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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United States, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for six consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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United States > Labor and employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Law firms remain active in advising on the increasingly complex mix of federal, state and local employment laws across the US, as the Trump administration brings about changes to regulatory, legislative and enforcement environments. Many states and cities have promulgated jurisdiction-specific laws affecting many policies and procedures of US companies relating to hiring, leaves of absence, accommodation of pregnancy and religion, new protected classes of applicants and employees, and additional requirements regarding engagement of independent contractors and pay practices; and these often differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

At the federal level, the Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance have proposed numerous new regulations and guidance documents, which has led to an increase in compliance work, policy drafting and training advice. Employers are creating workplace and hiring policies that prevent discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in response to a focus of the EEOC. The #metoo movement has also spiked a significant increase in related work, with employers seeking anti-harassment and prevention training and policies as firms report an uptick in harassment claims due to the allegations being asserted against well-known public figures.

New pay equality laws and regulations are forcing employers to balance pay equality and reasonable business practices for salary determinations. There has also been increased litigation concerning website accessibility in accordance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to review its public accommodations policies.

Class action mandates relating to wage and hour disputes, challenges to joint-employer status, the misclassification of employees and pay equity cases remain prevalent.

In notable firm news, McDermott Will & Emery LLP made a big splash in March 2018 by launching a standalone employment practice. The team, which comprises 10 new partners and one counsel, will be led by the former chair of DLA Piper LLP (US)’s labor and employment practice, Michael Sheehan.

The Trump administration has been filling spots on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - including the general counsel role - with conservative officials who will undoubtedly attempt to reverse the precedents and attitudes established under Obama. Where many firms during the Obama era identified a ‘pro-union bias’ in labor-management disputes, many are now expecting a swing towards a more management-friendly environment.

The main point of discussion in the employee benefits and executive compensation space was the Trump administration’s tax reform bill. While the version of the bill that was ratified did not have the fundamentally transformative effect it could have had, it still had a significant impact on fringe benefits and brought into question the implications of section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which prohibits publicly held companies from deducting more than $1m per year in compensation paid to employees.

Clients have also been seeking advice with regard to multi-employer plans and healthcare regulations. On the transactional front, many firms reported a steady uptick in M&A activity; this was particularly true in the private equity space, and in public M&A there were a number of eye-catching deals in the media and entertainment sector, including Time Warner’s acquisition by AT&T and Discovery’s takeover of Scripps Networks.

In terms of ERISA litigation, firms reported a deflation in the pressure applied by the plaintiff bar on the ‘church plans’ front after the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2017 stating that a pension need not be established by a church to be recognized as an ERISA-exempt 'church plan'. A small group of firms continue to receive a steady stream of work from the class actions which continue to preoccupy nonprofit organizations, particularly universities, with regard to their 403(b) plans. While excessive fee litigation suits are still commonplace, stock-drop litigation seems to have slowed slightly.

Under the Trump administration, immigration policy has seen a steady stream of restrictions and major changes. One of the key events in 2017 was the President’s passing of the controversial ‘travel ban’ executive orders. The first order barred entry into the US for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and suspended the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days. The second, which was intended to revoke and replace the first, established limits on travel to the US from certain countries and by refugees who do not possess either a visa or valid travel documents. A second key event was President Trump’s announcement in September 2017 of the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation implemented by President Obama; the program gave protection to young undocumented immigrants in the US.

Against this backdrop of controversy and uncertainty, immigration practices reported a steep increase in visa and citizenship application processing as clients sought to ensure their resident status complied with the new restrictions and extreme vetting procedures for all types of visas. Compliance work continued to increase, as companies prepared for more rigorous auditing procedures and immigration regulations as a defence strategy against the lack of stability caused by the rapid changes in immigration policy. Due diligence work remained a key area of activity, as companies increasingly took more of a direct role in ensuring that all key non-US personnel are legally secured. To tackle the challenging market, there were trends in the immigration space for firms to focus on compliance aspects in their advice to clients, find more creative ways to assist clients with establishing their legal residence in the US, and make sure their practices have the capability to tackle the full spread of immigration issues that have arisen as a result of the unpredictable environment - or that are likely to.

Despite the constant changes in the sphere, the law firm market remains a dynamic combination of major international immigration law specialists such as Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy; smaller boutiques such as Foster LLP and Chin & Curtis LLP; labor and employment law specialists such as Ogletree Deakins and Jackson Lewis P.C.; and full-service firms with a long track record in labor and employment work such as Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP.

ERISA litigation

Index of tables

  1. ERISA litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which ERISA litigation clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Not just ‘extremely knowledgeable, but also very responsive and good at thinking outside of the box’, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is ‘simply the best’, according to one client. The ‘easy-to-work-withBrian Ortelere sits in the Philadelphia office and recently defended the University of Pennsylvania in a class action challenging the investment options offered by its 403(b) plan on the grounds of alleged breach of fiduciary duties. Chicago-based Sari Alamuddin and Melissa Hill in New York also worked with private universities in respective fiduciary putative class actions. On the health benefits front, Washington DC-based senior counsel Christopher Weals advised on the issue of vested right to lifetime retiree medical benefits. Jeremy Blumenfeld and Deborah Davidson are names to note in Philadelphia and Chicago respectively; they have recently represented clients in class actions involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, prohibited transactions and denial of lifetime vested retiree healthcare benefits. Clients also recommend Christopher Boran, who sits in Chicago.

