Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Robert Abrams advises a diverse range of clients including individuals and companies that are subject to civil and criminal investigations. Mr. Abrams has been of particular value to corporations that have been the subject of an investigation by a state attorney general or by multi-state investigations by numerous state attorneys general. He has also been retained to conduct internal investigations where there has been suspicion or an allegation of wrongdoing within the corporation or not-for-profit organization. Mr. Abrams has been part of the Stroock team advising the Commissioner of Insurance in Massachusetts on the demutualization of the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, and has also served as an arbitrator in domestic and international arbitrations.
Mr. Abrams joined Stroock in 1994 following 15 years of distinguished service as Attorney General of the State of New York. His career in public life has been marked by achievement, independence and integrity. He was elected to three terms in the New York State Assembly, three terms as Borough President of the Bronx and four terms as Attorney General of New York State. During his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Abrams received numerous awards and honors and earned national prominence rarely achieved by a state-level official. He was widely heralded as a champion and protector of consumer rights. He served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General and was selected by his colleagues to receive the coveted Wyman Award as Outstanding Attorney General in the Nation. At its June 2005 meeting, the National Association of Attorneys General presented Bob with The Bellotti Award, given to a former attorney general who “has served NAAG and worked diligently to further its vision and mission and who exhibits outstanding leadership abilities and high moral character.”
As Attorney General, Mr. Abrams was the head of one of the largest law offices in the nation supervising the work of 1,200 employees, including 475 attorneys in 14 different locations throughout New York State.
He managed an office which in any given year handled 20,000 litigated cases covering subject areas including health and hospitals, personal injury, construction and contract disputes, environment, securities, labor/employment, not-for-profit organizations, civil rights, antitrust, real estate and consumer issues. Through vigorous recruitment and merit hiring, Mr. Abrams assembled an outstanding staff that enabled him to launch pioneering efforts in the areas of environment, consumer and civil rights protection and criminal prosecutions. More than 250 of his legislative proposals were passed and signed into law.
In 1996, the New York University School of Law established an annual lecture program, the Attorney General Robert Abrams Public Service Lecture, whereby each year a prominent public figure who has performed exemplary public services addresses the students, faculty and alumni of the law school to urge students to consider all or a portion of their career to be dedicated to public service.
Mayor Bloomberg appointed Mr. Abrams in 2005 to serve on the New York City Charter Revision Commission. In 2006, New York Governor Elect Eliot Spitzer appointed Mr. Abrams to serve as Co-Chair of his Policy Advisory Committee on Governmental Reform for his Transition, and New York Attorney General Elect Andrew Cuomo appointed him Executive Chair of his Transition Committee. In 2008, New York Governor David Paterson appointed Mr. Abrams to serve on the Board of the United Nations Development Corporation.
In August 2009, Governor David Paterson issued an Executive Order renaming the Albany Justice Building as the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, in recognition of Robert Abrams' extraordinary services to the people of the state of New York.
In 2010, New York's Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed him to be a member of the Advisory Council for the Retired Attorney Pro Bono Program. Also in 2010, Attorney General Elect Eric Schneiderman appointed Mr. Abrams to serve as Honorary Co-Chair of his transition committee.
In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Mr. Abrams as co-chairman of a Moreland Commission to investigate the preparedness and response of the utilities in New York State to Superstorm Sandy which took the lives of numerous New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars of damage.