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United States > Labor and employment > Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

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In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

The labor and employment practice of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP covers the full gamut of contentious matters. It has a particularly strong record in class action litigation and notable experience handling suits which challenge independent contractor status in the 'gig economy'. The team is led by Catherine Conway in Los Angeles and Jason Schwartz in Washington DC. Conway is, besides her litigator activity, also involved in several high-stakes investigations. Schwartz, who is appreciated for his 'great expertise', is the lead partner in a team retained by Amazon to represent it against the Communications Workers of America, which filed a putative class action against Amazon and other employers regarding allegedly violating laws prohibiting age discrimination. The team also successfully represented Uber and Phillips 66 in employment proceedings. Eugene Scalia, also in Washington DC, handled various matters for Ford. Michele Maryott in Orange County, together with litigation partners Theodore Boutrous and Theane Evangelis, is highlighted for her success in representing GrubHub in a landmark case regarding the classification of independent contractors. Los Angeles-based Jesse Cripps and Katherine Smith, as well as Joshua Lipshutz, newly promoted partner Greta Williams and of counsel Molly Senger in Washington DC, are further names to note.

The team at Jones Day is appreciated for its 'tremendous experience in all aspects of employment law and related disputes, particularly in high-level and high-stakes matters'. It handles a variety of matters, including wage-and-hour class and collective actions, employment claims, as well as trade secret and employee mobility cases. The 'smart, creative and responsive' practice is led by Matthew Lampe in New York and Chicago-based Michael Gray. The latter was part of the group which successfully represented McDonald's in a state-wide wage-and-hour class action. In New York, Terri Chase and recently promoted Kristina Yost settled a class action jury trial for Bloomberg regarding the question of whether a class of Analytics Representatives were misclassified as exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as New York and California state laws. Wendy Butler is a further key contact from that office. DC-based Donald Munro as well as Elizabeth McRee, Michael Rossman, Efrat Schulman, and the 'brilliant' Jonathan Linas in Chicago are also noted. Mark Earnest in Irvine and Thomas Chiavetta in Washington DC also made partner in January 2018. The team lost Eric Dreiband, who became the assistant attorney general of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division in October 2018, while Doreen Davis, Lawrence DiNardo and Willis Goldsmith retired.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'provides top-notch advice' and is appreciated for providing 'work quality at the highest level and having an excellent client service reputation'. It is capable of handling the full range of labor and employment matters on a national and international level. Washington DC-based Grace Speights, who is well versed in employment discrimination claims, leads the 'efficient and competent' group. Anne Marie Estevez in Miami represents Uber in a series of ADA accessibility litigation cases regarding the client's alleged failure to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles and alleged denial of service animals. Thomas Hurka in Chicago and Robert Jon Hendricks in San Francisco successfully handled various matters for Boeing. Davis McManus, who splits his time between New York and Boston, 'is the lawyer you want when stakes are high'. Michael Banks, Joseph Costello, Sarah Bouchard, Steven Wall and Michael Burkhardt are noted individuals in Philadelphia. Paulo McKeeby in Dallas 'brings value and trusted guidance' and Stephanie Sweitzer in Chicago is praised for 'her persistent engagement and leadership in managing cases, which is tremendously valuable'. Orange County-based Barbara Miller's 'wage-and-hour class action knowledge is impressive'. Houston's Ethel Johnson 'gets to the core of the issue quickly and efficiently while being the utmost professional'. Recommended practitioners are also Samuel Shaulson and Ira Rosenstein in New York, Lincoln Bisbee in Washington DC and Debra Fischer in Los Angeles. The team had several partner promotions in October 2018, including Jocelyn Cuttino in Washington DC.

