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United States > Labor and employment > Labor-management relations > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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  1. Labor-management relations
  2. Leading lawyers

Jackson Lewis P.C.’s sizeable team represents clients such as Pfizer, the New York Yankees and Howard University in a broad range of matters, including NLRB elections, neutrality agreements, and force reductions. Philip Rosen now heads the practice with Jonathan Spitz; former head Patrick Vaccaro remains integral to the team. Jeffrey Schwartz won a major case for Murphy Oil that saw the Fifth Circuit reject the NLRB’s DR Horton decision regarding arbitration agreements that waive class actions. Spitz defended G4S Secure Solutions (formerly The Wackenhut Corporation) against claims that terminating two supervisors infringed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Bradley Kampas, Stephen Silvestri and managing principal James Stone are recommended alongside Thomas Piekara and Peter Moss. New hires included Richard Vitarelli and Suellen Oswald, who joined from McCarter & English, LLP and Littler Mendelson, P.C. respectively, and former Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP attorneys Daniel Barker, of counsel James Pease and managing principal Mark Tilkens, who opened the Madison office. Other named practitioners work out of the White Plains, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Baltimore, Hartford and Cleveland offices.

Jones Day team of 130 full-time labor and employment practitioners has vast experience in diverse matters, including NLRB proceedings and appeals, union-organizing campaigns, and Railway Labor Act cases. Stanley Weiner handled class action litigation brought against Century Aluminum by United Steelworkers retirees, which challenged the company’s decision to alter medical benefits afforded to certain retired employees; and Willis Goldsmith represented Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association’s in collective bargaining negotiations over 1,300 employee contracts with Teamsters Local 202, which had authorized a strike over wages and benefits, among other issues. Curt Kirschner, Doreen Davis and Donald Munro are highly regarded, as are Aaron Agenbroad and Brian Easley. David Birnbaum, Patricia Dunn and Jonathan Linas made partner, while Robert Ford and Thomas Jerman retired. Named individuals are based the Chicago, Cleveland, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC offices.

Under John Ring and Joseph Ragaglia, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has garnered praise for its expertise in heavily unionized industries, especially the transport, manufacturing and retail sectors, and it represents clients such as Southwest Airlines, Cliffs Natural Resources, and Walgreens. Jonathan Fritts, senior counsel Charles Cohen and Clifford Sethness were retained by Pacific Maritime Association to advise on multi-employer contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for thousands of West Coast dockworkers. Fritts, Cohen and litigator Allyson Ho represented the US Chamber of Commerce et al in challenging the NLRB’s rule on accelerating its election process for determining whether employees want union representation. Former NLRB member Harry Johnson joined the Santa Monica office and is lauded for class action defense and traditional labor matters before the agency and federal courts. Ross Friedman, Thomas Reinert, Daniel Bordoni and managing partner Steven Wall have impressive experience. Joseph Santucci joined Schwartz Hannum PC. Named attorneys work in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.

Proskauer Rose LLP represents clients in a variety of industries, including communications, sports and healthcare. The practice group is now co-chaired by Michael Lebowich and Los Angeles-based Mark Theodore following Ronald Meisburg’s departure to Hunton & Williams LLP. Theodore ‘knows the subject matters backwards and forwards’ and is astute in acting before the NLRB, while Lebowich’s expertise includes collective bargaining and labor issues connected to corporate transactions. Zachary Fasman was engaged by CNN to challenge an NLRB ruling made in September 2014 stating that the network and unionized subcontractor Team Video Services (TVS) acted as joint employers and that the defendant had allegedly violated federal labor law by terminating its relationship with TVS. Neil Abramson acted for the City of New York in several matters, including interest arbitration to resolve its collective bargaining impasse with Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), and defending the City in a challenge by the PBA to a program requiring police officers to wear cameras. Former co-head Bernard Plum, Howard Robbins, L Robert Batterman, Paul Salvatore and Boston-based Scott Faust are additional names to note. Unless stated otherwise, all partners operate out of New York.

