Ian T. Clarke-Fisher



  • Overview


    Ian Clarke-Fisher focuses his practice on complex commercial and employment litigation. He is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation Group and Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group.

    Commercial Litigation
    Ian works with businesses on every aspect of a dispute, from pre-litigation strategies to taking matters on appeal. His commercial cases involve complex contractual disputes, along with breach of fiduciary duty, business torts, unfair trade practices, and intellectual property claims.  His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to family businesses and start-ups in a broad variety of industrial and commercial sectors.

    Ian has attained significant results for clients, including recently assisting a global technology provider with successfully obtaining a $50,000,000 judgment and foreclosing the security interests. Ian also obtained summary judgment in a dispute between members of an LLC dismissing all derivative claims, including claims of tortious interference, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty, brought by the majority members. Further, Ian regularly assists clients in contractual disputes in the recovery of substantial pre-litigation payments and prompt resolutions.

    Employment Litigation
    Ian also regularly represents businesses in complex employment matters, including wage and hour collective and class actions and claims relating to discrimination and retaliation.  He has achieved positive results in such matters, including obtaining numerous dismissals on behalf of employers before state agencies and in the courts, together with appeals. Ian is particularly experienced in trade secret and non-compete claims, from handling pre-suit investigations to obtaining injunctions on behalf of employers, handling claims of breach of contract, unfair competition, trade secrets, and tortious interference.


    In addition, Ian is a member of the Firm’s multi-disciplinary International Practice Team. In this regard, Ian assists international clients with U.S. disputes and regularly provides advice on related contractual issues. In 2017, Ian represented the Firm in a month-long secondment at a large British law firm to build and strengthen the Firm’s international relationships with both lawyers and clients.   

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Business Litigation

      • Defended family in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and related claims brought by a New York City-based art dealer stemming from the purchase and subsequent sale of a Picasso sculpture for over $20 million. Won pre-answer motion to dismiss prior to engaging in discovery.

      • Obtained $50,000,000 judgment on behalf of a global technology company against one of its competitors within seven months of filing the breach of contract action.  Oversaw the enforcement of the judgment with a judicial stock sale and enforcement actions in various states and countries, including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

      • Defended banking institution in breach of contract and misappropriation action brought by software technology company based on alleged breaches of a software licensing agreement. Won pre-answer motion to dismiss prior to engaging in discovery.

      • Defended two global technology companies in breach of contract action brought by 15 individuals in federal court in Ohio. Won pre-answer motion to dismiss prior to engaging in discovery.

      • Defended a member of an LLC and a number of the member’s related companies and individuals, in a derivative action brought by other members of a failed restaurant asserting claims sounding in breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud, and alleging damages in excess of $3,000,000. Won summary judgment dismissing 14 of the 16 counts asserted, which resulted in a prompt resolution of the matter.

      • Represented an energy service provider in over ten related and coordinated mechanic lien foreclosure actions in New York. Following several successful motions for summary judgment, we eventually recovered the entire amount claimed by our client.

      • Defended numerous retailers against website accessibility claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state laws, as well as provide counseling for accessibility, compliance, and risk reduction.

      • Regularly represents businesses in responding to third-party discovery requests in state and federal courts, and administrative investigations.

      • General Employment Litigation

      • Represented global chemical company from claims by a former internal auditor alleging race, sex, and religious discrimination; retaliation for complaining about discrimination; and intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and invasion of privacy by false light. Successfully obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s intentional infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy claims. Won summary judgment on all 12 remaining claims, and won request for reimbursement of discovery costs and an award of attorney's fees.

      • Represented national construction contractor from claims by a former employee alleging wrongful termination on the basis of race and sex. Required former employee, though counsel, to stipulate to a dismissal with prejudice during former employee’s deposition based upon former employee’s testimony.

      • Obtained numerous dismissals on behalf of employers in actions based upon allegations of wrongful termination and discrimination before the New York State Division of Human Rights and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

      • Trade Secrets and Non-Competition

      • Represented rental company in prosecution of claims of breach of contract, unfair competition, and tortious interference against former employees and a major competitor resulting in injunction against the former employees enforcing their restrictive covenants, and eventually a six-figure monetary settlement payment from the competitor.

      • Obtained favorable outcome for client, a Global Vice President of a technology company, at preliminary injunction hearing, and ultimately a summary judgment victory, which the Second Circuit affirmed on appeal, in trade secrets, computer crimes and unfair trade practices dispute where client went to work for a competitor.

      • Obtained temporary restraining order and eventually a permanent injunction on behalf of a home health care provider against former employees and the former employees’ new employer.

      • Wage and Hour Litigation

      • Member of trial team in an Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) misclassification collective action in which we defended a chain of convenience stores against current and former store managers. Following three days of evidence, we reached a favorable settlement for less than 10 percent of the claimed damages.

      • Defended national construction company from claims from former employees in six related lawsuits. The first lawsuit was an FLSA hybrid collective action filed by five former employees claiming failure to pay overtime pay on behalf of themselves and a nationwide class of current and former employees. We successfully limited the plaintiffs from conducting nationwide discovery, saving significant expenses, and successfully dismissed all of the class action wage and hour claims. Although the Court allowed the plaintiffs to issue a class solicitation notice for misclassification claims, only one former employee opted into the collective action. We also successfully defended the company from five single-plaintiff lawsuits alleging discrimination and retaliation claims, breach of implied contract claims, equal pay claims, and wrongful termination claims. We filed motions to dismiss by which we dismissed two of the lawsuits in their entirety and limited the claims in the remaining three lawsuits. Having significantly reduced the scope of the plaintiffs' claims, we positioned the case for settlement, and after two mediations, we entered into a confidential global settlement of all claims.