The labor and employment department at Proskauer Rose LLP has a strong market reputation and is praised for 'always focusing on the clients' best interest'. Led by the experienced Elise Bloom and Neil Abramson, the team is regularly engaged by corporates, universities, sport leagues, and other law firms. Bloom, Howard Ganz and Adam Lupion represent the Major League Baseball (MLB) in an ongoing wage-and-hour putative class action brought by minor league baseball players alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state wage-and-hour laws before the Ninth Circuit. Lupion and Joseph Baumgarten acted for the National Hockey League (NHL) when, after more than five years of litigation, the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a former player was dismissed. Nigel Telman in Chicago, who has 'an exceptional approach and is customer focused', acts for McDonald's in various matters. The impressive client portfolio also includes UBS, the NFL and MetLife. Mark Batten in Boston settled a class action case for Harvard University in connection with the challenging of independent contractor status. Los Angeles' Anthony Oncidi is particularly active in the entertainment industry. Further recommended individuals are Bettina Plevan, Allan Bloom, Lloyd Chinn, Steven Hurd, Kathleen McKenna, John Barry, and Evandro Gigante. Chicago's key contact is Steven Pearlman and Newark's Lawrence Sandak and Joseph O’Keefe. Special counsel Jurate Schwartz in Boca Raton, Guy Brenner in Washington DC, Keisha-Ann Gray and counsel Rachel Philion are also noted. Harris Mufson made partner in November 2018. The practice lost its former head Connie Bertram to Polsinelli PC in September 2018. Named attorneys are based in New York except where indicated otherwise.

Led by Apalla Chopra in Los Angeles, the team at O'Melveny & Myers LLP has extensive experience in particular in labor, wage-and-hour, and discrimination and harassment matters. It covers wide range of industry sectors, including aviation and entertainment. Silicon Valley-based Eric Amdursky favorably settled a in a wrongful termination lawsuit for Starz. Robert Siegel in Los Angeles and Adam KohSweeney in San Francisco obtained two summary judgment wins for United Airlines which confirmed that California labor and employment law does not apply to individuals who work primarily outside the state's borders. Jeff Kohn in New York is representing RBC Capital Markets in litigation against a former employee in connection with his alleged entitlement to indemnification for liability and damages after rejecting an offer by a competitor. Mark Robertson, also in New York, and Adam Karr in Newport Beach are further key contacts. San Francisco's Susannah Howard made partner in January 2019 and is also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a good track record in employment disputes and the team - which is jointly led by Julie Totten, who splits her time between Sacramento and San Francisco, and New York-based Mike Delikat - is regularly engaged by clients from the financial services, technology, retail and higher education sectors. Delikat and Jim McQuade, also based in New York, represented Microsoft in a trade secret litigation against IBM, while Lynne Hermle and Jessica Perry in Silicon Valley helped achieve for the same client the rejection of class certification in a proposed nationwide gender discrimination class action. The duo also successfully defended Twitter in a highly publicized dispute relating to a gender class action filed by a former software engineer. Jill Rosenberg and Renee Phillips in New York obtained a complete defense verdict for RBS relating to an alleged whistleblower retaliation. Oracle, Apple, Sephora and Citibank are other key clients. Recommended individuals also include Andrew Livingston and Michael Weil in San Francisco, as well as Joe Liburt and Julia Riechert in Silicon Valley. Also in New York, Lisa Lupion, who made partner in January 2019, and senior associate Mark Thompson are further names to highlight.

