Irwin Bluestein

Of Counsel ibluestein@levyratner.com

Irwin Bluestein has been a member of Levy Ratner since April 2019. He represents unions and their related employee benefit plans. Among his clients are unions and employee benefit plans in health care, higher education, printing, publishing, newspapers, and other media.

He represents unions with respect to internal governance, collective bargaining, arbitration, litigation, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and other federal and state administrative agencies. He advises employee benefit plans on plan design and administration, drafts plan and trust documents, addresses fiduciary and compliance issues, litigates trustee deadlocks, withdrawal liability cases, delinquent contribution cases, and other plan‑related cases.

He counsels single and multi‑employer Taft‑Hartley pension and benefit plans and has negotiated extensively in connection with non‑Taft‑Hartley plans. He was instrumental in developing and obtaining approval of the first defined benefit adjustable pension plan approved by the IRS. It is his hope that defined benefit adjustable pension plans will help reverse the growth of 401(k) and other defined contribution plans which he considers anathema to the interests of workers and retirees.

Mr. Bluestein is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale‑Hubbell. He has been recognized for many years as a New York Super Lawyer and as a Best Lawyer in America, and was named the Best Lawyers’ New York City Litigation — Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2015.

Before joining Levy Ratner, Mr. Bluestein was a member of Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein, P.C. for 20 years, and before that he was a member of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. for 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and instructor on labor law and employee benefits issues.

Awards, Honors & Recognition

  • “AV Preeminent” by Martindale‑Hubbell
  • Recognized by his peers for many years as a New York Super Lawyer and as a Best Lawyer in New York and America
  • 2015 Named Best Lawyers’ New York City Litigation — Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year

Education

  • Cornell University, B.S. in Labor Relations, 1966
  • Rutgers University, J.D., 1969

Admissions

State Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • Federal Court in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Outside Industry Talents

  • Member of the New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee
  • Served as Chair of the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member of the Cornell University ILR School Dean’s Advisory Council
  • On the Board of Advisors of the Cornell University Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution
  • Frequent speaker and participant in workshops addressing labor law and employee benefit issues