Name: Bernard E. Clair
Firm Name: Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Simpson LLP
Jurisdiction: USA - New York
Practice Area: Family Law

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Professional Biography:

Leaders in Law endorses Bernard E. Clair as our exclusively recommended Family Law expert in USA, New York. If you wish to get in touch with Bernard, please use the contact information provided above.

Bernard Clair is widely recognized as one of a handful of elite New York divorce lawyers.

While he is skilled at all facets of client advocacy and representation, his skill as a trial lawyer and his command of the courtroom are what 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 a successful negotiator and many of his cases result in favorable settlements without full blown litigation.

Mr. Clair is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He 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 has regularly lectured and published to the legal community. In 2009, Mr. Clair was selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for his work in family law, an honor he has received for the last 14 years. He has also co-authored three books for the lay public involving important matrimonial law issues.

Mr. Clair’s litigation achievements on behalf of his clients have helped shape the matrimonial law in New York. The holdings of his cases have become the standard upon which many subsequent cases are evaluated.

Mr. Clair receives Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ratings for both legal ability and ethical standards and has been recognized as one of the leading divorce lawyers in New York by numerous publications over the years. He 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. Most recently, Mr. Clair was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 29th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© 2023, for his work in Family Law. In 2017, Mr. Clair was acknowledged by the New York Post as “the top divorce lawyer in the world.” In 2018, he was named as one of “the top 20 lawyers for divorces” by the Hollywood Reporter in its annual “Trouble Shooters” list. And in the 2021 Chambers Review, Mr. Clair was, among other things, acknowledged to be “a go-to for high net worth clients…” and was awarded top-tier status.

In establishing Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Simpson LLP, 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 where he became an All American in lacrosse. He was selected as Adelphi University’s “Alumnus of the Year” in 2014. He received the prestigious Belson Medal Award for being an outstanding alumnus of St. John’s Law School in 2019. Mr. Clair lives with his wife in New York City.


St. John’s University School of Law, JD

Adelphi University, Bachelor’s degree

Firm Description

On May 1, 2011, Robert. S. Cohen merged his then-practice (Cohen Lans LLP) with Bernard Clair’s then-practice (Clair Greifer LLP) to form what is today universally regarded as one of the preeminent matrimonial and family law firms in the world (Cohen Clair). By the time of their merger, Bob and Bern were already regarded among the “best of the best” matrimonial lawyers and had authored multiple books on matrimonial law. Their respective law firms were named among the “Best” in the 2010 inaugural edition of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and World Report. Cohen Clair has since achieved that recognition and honor in each subsequent edition, and Cohen Clair is one of only two law firms to have been selected by Chambers and Partners for inclusion in the “Top Tier” of matrimonial law firms.

Since the 2011 merger, the firm has grown by every measure – most importantly performance.  Their clients often come to them with difficult personal situations, seeking creative solutions on novel issues – and they deliver.  Cohen Clair has appeared as counsel of record in important published matrimonial decisions in New York State since its inception.  Over the past few years alone, their firm has been called upon to represent spouses in the most significant, precedent-setting matters that have arisen over that time, often garnering worldwide attention.  They have settled many of those cases quickly and discreetly and tried others to successful completion, including the largest equitable distribution case ever tried in New York State.