Paul Hastings LLP has strong capabilities in the labor and employment sphere. Clients regularly engage the team to handle class actions and high-stakes claims relating to wage and hour, discrimination and trade secrets. New York-based practice head Patrick Shea has more than 35 years of experience; together with Barbara Brown and Carson Sullivan, both in Washington DC, he continues to represent Goldman Sachs in a nationwide gender discrimination class action. The group also handles a variety of matters for Google; in a recent work highlight, Cameron Fox is defending the tech giant in a widely publicized class action against a former employee, who claims that caucasians, males and political conservatives have suffered discrimination at Google. Elena Baca successfully acted for Fiber Systems International after a former executive and his new employer, Glenair, tried to invalidate the executive’s lawful post-employment restraints as well as the ones in every FSI contract on a nationwide level; Baca, alongside Fox and Jennifer Baldocchi, was able to dismiss the claims. Other members of the practice group include Nancy Abell, who is a widely recognized employment specialist, and Paul Grossman. Zach Hutton, Paul Cane and Jeffrey Wohl are key practitioners in the San Francisco office. Further recommended individuals are Neal Mollen and Kenneth Willner in Washington DC, Kenneth Gage and Marc Bernstein in New York, Bradford Newman in Palo Alto, as well as Donna Melby and Leslie Abbott. Felicia Davis made partner in February 2018. Stephen Sonnenberg retired. Named attorneys are based in Los Angeles except where indicated otherwise.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP fields a team of 'good experts, comprising seasoned lawyers supervising stellar long-term associates'. Noted for its expertise in wage-and-hour class actions and workplace litigation alleging discrimination, the nationwide group is praised for being 'hands on, extremely thorough, and extraordinarily knowledgeable'. Work highlights included Noah Finkel and Andrew Scroggins acting for Epic Systems as co-counsel (alongside Hogan Lovells US LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP) in a landmark case decided by the Supreme Court in May 2018, relating to the enforceability of the agreement into which the plaintiff entered requiring the parties to resolve wage-hour disputes through individual arbitration and waive class and collective proceedings. The 'one-of-a-kind' Gerald Maatman continues to lead a team acting for Sterling Jewelers (together with co-counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP) in an employment discrimination class action. Brian Ashe successfully acted for Digital Realty Trust before the Supreme Court in a case relating to the definition and statutory application of the term 'whistleblower'. Camille Olson is a 'world class lawyer' and Washington DC-based Raymond Baldwin is a ' zealous advocate for his clients with a practical approach'. In Los Angeles, Andrew Paley is an 'extremely well-versed adviser', and Jon Meer is praised for his 'immense knowledge and trial practice'. Atlanta's Robert Stevens is described as an 'expert in restrictive covenant work'; clients also appreciate Kerry Friedrichs in San Francisco and Pamela Devata for 'being leaders in their field and being able to answer questions on the spot'. Further recommended individuals are practice head Laura Maechtlen and Christian Rowley in San Francisco, Boston's Richard Alfred and the 'greatly experienced and knowledgeable' Lisa Damon, Lorie Almon and Gina Merrill in New York, as well as Richard Lapp. In Houston, the team was strengthen by the arrival of Scott Nelson from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2018, while John Yslas joined the Los Angeles office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in July 2018. Named attorneys are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.

The well-reputed team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York handles class action litigation, single-plaintiff cases, and restrictive covenant disputes, and has particular expertise in wage-and-hour and discrimination claims. Jeffrey Klein leads the team and has over 30 years of experience. He successfully defended Sterling Jewelers (together with co-counsel Seyfarth Shaw LLP) in a 44,000-plaintiff class arbitration on alleged gender discrimination. Employment expert Gary Friedman is representing Nuance in a putative class and collective action involving claims of breach of contract, fraud and violations. Klein and Friedman were also engaged by HCTec in a wage-and-hour putative collective action filed in Nashville. Klein continues to represent Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) in an $80m lawsuit filed by terminated employees. Other notable practitioners are Nicholas Pappas, counsel Lawrence Baer and senior associate Ami Zweig.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has a strong track record in class and collective actions as well as in equal employment opportunity disputes. Practice head Robert Lian has more than 25 years of litigation experience. The recommended Daniel Nash defended Ernst & Young in a highly publicized dispute in which the Supreme Court ultimately ruled that an arbitration agreement entered into by the plaintiff was enforceable, thereby dismissing a putative wage-and-hour class action. In another work highlight, Nash and Stacy Eisenstein were engaged by the NFL after a running back appealed his suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy. Other clients include Starbucks, Caesars Entertainment and Home Depot. Other highlighted individuals are Nate Oleson and Esther Lander. All aforementioned practitioners are based in Washington DC. Greg Knopp and Gary McLaughlin in Los Angeles, Richard Rabin and Lauren Leyden in New York, and Donna Mezias in San Francisco are also noted.

