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Davida S. Perry

Davida S. Perry Photo View Profile
Davida S. Perry Managing Partner


A Reputation of Excellence

Davida S. Perry is the co-founding and managing partner of Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP, a preeminent law firm focusing on representing individuals in all areas of employment law, including discrimination and sexual harassment cases. Ms. Perry’s firm prosecuted employment law cases when this field of law was relatively new and has been responsible for shaping the law.

She’s passionate about the plight of her clients and the fundamental importance of their jobs. In almost every case, it’s a David and Goliath power equation, with a defenseless individual up against a company machine that marshals an army of lawyers and human resources. She prides herself on thinking outside the box, being tenacious and tough, but also compassionate. She says, “When a client says to me, ‘This is the worst time in my life and you’re the bright star,’ then I feel like I’m doing my job well.”

Ms. Perry is a proud supporter of the #metoo and #timesup movements.



Advocating fiercely for her clients for 30+ years, Ms. Perry has been a trailblazer in the field of employment law. A landmark case (Thoreson v. Penthouse Magazine and Robert Guccione) set a significant precedent that a claim can be established based on a victim's testimony alone. In addition to playing an important role in the creation of the New York City Human Rights Law, Ms. Perry was significantly involved in one of the first discrimination cases (Bracker v. Cohen) brought under this law. When the constitutionality of the law was challenged, she fought successfully to have it upheld, which paved the way for victims of discrimination working in New York City to avail themselves of one of the most protective and comprehensive human rights laws in the country. Serving as Second Chair on a sexual harassment trial (McIntyre v. Manhattan Ford), the $6.6 million award and its adjustment on appeal still stands as one of the highest awards for sexual harassment in the nation.

Ms. Perry has co-authored articles for programs sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, The National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Practicing Law Institute, among others. She has achieved an "AV" rating with preeminence by Martindale-Hubbell. For each year since 2009 to the present, Ms. Perry has been designated a New York "Super Lawyer" and a "Woman Leader In The Law.”

She has also co-authored numerous articles and publications for programs sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Practicing Law Institute. Ms. Perry has lectured on employment law for various continuing legal education providers such as Lawline. Ms. Perry is a mediator at the United States District Court, Southern District of New York and a mediator and arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

Legal Ratings & Distinctions

Ms. Perry holds an “AV rating with preeminence” from Martindale Hubbell, one of the oldest rating authorities worldwide. The “A” represents the highest level of legal ability and the “V” indicates “Very High” adherence to the Professional Code of Responsibility in conduct, ethics, and diligence. According to, the “AV” rating is a significant accomplishment — a testament to the fact that Ms. Perry’s peers rank her at the highest level of professional excellence

Ms. Perry has been listed by Thompson Reuters as a New York Metro Area “Super Lawyer” every year since 2009, was named as one of the “Top 50 Female Attorneys” in the New York Metro Area listing in 2012 and 2013, and also named a “Woman Leader in the Law” every year since 2012 by New York magazine.



  • J.D., New England School of Law, 1985
    • cum laude
  • B.A., Skidmore College, 1982
    • highest honors

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • New York, 1986
  • Massachusetts, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2017

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Court Appointed Federal Mediator: United States District Courts, Southern & Eastern Districts
  • Court Appointed State Court Mediator: New York County and Richmond County
  • Advisory Board, NYU Center of Labor and Employment Law
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Women's Empowerment Networking Group
  • Arbitrator and Mediator, American Arbitration Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Named to City & State’s Law Power 100 List since 2019
  • Named as one of New York's Women Leaders in the Law since 2012
  • Thomson Reuters New York Super Lawyers List (since 2009)
  • "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell with Preeminence (since 2003)
  • Honored by the National Employment Lawyers Association at its celebration in honor of "Courageous Plaintiffs Who Fought Back" (1999)
  • Recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law (1984)

Community Involvement

Presentations, Speaking Engagements, & Publications

  • Presenter on “Push-back on Mandatory Arbitration” at NYU Labor & Employment Center’s 74th Annual Convention, June 9, 2022

  • Facilitator, 24th Annual Employment Law Workshop for Federal Judges hosted by NYU Labor & Employment Center and the Federal Judicial Center, April 28, 2021

  • “Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession” , Co-Presenter, National Law Institute, February 21, 2019, November 14, 2019
  • “SCOTUS mulls extending VII protection to gay, transgender workers”, Contributor, Westlaw Journal (Thomson Reuters), October 22, 2019
  • “Hot Topics In Employment Law: The Great Debate, Moderator”, New York County Lawyers Association, March 12, 2019
  • “Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias: Litigation Avoidance for Attorneys (Pt 1) and Employment Discrimination: An Overview (Part 2)”, Co-Presenter, New York County Lawyers Association, November 28, 2018
  • “Assessing #metoo”, Moderator, NYU Center for Labor and Employment Law annual conference, November 2018
  • Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias: Litigation Avoidance for Attorneys, Co-Presenter, National Law Institute, August 10, 2018
  • "Harassment in the Workplace 20 years after Faragher", Co-author for Thomson Reuters, February 27, 2018
  • Featured Speaker, “Individual Liability in Discrimination Cases,” NELA/NY Spring 2017 Conference, May 12, 2017
  • Featured Speaker, “Sexual Harassment & The New York City Human Rights Law,”, April 24, 2012
  • "Sexual Harassment in the New Millennium: The Impact of Faragher and Ellerth," National Employment Lawyers Association Publication (Co-Author), 2002
  • "How to Handle Your First Employment Discrimination Case," Practicing Law Institute Publication (Co-Author), 1999
  • "Trial Motions: Advantages and Considerations," Third Annual Employment Law Litigation Institute, New York State Bar Association Publication, Section on Labor and Employment Law (Co-Author), May 18-20, 1998
  • "Counsel's Investigation and Retainer Agreements," National Employment Lawyers Association Publication (Co-Author), April 24, 1998
  • "Claims for Damage to an Employee's Reputation and Future Employment Opportunities," Practicing Law Institute Publication (Co-Author), March 5-6, 1998
  • "Strategies for Settlement," Second Annual Employment Law Litigation Institute, New York State Bar Association Publication, Section on Labor and Employment Law (Co-Author), May 16-17, 1997
  • Co-Presenter at ACI’s 31st National Conference on Employment Practices Liability Insurance on January 24, 2023 on “The View from the Plaintiff’s Bar: The Latest Trends and Claims Coming Down the Pipeline”
Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP

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