The partners of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP have all been practicing in their chosen fields for many years. As a result, we have broad experience in all phases of planning, negotiating and resolving or litigating the marital and family matters that we handle.
We are hands-on practitioners. We take a personal interest and professional pride in every representation we undertake.
Our skills have been recognized by our colleagues, and we are frequently asked to teach and write for others in the profession. We also take seriously our obligation to “give back” and are involved in pro bono, non-profit and community efforts.
Our associates, paralegals and assistants share our commitment to providing the highest quality representation for our clients, and they are skilled and important members of our firm.
Robert Stephan Cohen
Mr. Cohen is one of the leading matrimonial lawyers in the United States. Mr. Cohen has been lead counsel in many of the largest and most important equitable distribution and custody matters in New York. Mr. Cohen regularly represents many of the most accomplished individuals and their spouses in the fields of finance, real estate, business, public service and entertainment. Due to Mr. Cohen’s extensive record of accomplishment, and victories in many landmark reported decisions, he is also frequently called upon to represent individuals in significant matrimonial matters outside New York, including in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey.
While Mr. Cohen regularly appears in court and has a well-earned reputation as a skilled trial lawyer, the preponderance of his matters are settled by negotiation or mediation. In addition to the innumerable significant matrimonial settlements that he has negotiated, Mr. Cohen has also represented countless individuals in negotiating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Mr. Cohen is a sought after lecturer and author on issues relating to divorce and, since 2003, has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he teaches a course titled “Anatomy of a Divorce.” He is the author of the “anti-divorce book,” Reconcilable Differences, published by Simon & Schuster. Mr. Cohen has also been recognized by The New York Times as one of the most important divorce lawyers in the United States and he has been profiled by both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mr. Cohen serves as a member of the Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department.
Mr. Cohen is also a member of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. His biography appears in the current and past editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Best Lawyers in New York and Super Lawyers.
Bernard E. Clair
Mr. Clair is widely recognized as one of a handful of elite New York divorce lawyers. While Mr. Clair is skilled at all facets of client advocacy and representation, it is his skill as a trial lawyer and his command of the courtroom that sets him apart. Mr. Clair has a unique ability to communicate and effectively advocate on behalf of his clients in both financial and custodial matters. On account of his courtroom experience, he is an effective negotiator and many of Mr. Clair’s cases result in favorable settlements without full blown litigation.
Mr. Clair’s litigation achievements on behalf of his clients have helped shape the matrimonial law in this state and the holdings of his cases have become the standard upon which many subsequent cases are evaluated.
Mr. Clair served for more than a decade as Chairman of the Editorial Board of the New York Family Law Monthly, published by American Lawyers Media, and he has regularly lectured and published to the legal community. He has also co-authored three books for the lay public involving important matrimonial law issues. Mr. Clair receives Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ratings for both legal ability and ethical standards and has been consistently selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine and as one of New York’s “Best Lawyers” by New York Magazine. He has been profiled by and recognized as one of the leading divorce lawyers in this State by numerous publications over the years.
In establishing Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP, of which is he Co-Chairman, Mr. Clair brings his years of experience in every facet of family law to a setting where the focus remains on efficient, responsive and creative representation, whether it be within the context of complex litigation or sensitive, private negotiations.
Mr. Clair graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1976 and attended Adelphi University as an undergraduate. He was selected as Adelphi University’s “Alumnus of the Year” in 2014.
Deborah E. Lans
Ms. Lans has divided her practice between complex commercial and marital litigation for more than 30 years. She was a founding partner of Morrison Cohen LLP in 1984 and was the head of its Commercial Litigation Department for 15 years, until she left in 2000 to serve as the Executive Director of Mentoring USA, a non-profit organization founded by Matilda Raffa Cuomo to provide one-to-one mentoring to at-risk youth. In 2003 she co-founded Cohen Lans LLP, where she continued to concentrate on the mediation, arbitration, trial and appellate litigation of sophisticated business and family matters.
Ms. Lans has served on or chaired, among others, the New York Supreme Court Departmental Disciplinary Committee; the Executive, Judiciary, Bioethical Issues and Young Lawyers Committees and the Council on Judicial Administration of the City Bar (formerly, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York); and she is a member of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.
Ms. Lans is a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia Memorial Health System, a hospital and health care system serving Columbia and Greene Counties in upstate New York; served for three years as Chair and six years as a trustee of the Columbia Land Conservancy, a land trust active in preserving the rural and agricultural character of Columbia County, New York; and for ten years as member (and formerly Vice-Chair) of the Board of Literacy, Inc., a non-profit that employs grass-roots tactics to enhance early literacy. She is a member of the Claims Committee of Terrafirma RRG, a risk retention group providing conservation defense insurance to more than one thousand land trusts throughout the country, as well as of the Planning Board of Austerlitz, New York.