Greenberg Traurig LLP's practice is jointly led by Naomi Beer, James Boudreau and David Long-Daniels, based in Denver, Philadelphia and Atlanta respectively. It 'distinguishes itself by the breadth of its scope, which ranges from geographic access to subject matter expertise', and works closely with the firm's other practices, such as the corporate and tax groups. Los Angeles-based Mark Kemple represented Marriott in various matters, including a wage-and-hour case which was dismissed. Natasha Wilson in Atlanta was engaged by Atlanta Public Schools regarding a collective action alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Charles Birenbaum and counsel Lindsay Hutner are key contacts in San Francisco. Other names to note are Jonathan Sulds in New York as well as Wendy Johnson Lario, Kristine Feher and Robert Bernstein in New Jersey. Michael Mason re-joined the firm in Phoenix in April 2018 from Pinnacle West Capital, and of counsel Alicia Voltmer was a new arrival to the Dallas office from Lillard Wise Szygenda PLLC in September 2018. The team had several partner promotions, including Adil Khan (Los Angeles) in March 2018 and Ashley Farrell Pickett (Los Angeles) and Jack Gearan (Boston) in January 2019.

Clients appreciate Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP for providing 'practical advice of excellent quality'. The New York-based team is regularly engaged by clients from the financial services, technology and media industries and is led by the 'exceptional employment lawyer' Kevin Leblang. Recent work highlights include acting for ABC in a discrimination claim made by a former weekend sports anchor, and acting for Marsh & McLennan after a current employee alleged gender and national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Eliza Kaiser specializes in employment law litigation and advisory matters; she regularly works with Facebook and recently defended the client in litigation brought by an applicant for a position alleging age discrimination. Robert Holtzman is well versed in executive compensation matters.

Employment boutique Littler Mendelson, P.C. has a broad national network and handles the full gamut of related matters. Firm leaders Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth are based in Philadelphia and San Diego respectively. A team led by Atlanta-based Lee Schreter and Richard Black was able to reduce a nationwide putative class and collective action alleging wage-and-hour violations by client Acosta to a two-plaintiff lawsuit. Philadelphia's William Leahy successfully defended a federal contractor in a New Jersey retaliation and defamation case. Robert Long in New York regularly advises on issues arising from corporate transactions. In Washington DC, Paul Kennedy handles restrictive covenants, employee raiding and trade secrets theft, and Maury Baskin is another key practitioner. Dallas' Robert Friedman and Jacqueline Johnson as well as Patricia Martin in St Louis and Renata Neeser in New York are also noted. The firm had multiple new arrivals, including Bradley Schwan from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. David Warner left for Dorf & Nelson in January 2019.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP  has particular experience advising clients from the retail, entertainment, healthcare and financial services sectors. The mostly West Coast-based team is led by Esra Hudson, who has broad expertise in the employment area. She successfully represented CashCall in a private attorney general representative action under California’s PAGA. Andrew Satenberg was engaged by Del Taco in a class action complaint by former employee Michael Jaffey involving several claims, including alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Washington DC's Deborah Kelly acted for the United Nations Foundation in a dispute regarding alleged discrimination towards a former employee. Alan Brunswick, Robert Platt and Orange County's Mandana Massoumi and associates Cherise Latortue and Matthew Golper are also names to note. The New York office was strengthen by the arrival of Brian Turoff in July 2018 from Venable LLP. Reid Davis made partner in March 2018. Named individuals are based in Los Angeles unless otherwise stated.