Littler Mendelson, P.C. has over 70 years’ experience in handling the full range of matters, including lawful union avoidance, NLRB proceedings and strike preparation. The practice, which is headed by Mark Schneider, John Skonberg and managing shareholder Tanja Thompson, successfully challenged - on behalf of associations representing nationwide homecare providers - the Department of Labor’s narrowing of the definition of ‘companionship services’ exempt from overtime under the FLSA. Robert Millman, Michael Lotito and Stefan Marculewicz are highly experienced contacts. New hires included John Harper from Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., former Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC attorney Richard Wallace and former Fisher & Phillips attorneys who established the Portland, Maine office. Jacqueline Phipps Polito and Jason Stanevich became shareholders, and Donald Prophete went to Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP. Named partners are based in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Memphis, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Houston, Morgantown, Rochester, and New Haven.

Boutique firm Ogletree Deakins excels in collective bargaining negotiations, where the group handles subcontracting, retirement plans, wage rate and other issues. It also handles various NLRB and court of appeals proceedings, which range from unlawful termination to unfair labor practice, as well as union organizing matters involving representation and corporate campaigns and NLRB elections. Phoenix-based Mark Kisicki represented Banner Health in its petition to review the NLRB’s decision that stated employers cannot request employees to keep investigatory interviews confidential. Indianapolis-based managing shareholder Kim Ebert heads the team, which also includes Atlanta-based chair emeritus Homer Deakins, and also Rodolfo Agraz, who works out of Dallas and Raleigh. The firm also welcomed Patrick Collins to its New York office from McCarter & English, LLP, while John Merrell was promoted to shareholder in Greenville.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides ‘services that reflect deep expertise’. Highlights included representing Republic Services and its subsidiary before the NLRB regarding its standard for determining joint-employer status, and acting for Ashley Furniture Industries in one of the largest private NLRB elections as well as numerous unfair labor practices cases. The ‘outstanding’ Bradford Livingston continues as practice head, but with the departure of Kristin Michaels to McDermott Will & Emery LLP, he has enlisted support of vice-chairs in the form of Brian Stolzenbach and Joshua Henderson. Jeffrey Ross ‘understands corporate in-house challenges’ and senior counsel John Toner ‘has strong personal knowledge of the NLRB’. Joseph Damato, Arthur Telegen, Nick Geannacopulos, Jeffrey Berman and counsel Marshall Babson are recommended. Other team changes include the hires of John Telford and John Lambremont from Littler Mendelson, P.C., the retirement of senior counsel Joel Kaplan, and Henderson and Kyle Hartman making partner. Attorneys are based in Chicago, Los Angeles (Downtown and Century City), San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston and New York.

With a focus on workplace relationships, Baker & Hostetler LLP handles negotiations, arbitrations, and proceedings before the NLRB. Jay Krupin, who heads the practice with Orlando-based Patrick Muldowney, represented the owners of 12 non-unionized New York City hotels that brought a lawsuit against an AFL-CIO subsidiary, the Hotel Association of NYC, and Interstate Hotels & Resorts for allegedly embarking on a unionization scheme to implement a multi-employer collective bargaining contract; Marc Antonetti and recently promoted New York partner Paul Rosenberg also worked on the case. David Grant and Cleveland-based Thomas Seger are key contacts. Ana Salper moved to the NYU Langone Medical Center and Ellen Shadur Gross joined Gipson Hoffman & Pancione. Unless stated otherwise, all practitioners are Washington DC based.