      • Other Experiences

      • Represented ViaQuest Holdings, Ltd. (ViaQuest) as legal counsel in connection with investment in the healthcare services provider by Council Capital, a healthcare-focused private equity firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. ViaQuest, headquartered in Dublin,Ohio, is a leading provider of quality, highly-individualized and specialized cost-effective care, solutions and services focused on individuals with development disabilities; hospice care; and behavioral and mental health. All are seen as growing areas of the healthcare market. ViaQuest operates in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association

      New York State Bar Association

      Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected as a Rising Star to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list from 2017 to 2020.

      Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Litigation - Labor and Employment for 2024

    • Publications


      "Robinson & Cole discuss Website Accessibility and Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act," co-authored with Kathleen M. Porter and William J. Egan, the first part of a series on the Americans with Disabilities Act and website accessibility that will be published in the ADVOC Gazette (7/12/2022)
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      "Prelitigation Steps for Trade Secret and Noncompete Cases," published in Lexis Practice Advisor, co-authored with Matthew T. Miklave and Sandra Marin Lautier (Updated, July 2019)
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      • View article

      "Employee Free Speech in Connecticut: The Unsettled Landscape of Connecticut General Statutes § 31-51q," published in Connecticut Lawyer, co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson (04/2013)

    • Presentations


      "Navigating the Boilerplate – A Discussion of Common Commercial Clauses From a Litigation Perspective," co-presented with Brian J. Wheelin, a webinar hosted by Lawline (10/25/2022)
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      "What Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants (Update)," hosted by Lawline (10/4/2021)
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      "What Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants," presented as a Lawline course. (10/4/2019)
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      "Bulletproofing Your Deals 2018 - Lessons from the Litigation Battlefield on Commercial Contracts Clauses," co-presented with Brian J. Wheelin, presented by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Westchester/Southern Connecticut in Darien, Connecticut (11/14/2018)
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      "U.S. Labor and Employment Implications of International Business Transactions (Update)," co-presented with Matthew T. Miklave, online CLE webcast, available through Lawline.com for on-demand viewing (10/2/2018)
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      "Clearing the Smoke on Medical Marijuana in Employment," at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida (4/7/2016)
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      "New York City and State Employment Law: Recent Developments," presented at Robinson+Cole's New York City office, co-presented with Matthew T. Miklave, Katherine C. Glynn and Laura A. Torchio (10/23/2014)
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    • News

      R+C in the News

      • August 16, 2022

        Kathleen Porter, William Egan and Ian Clarke-Fisher Author Article on Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance

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      • March 29, 2021

        Transactional Health Law Team Represents ViaQuest in Significant Investment Agreement

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      • December 3, 2018

        Ian Clarke-Fisher and Brian Wheelin Present Program for ACC Westchester/Southern Connecticut

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      • October 18, 2018

        51 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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        • View article
      • October 11, 2018

        Ian Clarke-Fisher and Matt Miklave Present Lawline CLE Webcast

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      • May 18, 2017

        Ian Clarke-Fisher to Represent Robinson+Cole in Mills & Reeve Secondment

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      • October 14, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Write Article for Lexis Practice Advisor

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      • April 15, 2016

        Ian Clarke-Fisher Presents at CLM 2016 Conference

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      • October 2, 2015

        Ian Clarke-Fisher Is Nominated for CLM Membership

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      • November 21, 2014

        New York Lawyers Present New Developments in New York City and State Employment Law

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      • October 28, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Write Article for NYSBA Journal

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      • May 17, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Write Article for Connecticut Lawyer

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      • March 5, 2013

        Steve Aronson and Ian Clarke-Fisher Write Article for Westlaw Journal

      R+C News Releases

      • August 17, 2023

        78 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024

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      • October 28, 2020

        Three Lawyers From Robinson+Cole’s New York Office Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 19, 2019

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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        • View article
      • December 5, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners

      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

        • » more info
        • View article
      • May 31, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Expands Labor & Employment Practice with Addition of Three New Attorneys

    • Legal Updates/Newsletters

      Legal Updates/Newsletters

      "New York Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Vetoed; FTC and NLRB Proposed Nationwide Bans Remain Pending" co-authored with Stephen W. Aronson and Trevor L. Bradley (1/9/2024)

      "New York Inches Closer to Banning Non-Compete Agreements" co-authored with Trevor L. Bradley and Stephen W. Aronson (6/23/23)

      "FTC Proposes Rule Prohibiting Employee Noncompete Agreements and Broadly-Worded Non-Disclosure Agreements" co-authored with Janet Kljyan and Stephen W. Aronson (1/6/23)

      "The Ever-Changing Landscape of Non-Compete Agreements – Recent Developments" co-authored with Janet Kljyan and Leslie J. Levinson (9/27/2021)

      "Recent Amendments to Home Care Worker Wage Parity Law" co-authored with Janet Kljyan and Leslie J. Levinson (4/10/2020)

      "Responding to Government Inquires Related to Price Gouging During the COVID-19 Pandemic" co-authored with Edward J. Heath and Kendra L. Berardi (3/30/20)