Mayer Brown has an 'incredible team of lawyers', which defends clients in employment class and collective actions as well as litigates matters involving contemporary issues such as in cybersecurity, social media and privacy. The group, known as 'efficient, pragmatic, and providing excellent advice', is led by Marcia Goodman and John Zaimes in Los Angeles. The latter, together with Ruth Zadikany from the same office, represented PetSmart in a hybrid nationwide FLSA collective action on behalf of employees who alleged that the company misclassified its operations managers as exempt and thus failed to pay these employees overtime. Andrew Rosenman successfully defended Welltec in a similar matter. Counsel Maritoni Kane 'quickly distills complex legal situations'. John Nadolenco in Los Angeles is also noted. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Ogletree Deakins advises clients ranging from international companies to start-ups from a variety of industry sectors on disputes involving, among other things, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, non-competition and non-solicitation, and wage-and-hour issues. Managing shareholder Matthew Keen is based in Raleigh. Work highlights included successfully acting for Waterstone Mortage Corporation in an appeal regarding the question of who is to decide whether an arbitration can proceed on a class or collective basis; Spencer Skeen in San Diego and David Schenberg in St Louis were part of the team advising the bank. Other noted individuals include Dallas' Ron Chapman, the Los Angeles-based Jack Sholkoff and Robert Roginson, Sacramento''s Anthony Decristoforo and Danielle Ochs in San Francisco. Jeffrey Londa and Thomas Deer are key contacts in Houston and Chicago respectively. The firm had multiple new arrivals, including Tamsen Leachman from Littler Mendelson, P.C. in Portland, and Tampa-based Peter Zinober from Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Reed Smith LLP covers the full range of labor and employment disputes, with core capabilities being wage-and-hour class actions and discrimination, harassment, and pay equity claims. The team is led by Mark Temple, who splits his time between Houston and Chicago; he has particular experience in the healthcare sector. In Los Angeles, senior counsel Linda Husar has more than 30 years of experience, and Remy Kessler and recently promoted Mara Curtis are are also names to note. Houston-based Peter Stuhldreher has expertise in unfair competition and wrongful termination matters, while Betty Graumlich in Richmond is well versed in claims in connection with violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among others. Casey Ryan, James Glunt and counsel James Holt in Pittsburgh, as well as John McDonald and Don Innamorato in Princeton, are names to note. Also highlighted are New York's Cindy Schmitt Minniti and counsel Hannah Sorcic in Chicago, where Jill Vorobiev joined from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in February 2018. New arrival Thomas Posey, who joined from Faegre Baker Daniels in October 2018, is based in Chicago and Los Angeles. Several partners left for Holland & Knight LLP in September 2018, including Sara Begley and Thomas Hill.

The 'very experienced and knowledgeable' team at Winston & Strawn LLP is led by Michael Roche and assists clients from a variety of industry sectors, including banking, energy, retail, food and beverage. Joe Torres successfully represented Caterpillar in an impact collective action age discrimination lawsuit after multiple employees alleged the company’s termination and distribution of a supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) had an adverse impact on certain employees based on age. Daniel Fazio obtained a win for his client Fannie Mae after a former employee alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII. The strong client portfolio further includes Accenture, LVMH, and Marsh & McLennan Companies. Rex Sessions and Joan Fife in San Francisco both have more than 30 years of experience. In Los Angeles, Laura Petroff is experienced in trade secrets and non-competes, while Monique Ngo-Bonnici specializes in wage-and-hour claims; associate Jason Campbell is also noted. Derek Barella left for Schiff Hardin LLP in September 2018. Named individuals are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.

Led by David Grant in Washington DC, the practice at Baker & Hostetler LLP is experienced in handling multiparty employment disputes, class actions and individual private-plaintiff actions. A team comprising New York-based Amy Traub, Houston's Dennis Duffy and Patrick Muldowney in Orlando defended Cost Containment Group in a class action enforcement lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of a class of former employees accusing the company of religious discrimination. Melissa Siebert in Chicago obtained a favorable judgement for Southwest Airlines after plaintiffs alleged that Southwest violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The group also handles a variety of matters for McDonald's. Other recommended individuals are Eric Barnum in Atlanta, Joel Griswold, Kevin Shaughnessy and Joyce Ackerbaum Cox in Orlando, Edward Friedman and Drew Tipton in Houston, as well as the Los Angeles-based Margaret Rosenthal. M. Scott McIntyre in Cincinnati, Gregory Mersol and Martin Wymer in Cleveland, Jennifer Edwards in Columbus and Peter Fischer in Washington DC are also names to note. The Atlanta office was strengthen by the arrival of Jason D’Cruz, Brian Harris and Mark Zisholtz in April 2018 from Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. Louis Cannon in Washington DC and Shareef Farag in Los Angeles made partner in January 2018.