Ms. Lans has often been on the faculty for CLE classes, has authored chapters that appear in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts and Successful Partnering (both West publications), as well as numerous articles on legal and education subjects.
A profile of Ms. Lans appears in Nancy Carson’s Believing in Ourselves: A Celebration of Women (Ariel Books 2002), a book about 38 women who have distinguished themselves in a variety of fields and give back in ways that help to build a healthy world. Her profile appears in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law, and she has been consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers as a business and matrimonial litigator.
Mr. Greifer regularly handles matrimonial matters involving large and complex marital estates. Mr. Greifer has a well-earned reputation for strategic thinking, financial acumen and successful representation of clients in all facets of matrimonial litigation.
Mr. Greifer’s litigation track record and professional reputation often fosters a conducive environment for settlement without the need for litigation, although if litigation is necessary, Mr. Greifer is an effective, efficient and tireless advocate. Mr. Greifer also has extensive experience and is adept in the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements.
Mr. Greifer receives Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ratings for both legal ability and ethical standards and he has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine, one of New York’s “Best Lawyers” by New York Magazine, and was selected as the New York Family Lawyer of the Year by Corporate LiveWire in both 2014 and 2015. Mr. Greifer has also authored several articles and lectured to the matrimonial bar on issues of interest to fellow practitioners.
Prior to forming Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP, where Mr. Greifer is the Managing Partner, Mr. Greifer founded Clair, Greifer LLP with Bernard Clair in September 2004.
Mr. Greifer graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1995 and Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in 1992.
Mara T. Thorpe
Ms. Thorpe obtained her J.D. from the New York University School of Law. She sat on the bench as a Family Court Judge in New York from March 1979 to October 1988, when she left to enter private practice as a member of Morrison Cohen Singer & Weinstein, LLP, in its matrimonial and family law department. In 2003, she co-founded Cohen Lans LLP, a predecessor of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP.
Ms. Thorpe practices in all areas of matrimonial and family law, including negotiation of prenuptial, separation and other family law-related agreements, and the litigation of divorce, custody, paternity, adoption, support and guardianship matters in the Supreme Court, Surrogate’s Court and Family Court. She has also argued numerous appeals in the Appellate Division and the New York State Court of Appeals.
Ms. Thorpe served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary for many years.
Mr. Bernstein began his career in the tax department of a former “Big Eight” accounting firm where he focused on tax planning for high net-worth individuals, estates and trusts. In 1987, Mr. Bernstein joined Morrison Cohen Singer & Weinstein, LLP, where he was a partner for 15 years, counseling clients on tax and financial aspects of commercial and matrimonial disputes, as well as on individual tax matters and estate tax matters.
Mr. Bernstein has been the Financial Partner at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP since its formation in 2011. He was also a founding partner in Cohen Lans LLP. At Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP Mr. Bernstein represents clients in litigated and non-litigated matters, and he negotiates prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements. He also represents clients in connection with tax audits, the structuring of settlements in complex litigation matters, and the analysis of sophisticated financial matters. Mr. Bernstein is often quoted in various periodicals and newspapers regarding the tax implications encountered when structuring settlements in matrimonial matters.
He received his LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law after earning his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Howard P. Roy
Mr. Roy practices in the areas of complex family law matters and business litigation. Prior to becoming a member of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP, Mr. Roy was a partner of Cohen Lans LLP.
Mr. Roy is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association (Section on Family Law; Committee on Legislation), and the American Bar Association (Family Law Section); New York County Lawyers’ Association (Matrimonial Law Section). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and served on the Board of Managers of the New York Chapter of the American Academy from 2010 through 2011. Mr. Roy has lectured on various topics in his areas of expertise. Mr. Roy is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in New York and Super Lawyers.
He is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York (B.A., 1965) and George Washington University Law School (J.D., With Honors, 1968), where he was an editor of the George Washington Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Mr. Roy served as a Lieutenant, and Trial and Defense Counsel, and Military Judge in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Shannon Rogers Simpson
Ms. Simpson is an experienced litigator who practices in all areas of matrimonial and family law matters, including those involving custody, visitation and support issues, the valuation and equitable distribution of marital assets, and the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements.
Ms. Simpson has negotiated successful settlements on behalf of clients and, when necessary, litigated numerous complicated financial and custody matters through to trial, including matters garnering national and international attention.
Ms. Simpson is a former member of the Matrimonial Committee of the New York City Bar Association and an active participant in the New York Women’s Bar Association Pro Bono Matrimonial Law Project. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, Family Law Section and The National Association of Professional Women. Ms. Simpson has co-presented A Woman's Roadmap to the Detours of Life at Bloomberg and on Sirius Radio.
