A Unique Combination of Experience, Dedication and Wisdom

Our foundation is built on over one hundred years of experience in representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law. With a singular focus on this multi-faceted area, we bring an exceptional level of dedication to answering our client’s needs. In doing so, our attorneys embrace a value-added approach to our client relationships that emphasizes practical, efficient and effective solutions. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal services to all clients. We work closely with them to help solve their problems and attain their business objectives.


The firm's lineage stems from founder Walter Gordon Merritt, who was among the foremost management attorneys in the country during the nascent rise of unionism in the late 1800's and early 1900's. In 1908, Mr. Merritt successfully represented management in the famous "Danbury Hatters" case, one of the U.S. Supreme Court's first significant decisions in the field of labor law. As recognized by the Connecticut Judicial Branch, in acknowledging the significance of the case in the State’s legal history:

The "Hat City" of Danbury made news in 1902 when hat manufacturer, Dietrich Loewe, refused to recognize the hatters’ union. Most of his employees went on strike, lured by the promise of higher union wages. Loewe resumed work with a scab crew, and the striking workers organized a boycott. The boycott was carried to other states wherever Loewe’s hats were sold.

Loewe began a lawsuit, and after six years in federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1908 ruled against the strikers. Seven years later, the Court again decided in favor of Loewe upholding a lower federal court ruling allowing him to collect damages. Faced with the possibility of losing their homes, the workers’ union organized a "Hatters’ Day" asking for an hour’s pay from members to help pay the fines.

In 1934, Mr. Merritt hired as his associate, Henry Clifton, Jr., a young Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate. Mr. Clifton was charged with the task of studying “the new labor bill signed by President Roosevelt.” Mr. Clifton’s first assignment, the National Labor Relations Act, remains to this day as the law governing all aspects of labor-management relations in the private sector. In the years that followed, Mr. Clifton developed a national renown for his expertise on the intricacies of the NLRA.

Mr. Clifton practiced labor law until he was commissioned in the Navy in 1942, assigned as a labor relations officer ashore. After his discharge in 1946, he returned to the practice of management-side labor law. He went on to found the Labor Law Section of the American Bar Association and, for 20 years, served the American Arbitration Association as a director, executive committee member and chairman of its practice committee. He was awarded the Whitney North Seymour medal for his work in the promotion of arbitration.

In 1969, Thomas W. Budd, who went on to build a reputation as a highly regarded traditional labor lawyer, formed a partnership with Mr. Clifton. In 1976, Alfred T. DeMaria, preeminent in the field of combatting union organization campaigns, joined forces with them to establish the Firm in its current form, Clifton Budd & DeMaria.

Although Henry Clifton passed away in 1991 and Thomas Budd has since retired from the practice of law, Clifton Budd & DeMaria’s pioneering spirit continues. In a challenging and evolving field punctuated by legal and cultural changes in the workplace, we continue to set the standard for the labor and employment law services employers have come to expect for the past century.


Our practice has always been to serve management in labor and employment matters.  With this singular focus, our attorneys bring to the table a unique appreciation of the issues facing employers. Unlike other law firms that may seek to be a "jack of all trades," we are a master of one. With over four hundred years of combined experience in representing management, Clifton Budd & DeMaria attorneys are committed to advising and representing businesses in one, multi-faceted area of the law – labor and employment.


Any attorney should be able to answer your legal questions. A wise attorney provides business solutions. Businesses deserve more than mere legal advice. In delivering legal services, Clifton Budd & DeMaria attorneys constantly focus on the practical considerations and real-world impact of decisions faced by our clients. We provide solutions to our clients' problems. Clifton Budd & DeMaria uses a value-added approach to solve its clients’ business problems. A client's important matters should never be relegated to anonymous attorneys. With Clifton Budd & DeMaria's business strategy, we are able to provide partner-level service to each of our clients. Clifton Budd & DeMaria recruits the most talented associates and counsel in order to offer clients a team-based strategy where less complex matters can be addressed in the most cost-efficient manner. Every day, Clifton Budd & DeMaria is committed to solving our clients' problems and adding value to their operations.