Baker McKenzie LLP is noted for providing a 'one-stop' service and is regularly engaged by national and international clients to handle labor and employment matters. The team, which is led by William Dugan in Chicago and the 'outstanding' Michael Brewer in San Francisco, is experienced in wage-and-hour class actions, whistleblower cases and EEOC pattern or practice proceedings, among others. Dugan, whose 'knowledge, persistence and affability make for a client-focused experience', acts for Virtu Financial in its attempt to prevent a former employee making use of his proprietary information. Emily Harbison in Houston was engaged by NetSync to represent the company in employee trade secrets/restrictive covenants litigation against a former employee, valued at $4m. Palo Alto's Todd Boyer and Chicago-based Arthur Rooney defended Kiewit in a putative wage-hour class action. Further names to note are Emily Harbison in Houston, Robert Lewis and Meredith Kaufman in New York as well as Miriam Petrillo in Chicago. On the West Coast, the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices were strengthen by arrivals of Robin Samuel in March 2018 from Hogan Lovells US LLP and Michael Leggieri in July 2018 from Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP is appreciated for being 'strategic, and forward thinking'. The team covers the full gamut of labor and employment disputes and is regularly engaged by companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations across the country. Practice heads Kenneth Sulzer, Maureen Knight, Steven Moore and Randy Loftis are based in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Denver and Winston-Salem respectively. Moore assisted Western Distributing in an EEOC lawsuit which alleged discrimination against its truck drivers based on disability. Jim Goh in Denver acted as a lead counsel for the University of Denver in a lawsuit brought by EEOC on behalf of multiple female law professors alleging unequal pay. Other names to note are Donald Prophete in Kansas, Kimberly Talley in Los Angeles, and Ellen Kearns in Denver.

Dentons has strong cross-department cooperation and regularly involves its immigration, corporate, litigation and white-collar defense teams in resolving tricky employment issues. The group handles the full scope of labor and employment law, with an active restrictive covenant, trade secret and unfair competition litigation practice on the East Coast and notable strength in wage-and-hour class actions in California. Practice head Brian Cousin is based in New York and, in addition to employment matters, is also well versed in ERISA and benefits litigation. The Los Angeles based Nick Pujji represents Bloomingdale’s in a putative class action case filed by shoe department employees relating to allegedly unpaid wages. Kansas City's Brian Baggott acted for Schenck Process in a non-compete and trade secrets dispute against a former employee and its competitor. Based in the same office, Gregory Wolf settled a class action for Sprint Nextel after employees alleged Sprint failed to properly pay commissions. Atlanta's Daniel Beale and Richard Scharlat in New York are also noted. Jim McNeill in San Diego left for the position of assistant city attorney.

Dickinson Wright PLLC is known to be 'aggressive and very knowledgeable'. The team is also appreciated for being 'honest to a fault in guiding through very difficult terrain'; it is regularly engaged in wage-and-hour collective and discrimination class actions. Detroit-based practice head Timothy Howlett is well versed in employment litigation. In Nashville, Reid Estes acted for McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentucky after it was sued by a former employee for violations of the FLSA and various state law claims. Ann Arbor's William Thacker, Cynthia Alexander in Las Vegas and Ben Dolan in Troy are 'very thorough in research, advice and application of the law'. Kathryn Wood, also in Troy, and Samuel Coffman in Phoenix are further noted.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has an 'outstanding practice across the board', and is known to cover the full range of labor and employment disputes for clients from the financial services, advertising, fashion, and healthcare sectors, among others. Brian Kaplan heads the department and is considered an 'extraordinary lawyer'. He was part of a team that successfully defended New York University in multiple lawsuits and charges in excess of $50m against a former adjunct instructor relating to alleged discrimination. Joseph Piesco represents Fox in several disputes, each alleging race discrimination. Piesco and Norman Leon also reached a favorable judgment for Domino's after employees of numerous franchisees tried to hold the client liable as a 'joint employer'. Counsel Garrett Kennedy, who is the 'perfect partner in challenging disputes', was also involved in both cases; Daniel Turinsky is noted. Aforementioned lawyers are based in New York. Other highlighted individuals are San Diego's Mary Dollarhide and Joseph Guarino in New Jersey. In Dallas, Marc Katz and Isabel Crosby, who joined from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in February 2018, are the key contacts. Evan Parness in New York made partner in April 2018. New arrivals to the team include Holly Lake in Los Angeles from Miller Law Group in September 2018 and Ryan Vann in Chicago from Baker McKenzie LLP. In March 2018, the Chicago-based former department head Michael Sheehan left the firm for McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and not long after, in April 2018, a team including Rachel Cowen, Ron Holland and Maria Rodriguez made the same move.