Ms. Simpson graduated from the University of Virginia in 1996 and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2002. She was formerly an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she participated in all aspects of commercial litigation. She has practiced at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP (and its predecessor, Cohen Lans LLP) since January 2006.
Joseph F. De Simone
Mr. De Simone is an experienced litigator who has practiced matrimonial and family law since being admitted to the New York State Bar in 1996. While adept at negotiating successful resolutions of complex divorce and Family Court cases, Mr. De Simone is equally proficient in effective trial advocacy, and handles all aspects of litigation, including numerous hearings and trials. In addition, he has been published in the New York Law Journal.
Notably, Mr. De Simone successfully tried a matter where it was ruled that the parties were validly wedded, despite the fact that they had never obtained a marriage license, and where the husband sought to deny the existence of the marriage to thwart his wife’s economic entitlement.
Mr. De Simone also successfully tried one of the last “grounds” cases in New York State prior to the law being changed to permit no-fault divorces.
Mr. De Simone graduated from Columbia College in 1992 and Brooklyn Law School in 1995. Prior to joining Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP, he practiced at Clair, Greifer LLP since 2005.
S. Susan Gross
Ms. Gross is both an experienced family law practitioner and a certified public accountant. Her unique background in both law and accounting provides an invaluable element of efficient attorney representation when the issues to be resolved or litigated include complicated compensation structures, complex valuation issues and the need for forensic asset or income tracing.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Gross worked at EisnerAmper LLP as a litigation support consultant focusing on high net worth matrimonial matters, and thereafter she practiced matrimonial law exclusively at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Ms. Gross has practiced matrimonial law at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP (and its predecessor Clair, Greifer LLP) since 2005.
Ms. Gross graduated from Brooklyn College, City University of New York in 1996 and received her J.D. from New York Law School in 1999, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board and author of the Wagner Moot Court Competition. Ms. Gross is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey.
Ms. Mayer represents and advises clients on all aspects of family law including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, custody and visitation, spousal support, child support and equitable distribution, whether such issues are resolved through negotiating and drafting settlement agreements or when necessary litigating in trial and appellate courts.
Ms. Mayer graduated from Brown University in 1995, and received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2000, where she received a Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship. She was formerly an associate with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she litigated complex commercial disputes and intellectual property matters. Ms. Mayer has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since joining Cohen Lans LLP (predecessor to Cohen Clair Lans Griefer & Thorpe LLP) in July 2014.
Ms. Mayer has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine in the field of Family Law, and was named a “Rising Star” in 2012 and 2013.
Benjamin A. Lilien
Mr. Lilien received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2006 and his B.A. from Stanford University with Departmental Honors in History. He has been practicing matrimonial and family law since 2007, first in Seattle, Washington, and since 2010 in New York City at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP. Mr. Lilien is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and is an active member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and New York State Bar Association. He has been selected by Super Lawyers as a New York Rising Star in the field of Family Law.
Steven A. Leshnower
Mr. Leshnower received his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, where he was awarded First Prize in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”), Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition. Since being admitted to the New York State Bar in 2001, he has focused his practice exclusively in the area of family law. Mr. Leshnower has extensive experience representing and advising clients in all aspects of matrimonial and family law.
He has negotiated favorable settlements and litigated complex issues in both New York State Supreme Court and Family Court, and has argued appeals. The front page of the New York Law Journal prominently featured a decision in a case that he handled involving novel child support issues, and he has contributed to columns on matrimonial issues published in the New York Law Journal.
Mr. Leshnower received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance from New York University where he graduated with honors. Mr. Leshnower is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association.
Mr. Calogero graduated magna cum laude from Albany Law School in 2010, where he served as a Senior Editor on the Albany Law Review, and received his B.A. in Political Science and History from the College of the Holy Cross in 2007. He has been concentrating on matrimonial and family law since 2010, first serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Deborah Kaplan in a dedicated matrimonial part in the New York County Supreme Court, then joining Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe LLP as an associate in September 2013. Mr. Calogero is admitted to practice both in New York and Massachusetts, and is an active member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the New York State Bar Association.
William P. Gross
Mr. Gross received his J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 2007 and his B.A. with distinction in Economics (with a Finance concentration) from the University of Virginia in 2001. Mr. Gross has been practicing matrimonial and family law in New York since 2013. Prior to transitioning into family law, Mr. Gross spent five years as an associate in the commercial litigation department of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Mr. Gross is admitted to practice in New York State Courts and in the Southern District of New York, and is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, and the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.
Nicholas Ferris Cohen
Mr. Cohen received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2005 and his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2000. He served as an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review while in law school. Following law school, Mr. Cohen served as a law clerk to the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and began his career as a commercial litigator at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Mr. Cohen is admitted to practice in New York State, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Middle District of Georgia and the Federal Trade Commission.