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				Helen A.

Helen A. Rella

Counsel in New York

Helen A. Rella is a member of Wilk Auslander’s Global Services Group, with a particular focus on the employment arena, advising corporations and individuals conducting business in the U.S. and abroad. Helen’s industry experience spans media, broadcasting, and entertainment; luxury retail and manufacturing; banking and finance; and the oil and energy sector. Helen has in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities for global clients in Europe, South America, Central America, Asia and the Middle East.

Helen has substantial experience in labor and employment law, representing both individual and corporate clients. She is skilled at developing and implementing appropriate personnel policies and procedures. She regularly advises clients on compliance with anti-discrimination and wage and hour laws; conducts seminars for management teams on implementing corporate policies; and prepares and negotiates employment contracts and confidentiality, separation, and settlement agreements. She defends clients against discrimination claims, as well as challenges in court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, State and City Divisions of Human Rights, and the Department of Labor.  She speaks regularly on employment and labor topics and is widely quoted in the press.

 Helen is also an experienced litigation and trial lawyer with a formidable record of representing clients in a wide range of complex commercial matters. Her specialties include breach of contract, employment, unfair competition/restrictive covenants, defamation, licensing, and intellectual property disputes. She has handled trials and appeals in state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations and mediations, and proceedings before administrative agencies.


  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1987— Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (Managing Editor)
    The Tax Lawyer (Articles Editor)
  • Hobart/William Smith Colleges, B.A., with Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1984
  • Gemological Institute of America, Graduate Diamonds Degree
  • Scuola Leonardo, Florence, Italy, Certificate in Italian, 2009
  • Beijing Foreign Languages Institute, Certificate in Chinese, 1983

Memberships & Activities

  • Italy-America Chamber of Commerce
  • Union League Club of New York

Representative Matters

  • Represented one of Italy’s leading hotel conglomerates in an action before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involving review of its entire U.S. workforce for compliance with U.S. labor and employment laws. Helen was successful in defeating the claim brought and in avoiding substantial damages that would have otherwise been assessed against her client.
  • Conducted wage and hour analysis of a 500+ employee work force, represented a corporate employer before the Department of Labor’s (DOL) wage and hour division, and defeated the DOL’s overtime wage pay claim. Helen successfully reduced the initial DOL assessment from $500,000 to less than 10% of the amount claimed and established appropriate policies and procedures to ensure future compliance.
  • Assisted a multi-brand luxury jewelry manufacturer in defeating claims of workplace harassment and hostile work environment. Helen established appropriate policies and procedures to ensure future compliance.
  • Represented an international luxury goods manufacturer in infringement and unfair competition action. Helen’s services were instrumental in shutting down operations of the competitor, resulting in cost savings to the client and preservation of the client’s product in the marketplace.
  • Defended an international perfume manufacturer in defeating an age discrimination action alleging $12 million in damages. Exposed a rogue employee’s improper actions, leading to an out-of-court settlement in which the employee reimbursed the company for legal fees incurred in defense of the action in exchange for an agreement not to prosecute the employee for bringing a frivolous action.
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement and release agreement with an Italian expatriate running the U.S. division of an Italian corporation. Helen navigated the complexities of U.S. and Italian employment and labor laws in ensuring the validity of the settlement agreement and obtaining a cost-effective result for the client.
  • Established and implemented employment policies and procedures for an international textile corporation, having manufacturing and retail operations across the U.S. and abroad. Helen provided hands-on training for the client’s management team and continuous support in handling day-to-day issues.
  • Successfully argued before the New York Appellate Division, First Department, in favor of the turnover of assets, both domestic and international, in a case that is now considered a standard in judgment enforcement, involving a judgment of approximately $400 million relative to the then largest bond default in U.S. history. The Court ordered the international defendants to turn over their assets, wherever located, to the firm’s client. (Gryphon Domestic et al. v. APP International et al.).
  • Assisted an international client in implementing a reduction in its workforce in compliance with the WARN Act.

Media & News


  • Italian