The team at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. has broad capabilities in the labor and employment sphere and is regularly engaged by clients from the healthcare, hospitality and financial services sectors. David Garland, who is based in New York, leads the team. Carmine Iannaccone, Patrick Brady and James Flynn, all in Newark, cover a wide range of employment litigation. Washington DC's Paul DeCamp is co-chair of the firm’s national wage and hour practice, while Kathleen Williams and Frank Morris are also noted. Richard Frey, who joined the Los Angeles office from Venable LLP, is experienced in trade secrets and employment mobility. New York-based John Fullerton specializes in representing employers in whistleblower litigation defense in retaliation cases. Ronald Green, Aime Dempsey, Ian Carleton Schaefer and Joshua Stein are other key contacts in that office. Deborah DeHart Cannavino in Stamford, Jonathan Brenner and Michael Kun in Los Angeles as well as Brian Spang are also names to note. The firm had several new arrivals, including Eric Moran in New York in July 2018 from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Labor and employment boutique Ford & Harrison LLP is regularly engaged for discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour and non-compete matters, among others, and has a particular focus on the aviation and healthcare sectors. Managing partner Allen McKenna is based in Orlando. Sarah Pierce Wimberly in Atlanta defended ExpressJet Airlines against a claim alleging violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and state civil rights law; a former employee sought reinstatement of her position and back pay with damages after she was suspended for refusing to serve passengers alcohol due to her religious beliefs. Spartanburg, South Carolina-based Jeffrey Lehrer defended Southern Concrete & Construction in a collective action alleging wage-and-hour violations. Other work highlights included Tampa's Tracey Jaensch acting for 21st Century Oncology in a dispute against a former CEO involving breach of contract, ERISA, and non-compete claims. Salvador Simao in Berkeley Heights specializes in in wage-and-hour litigation and compliance. Louis Britt in Memphis and Atlanta-based Jeffrey Mokotoff are also noted.

Jackson Lewis P.C. fields a large group of dedicated lawyers that handles a high volume of matters, including class actions, multi-jurisdictional cases and single-plaintiff proceedings. Kevin Lauri in New York and William Anthony in Albany jointly chair the workplace law firm. The latter successfully represented multiple universities in student-athlete litigation against the NCAA in which the plaintiffs alleged they are employees who are entitled to a minimum wage. Hartford's Beverly Garofalo acted as the lead counsel for the Citizens Financial Group in a lawsuit filed by the former senior vice president, who claimed he was terminated in retaliation for taking leave under the FMLA. Leonora Schloss in Los Angeles represented AECOM in a California wage-and-hour class action on behalf of all non-exempt employees alleging failure to pay all overtime wages, among other things. Theresa Marchlewski from the same office was active for the American Red Cross and the Emergency Department Physicians Medical Group. Victoria Woodin Chavey in Hartford is also noted. Orlando-based Stephanie Adler-Paindiris, David Golder in Hartford and Eric Magnus in Atlanta jointly lead the firm's class actions and complex litigation practice group, while Chicago's Nadine Abrahams and John Nolan in Philadelphia head the general employment litigation team. The firm welcomed several new arrivals, including Gary Tocci in Philadelphia from Reed Smith LLP in February 2018 and Gillian Yee in Detroit from Ogletree Deakins in July 2018.

