Hilarie Bass is the Global Operating Shareholder and, until recently, national chair
of the 600 member litigation department of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, an 1800 lawyer
general practice law firm with 33 worldwide offices. She also serves on the firm’s
Executive Committee. She recently completedly a one year term as Chair of the ABA’s
70,000 member Section of Litigation. Over her 30 year career, she has successfully
represented clients in scores of commercial cases in jury and nonjury trials involving
millions of dollars in controversy.
As a trial lawyer, Hilarie serves as lead counsel of the Homebuilders Steering
Committee in the MDL involving defective Chinese Drywall pending in New Orleans. As
Chair of the HSC, Hilarie assisted in developing a protocol for the repair of homes with
defective Chinese drywall, as well as negotiated settlements with Chinese drywall
manufacturers and US suppliers, resulting in the payment of hundreds of millions of
dollars to assist in the cost of repairing the thousands of homes built with the defective
Chinese drywall.
Over her career, she has also:
• Served as Defense Liaison Counsel in the MDL RICO class action against
Managed Care companies.
• Defended Hilton Hotels Corporation in five-week arbitration for breach of
fiduciary duty claims in which plaintiff sought in excess of $100 million, resulting
in judgment in favor of the defense;
• Served as chief litigation counsel for the Trustee of Southeast Banking
Corporation in suit against the FDIC, which was resolved with payment of a
settlement to our client in excess of $300 million;
• Served as an SEC Receiver for corporation found to be improperly selling
limited partnership interests in deregulated power industry in California;
• Served as an FTC Receiver for a travel company enjoined from continuing its
fraudulent sales tactics in the sale of travel packages;
• Represented Microsoft Corporation in defense of the Florida class action
brought under Florida Unfair Trade Practices Act; and
• Prosecuted claims on behalf of Interval International in eight-day trial leading to
entry of permanent injunction on breach of fiduciary duty and theft of trade
secret claims.
Hilarie recently represented, pro bono, two foster children seeking to be adopted
by their gay parents. After a week long trial, the Judge found the statute barring gay
adoption in Florida to be unconstitutional and the adoption was approved. This ruling,
which was upheld by the Florida Appellate Court, overturned a long standing ban on gay
adoption in the state of Florida, leading to a change in state policy which now bars
questions about sexual orientation on adoption applications.
As Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, Hilarie worked with the Association of
Corporate Counsel to develop a roundtable conference in which General Counsel’s and
representatives from law firms throughout the country met to develop common
approaches to such current issues as Alternative Fees, Fixed Fees, and other creative
solutions to reduce the high cost of litigation. Additionally, Hilarie led a group of volunteer
attorneys who visited Haiti for the purpose of training Haitian lawyers in basic trial
advocacy skills. Hilarie also created a Task Force on Implicit Bias in the Justice System,
which is responsible for training judges and bar groups about the existence of implicit bias
in all of us and its impact on all participants in the justice system. Hilarie also oversaw
the first redesign of the Litigation Magazine in its 38 year history, as well as the
digitization of the Section’s multiple substantive newsletters.
Hilarie has a long history of community service on a local and national level. She
currently chairs the Audit and Compliance Committee of the University of Miami Board of
Trustees, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board, having
recently completed her successful service as chair of the School of Law’s $16 million
capital campaign.After fifteen years of volunteer service to United Way of Miami-Dade,
she served as Chair of the Board from 1997 – 1999, overseeing the two most successful
fund-raising campaigns in the country and negotiating the acquisition of their new
headquarters in downtown Miami. She also served as Chair of United Way’s Success by
Six Committee, spearheading the funding and construction of a twenty million dollar
Center for Excellence child care and educational facility, dedicated to the improvement of
early childhood education.
Hilarie has also been active in bar work on national, state and local levels. She
presently serves in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and was recently
elected to serve as State Delegate for the State of Florida. She previously served a
three-year term on the ABA Board of Governors and as Chair of the ABA Public
Education and the Law Committee, the Meetings and Travel Committee, the Selection
Committee of the ABA’s Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund and the Fund for Justice
and Education, the ABA’s charitable foundation which funds in excess of $50 million per
year for such programs as legal services for the poor, homelessness and domestic
violence. Hilarie also served as one of 12 national members on the ABA Commission on
Women in the Profession. Hilarie is a frequent lecturer at Continuing Education sessions
and bar association meetings throughout the country on topics relating to Commercial
Litigation, Business Development and Issues of Concern to Women Lawyers. As a
spokesman for the Public Education Committee, she appeared on numerous national and
local radio and television broadcasts, including the Today Show and CNN, as part of a
media tour for a series of consumer law books.
Hilarie has served as Secretary and General Counsel to the Orange Bowl
Committee, having previously served as chair of the nationally broadcast Orange Bowl
New Year’s Eve Parade. Her civic involvement has also included service as a member of
the Super Bowl Host Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Dade County
Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the International Women’s Forum. She was
selected by Secretary of Defense Rumsfield to participate in the Defense Department’s
2002 Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. She also served as a delegate to the
President’s Conference on Volunteerism in Philadelphia.
Hilarie has been recognized with awards by numerous civic and professional
associations. Among them are:
• Nominated, Chambers USA Guide, “Women in Law Award” (2012)
• Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers;
• Recipient, Most Effective Lawyer Award, Appellate category, Daily Business
Review, 2010;
• Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2012;
• Named, Best Lawyers’ 2012 Miami Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of
the Year;
• Listed, Most Effective Lawyer, Pro Bono category, Daily Business Review, 2009;
• Recipient, Women Making History Award, Miami-Dade Florida Association of
Women Lawyers (FAWL);
• Named, Influential Business Women, South Florida Business Journal, 2009;
• Recipient, 2009 C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award, ACLU of Florida Greater
Miami Chapter, May 2009;
• South Florida Business Journal Woman of the Year — 2002;
• Recipient, Silver Medallion, Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, February
• United Way of Miami-Dade’s 2000 Dorothy Shula Award;
• The United Home Care 1999 Claude Pepper Memorial Award; and
• The Jewish Museum of Florida “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award.”
Hilarie grew up in Miami before graduating from the George Washington University
in 1975 with a degree in political science, magna cum laude. She later returned to Miami
to attend the University of Miami School of Law, where she graduated first in her class
with a Juris Doctor degree in 1981 summa cum laude. Upon graduation from law school,
she went to work for Greenberg Traurig, LLP, the firm she continues with today.