DLA Piper LLP (US) advises unionized and non-unionized clients on improving relations with employees. The firm’s non-unionized clients often seek advice on maintaining a union-free environment, while unionized clients engage the firm for matters including grievances, NLRB representation and union decertification. San Francisco-based David Durham and Chicago of counsel Kevin Connelly filed an amicus brief on behalf of Northwestern University and a coalition of other institutions against student athletes, which sought unionization to become employees under the NLRA. Station Casinos and Chicago Symphony Orchestra are other clients. Chicago and Minneapolis-based Marilyn Pearson, and Washington DC-based Harriet Lipkin, Joseph Anthony Turzi and Nicole Smith have wide-ranging practices. David Durham is the name to note in San Francisco.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. leads in healthcare matters and was retained by Community Hospital of Long Beach to lead its collective bargaining negotiations with the California Nurses Association. Los Angeles-based Adam Abrahms led on that matter and was also successful in representing Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach and the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in an NLRB hearing against the National Union of Healthcare Workers regarding putative bargaining involving technical employees. The firm is also adept at advising private sector, nonprofit and government employers on corporate campaigns and decertification, among other things. New York’s Steven Swirsky and Chicago’s Mark Trapp are other key contacts. Adam Forman, formerly of Miller Canfield P.L.C., is highly experienced.

Greenberg Traurig, LLPachieves a trifecta of quality, efficiency and availability’ in matters including corporate campaigns, union organizational opposition, and enforcing collective bargaining agreements. Jerrold Goldberg in New York provides ongoing advice to Anbang Insurance following its acquisition of the Waldorf Astoria New York, and recently handled contractual issues between the company and the New York Hotel Trades Council. Whole Foods Market, Time Inc. and Republic Services are other clients. In Boston, Justin Keith, who made shareholder, earned praise alongside managing shareholder Terence McCourt for possessing ‘in-depth knowledge of the law’. Jonathan Sulds, Joseph Fleming, Charles Birenbaum and Erik Rodriguez, who work in New York, Miami, San Francisco and Atlanta respectively, are well regarded. Arturo Ross recently joined in Miami from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

A leader in the airline sector, O’Melveny & Myers LLP has built up a roster of clients that includes United Airlines, Republic Airways, and also Island Air, which is a new client along with Juilliard School and Respawn Entertainment. Robert Siegel, Aparna Joshi and Mark Robertson defended American Airlines against former flight attendants, who brought a putative class action on behalf of thousands of individuals after their travel perks were changed as a result of American’s merger with US Airways. Michael McGuinness and Jeffrey Kohn represented Gate Gourmet in challenging the NLRB’s jurisdiction to hear a matter regarding whether the Service Employees International Union can represent units of cleaning employees in two airports. Chris Hollinger is another strong attorney. Named attorneys are based in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Paul Hastings LLP’s impressive client list includes Fujifilm, LinkedIn and Bank of America. American Apparel recently engaged Los Angeles-based Elena Baca to handle various matters, including NLRB cases, challenges to the company’s legal notices in its force reductions, and a $40m wrongful termination claim brought against the retailer by former CEO Dov Charney. Baca also represented the company in labor demonstrations calling for Charney’s return. In San Francisco, Robert Kristoff assisted Hollywood Park Land - a joint venture between Stockbridge Capital Group and Wilson Meany - with negotiating a labor agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and unions affiliated to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor regarding the development and operation of a stadium and performing arts center. Stephen Berry and Nancy Abell are the names to note in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Attorneys at Reed Smith LLPreally roll up their sleeves and take ownership of the project or problem’. Clients include Shell Oil, Tenet Healthcare, UPS and other large employers. Philadelphia-based Joel Barras obtained a permanent mass picketing injunction for Columbia Gas Transmission against protestors from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542-C relating to a pipeline expansion project. Karl Fritton, who splits his time between Chicago and Philadelphia, is particularly active in contract negotiations and attracted work from a number of healthcare clients. NLRB litigator and arbitrator Gary Tocci and John DiNome in Philadelphia are also highly regarded. In Pittsburgh, Eugene Connors ‘has a wealth of experience dealing with representatives of union locals’, and stands out with senior counsel William Bevan. New York’s David Weissman is another name to note.

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