K&L Gates regularly acts on the management side in a wide array of employment matters, including whistleblower claims, enforcement of non-competition agreements, discrimination and retaliation, as well as wage-and-hour class actions. The team is led by Rosemary Alito, who is based in Newark; besides workplace litigation, she is active in class actions under ERISA and the Labor Management Relations Act. Patrick Madden has more than 25 years of experience. Todd Nunn specializes in class action defense. Both lawyers are based in Seattle. Newark's George Barbatsuly, Nickolas Spiliotis in Houston and Spencer Hamer in Orange County are also noted. Román Hernández left for Troutman Sanders LLP in February 2018.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP's 'level of expertise is beyond exceptional'. The group handles the full range of employment law but specializes in particular in non-compete litigation as well as accessibility cases. It was significantly strengthen with the arrival of former members of DLA Piper LLP (US)'s employment team in April 2018, including Michael Sheehan in Chicago who now heads the practice. He is well versed acting for IT companies and recently represented Dimension Data in a theft of employer information and trade secrets case. The Los Angeles-based Maria Rodriguez is regularly engaged by Verizon, as the team handles all of its California employment litigation and counseling. She also defended Paramount Pictures in a dispute against a former employee who claimed gender discrimination and brought a pay equity case. The client portfolio also includes Warner Brothers, Airbnb and LATAM Airlines. Further names to note among the new recruits are Rachel Cowen in Chicago and Ron Holland in San Francisco. Kerry Scanlon and Jeremy White in Washington DC from the existing team are also recommended.

Ropes & Gray LLP employment practice has capabilities in class actions, trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation as well as whistleblower defense, among others. Practice head Jeffrey Webb splits his time between Boston and San Francisco; he assisted Behrman Capital with a putative WARN Act class action filed by former employees. Boston-based counsel Jenny Cooper represents Key Food after a union, which represents employees of several stores that Key Food’s members purchased, alleged that unfair labor practices were committed and Key Food should be held liable as a joint employer. Webb and Cooper are also acting for Berkeley Research Group in an action challenging the enforceability of restrictive covenants of three of its executives in California. Other clients include Bain Capital and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals. Peter Ebb and recently promoted Doug Brayley are also key practitioners.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP handles the full range of labor and employment disputes, from single plaintiff cases to class actions. The team is jointly led by Kelly Hensley, Greg Labate and Jonathan Stoler, who are based in Los Angeles, Orange County and New York respectively. Palo Alto's Paul Cowie successfully represented Swift Transportation in a wage-and-hour rest break putative class action, as well as Granite Rock in a wage-and-hour case, which had multiple millions of dollars at risk. The Century City-based Thomas Kaufman was able to obtain a victory for Cox Communication when a judge granted a class-wide summary judgment on the claim for failure to pay field technicians for certain time spent driving in company vehicles. Derek Havel, Daniel McQueen as well as Tracey Kennedy and Richard Simmons in Los Angeles are noted. In March 2018, Denise Giraudo became a part of the team in Washington DC, joining from Ogletree Deakins, and, shortly after, Stephen Fox joined in Dallas from Polsinelli PC. Travis Anderson and Justine Phillips in San Diego and Robert Mussig in Los Angeles made partner.

Led by Amy Bess in Washington DC, the team at Vedder Price is regularly engaged by clients from the retail, financial services, manufacturing and distribution industry sectors. Heather Sager is 'a go-to lawyer in complex issues'; she defended a Californian retailer in a class action involving allegations of missed meal and rest breaks and unpaid overtime, among others. Brendan Dolan was successful in obtaining a voluntary dismissal for Oracle relating to a claim in a class action brought by the Sanford Heisler law firm alleging Oracle's sales compensation plan violates California state law. Sager and Dolan are based in San Francisco, while Nicholas Anaclerio, Joseph Mulherin, Thomas Wilde and Patrick Spangler are key contacts in Chicago. Thomas Petrides in Los Angeles is also noted. Washington DC's Sadina Montani was promoted to partner. New arrivals include Nicole Smith from Venable LLP, Candice Zee from Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Eugene Boyle from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP; the new recruits are based in Washington DC, Los Angeles and Chicago respectively.

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