers.” A former U.S. Senator for New York even remarked that “it’s much better to have [Douglas] on our side than risk sitting across from him.”

Rising to the top

Anyone who’s met Douglas is familiar with his appetite for victory, both in the courtroom and on the tennis court. “From a very young age, I always wanted to be in a courtroom. I enjoyed arguing even as a young person,” Douglas remarked.

After eventually receiving a political science and government degree from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a Juris Doctor from Catholic University School of Law in Washington, D.C., Douglas started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, New York.

“As an assistant district attorney, you get tremendous trial experience. But you’re representing the people of the state of New York – not the victim of the case,” Douglas recalled. “[In the civil area], I felt that I was able to broaden the scope of who we would represent and develop relationships with our clients rather than just representing the state.”

This realization laid the groundwork for Douglas’ transition from criminal litigation to civil litigation. And with that came founding his own firm in 2003 – a firm that’s now widely considered the top employment litigation and sexual harassment and sexual assault law firm nationally.

It’s a process of ultimately giving [our clients] a voice so they can fight back and show the world that what happened to them actually is true, despite the other side trying to disprove their character.

Douglas Wigdor

Founder of Wigdor LLP

Taking on goliaths

Even as a young firm, Wigdor LLP found itself trying cases against some of the most powerful people and institutions in the world. Namely, Douglas recalls a case in 2011 where he represented a hotel employee who was sexually assaulted by a former French politician at her place of work:

“She was an immigrant from Western Africa who had come here to live the American dream, working at a [prominent international hotel chain]. And then out of the blue, she was sexually assaulted by this very powerful man. And the hotel [was] a powerful institution. She turned to us and we [assured] her that we had the wherewithal and resources to go toe-to-toe with great lawyers on the criminal defense side, as well as corporate lawyers.”

Alone, this woman wouldn’t stand a chance. But with Wigdor LLP as her champion, she did more than stand a chance. She won.

Through it all, the defining feature of each and every case Wigdor LLP takes on is trust. Not just a client’s trust in the firm’s capabilities, but trust that their story will be heard.

“It’s a process of ultimately giving them a voice so they can fight back and show the world that what happened to them actually is true, despite the other side trying to disprove their character,” Douglas said.

Similarly, Douglas remembers one of his most notable cases from 2018, which involved representing eight women who had been sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive. Of these eight survivors, two ended up testifying in the high-profile Manhattan rape and sexual-assault trial.

“We were able to bring civil cases as well, on behalf of our clients, to not only hold [the Hollywood executive] accountable for what happened, but also other wrongdoers who knew about [his] behaviors,” Douglas explained.

With each winning verdict, Douglas and his team of lawyers are setting a moral precedent for corporate giants who take advantage of their employees, whether for profit or personal gain. By amplifying voices of those who’ve been discriminated against and/or mistreated, trial lawyers ultimately help turn the tide towards more accountability among the seemingly untouchable.

One such entity Wigdor LLP is currently focusing on is related to professional football. According to a Wigdor LLP press release, the class action lawsuit centers around a former football head coach and several others alleging a history of racism in professional football.

Particularly, the case focuses on “sham” interviews with black candidates, conducted by professional football executives, only to satisfy a league policy from 2003 requiring teams to interview diverse candidates for senior-level roles.

“We’ve had some very important race discrimination cases through the years. Not least of which is one we’re fighting right now on behalf of three black [professional football] coaches, all of whom have been discriminated against because they’re black and have not been afforded the same opportunities to become head coaches.”

A well-oiled machine

Holding French politicians accountable. Empowering survivors of sexual assault to tell their stories. Calling out systemic racism in professional sports. It all takes guts. But it also takes responsible, profitable business decisions not just to fight, but to win. And for Douglas Wigdor, one of his many smart decisions was partnering with Esquire Bank.

“We transitioned from a large commercial bank because we were just not satisfied with the level of client service we were getting,” Douglas recalled.

As it grew, Wigdor LLP sought out assistance with managing all its accounts, from trust accounts to sales accounts to operating accounts. And as with many contingency fee law firms, its paydays are only as swift as its chosen bank, which is why Douglas needed a banking partner that could keep up.

“[Esquire Bank] knew our business. It made a big difference in how we’re able to operate as a law firm. Because at the end of the day, you want bankers who are on your side and understand what you do,” said Douglas. “It makes the whole operation run smoothly.”

Behind the scenes at

Wigdor LLP

Built on empowerment

Douglas believes nurturing client relationships is paramount. He typically speaks with clients on a daily basis, and he even keeps in touch with previous clients he represented at the start of Wigdor LLP.

More than meets the eye

From retail to entertainment to sports, Douglas and his team become masters at how these massive businesses operate. And they do it because that’s the only real avenue to finding justice for those mistreated by those businesses.

No shortcuts

While his past cases have earned both Douglas Wigdor and Wigdor LLP many accolades, what excites him more is looking to the future – especially since 2023 was the firm’s 20th year in business.

“It’s easy for a founding partner to sit back and let the other lawyers do the cases, but I enjoy being in the courtroom. I think that’s important for the future of the firm,” said Douglas. “But also growing the other lawyers who are here, making sure they get their opportunities to handle high-profile cases [and] to do trials. That will make sure the firm’s legacy continues not only for the next 20 years, but for [another] 20 years after that.”

Throughout these two decades of being a trial attorney, Douglas has found no better mission than to hold the powerful accountable in the eyes of the justice system. He also approaches every case as if it were his first – with back-breaking attention to detail. Why?

Douglas says it best, and he says it often:

“There are no shortcuts to being a good trial lawyer.”