As diverse as the HSE professional and support team of more than 300 has become today, we have much in common with the small firm that James Havens (left photo) and Nathaniel Foote (middle photo) founded in 1894. We continue to practice law as they did, in an honest, skilled, creative and attentive manner that enhances the personal and business lives of our clients. HSE remains, at heart, the small firm we once were.

Our two founders were prominent lawyers dedicated to advancing the profession and public good. In 1905, Mr. Foote was appointed by the Governor of New York as a Justice of the State Supreme Court, and later was elevated to the Appellate Division. In 1910, Mr. Havens declined the opportunity to run for Governor of New York, instead opting to serve his friend George Eastman as general counsel and later as vice president of Eastman Kodak Company.


More than a century later, our attorneys and professional staff continue to serve statewide and local entities as bar leaders, political advisors, and as members of boards of organizations that contribute to our education systems, neighborhoods, and cultural life in the communities where we live and work.

Today’s HSE, with 120 attorneys and a diverse group of other professionals in multiple offices, is dedicated to helping our clients achieve their personal and business goals. In turn, we earn the personal and professional satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference.


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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