The practice at Proskauer Rose LLP comprises ‘extremely strong partners at the top and a very deep bench of ERISA litigators’, and is hailed as ‘simply the best of the best’. Led by Myron Rumeld, the team is well known for handling stock-drop, excessive fee and church plan cases. Recent work includes representing Princeton University in a suit alleging a breach of fiduciary duties in its recordkeeping fees, and Russell Hirschhorn and New Orleans-based Howard Shapiro - whose ‘folksy charm is backed by encyclopedic knowledge’ - successfully arguing a motion to dismiss on behalf of Wells Fargo, in a case alleging the client padded its 401(k) plan with overpriced and underperforming target-date funds affiliated with the bank. Also noteworthy is the group’s work for investment manager Neuberger Berman regarding allegations of prohibited self-dealing and breach of fiduciary obligations. Employee benefits specialist Ira Golub also assisted the team with regard to withdrawal liabilities issues arising from an action against client Renco Group. Other key contacts include senior counsel Stacey Cerrone in New Orleans and Deidre Grossman. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Baker McKenzie LLP defends clients against the full spectrum of ERISA claims, including single-claimant actions and actions involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions. San Francisco-based James Baker sits at the helm of the California sub-team and recently teamed up with the Chicago-based Lisa Brogan to dismiss a putative class action filed against Quest Diagnostics by a former employee claiming voluntary separation agreement benefits for herself and others in her situation. In other highlights, plan trustees appointed the group to handle class actions centered on the amount of pension benefit contributions to be transferred between two ERISA-regulated plans, and Baker is currently intervening in a withdrawal liability price adjustment dispute. The firm recently recruited William Dugan from Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago, Meredith Kaufman from Littler Mendelson, P.C. in New York, and Todd Boyer in Palo Alto from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has recently led a number of challenges to regulatory reforms, such as Eugene Scalia representing an industry coalition including the US Chamber of Commerce and SIFMA in an appeal against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for brokers of IRAs and 401(k) plans. A team led by Geoffrey Sigler and Los Angeles-based Richard Doren successfully dismissed a class action filed against Aetna pertaining to its decision to deny health plan coverage for stays at residential treatment facilities, while Jason Schwartz led the advice to Ford with regard to a series of claims challenging aspects of its lump sum retirement benefits program. Richard Doren - based in Los Angeles - secured a victory for Cigna, which had been accused of duping plaintiffs into believing they would be reimbursed for medical treatments provided to union members, and Miguel Estrada won an appeal for Aetna in a dispute regarding the calculation of offsets for other income that plan participants receive. Heather Richardson is another key name in Los Angeles, and of counsel Paul Blankenstein sits in Washington DC alongside Scalia, Sigler, Schwartz and Estrada.

The ERISA litigators at Groom Law Groupare experts in their specialized area and have the deepest knowledge of ERISA of any firm in the country’, according to one client. Michael Prame and Michael Kreps are recommended for their ‘numerous contacts and resources in the litigation, regulatory and government investigation space’, as is Lars Golumbic who heads the practice group. Sarah Adams was part of the team defending Catholic Health Initiatives in a ‘church plan’ class action suit, while Edward Meehan and Mark Nielsen won dismissal of a putative class action brought against an insurance company alleging breach of fiduciary duties. The team also filed a suit on behalf of a multi-employer plan seeking to collect withdrawal liability which had gone unpaid from its predecessor company’s bankruptcy proceedings, and represented institutional trustees in enforcement proceedings initiated by the Department of Labor (DoL) on the grounds of alleged prohibited transactions relating to ESOP transactions. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

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Miller & Chevalier Chartered specializes in high-end litigation covering the gamut of ERISA regulations, including novel health benefits issues. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona engaged the practice to fend off a suit brought by a group of healthcare providers alleging violations of the ACA and ERISA and claiming that they, the providers, were the beneficiaries, and Michael Khalil is part of the team representing numerous retired Delta Airlines pilots in their challenge against the PBGC’s administration of their pension plan following Delta’s bankruptcy in 2006. Other notable clients include Caring for Montanans (in an appeal arising from its win in a breach of fiduciary duties class action), Berkshire Hathaway, and the Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan. Anthony Shelley heads the practice and Theresa Gee was recently elected chair of the firm’s employee benefits department.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has substantial expertise in, among other things, defending financial service clients that provide administrative services and investment products to retirement plans. Brian Boyle represented Chevron in a fiduciary breach case pertaining to the management of its 401(k) plan and alleged prohibited transactions; he also represented CVS in a similar case. In other highlights, Los Angeles-based Catalina Vergara was part of a team acting for Walt Disney in a putative class action centered on allegations of improper investment options in its 401(k) plan. American Airlines is also a noteworthy client, and AON Hewitt obtained a complete victory in a breach of fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions class action thanks to a team that included New York-based Stuart Sarnoff. Shannon Barrett and Meaghan VerGow are key contacts in the Washington DC office, where other named individuals are based unless otherwise stated.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP routinely intervenes in high-profile cases for heavyweight clients across a vast array of industry sectors, including Citigroup, Merck and JPMorgan Chase. Key name include Lewis Clayton and Brad Karp, who jointly lead the practice from New York and recently teamed up to defend a global bank in stock-drop litigation filed by retirement plan participants. JPMorgan Chase appointed the group to resolve a series of proceedings brought by various state and federal regulators as well as to handle derivative fund litigation, an ERISA class action and a securities case. Other highlights included a breach of fiduciary duties claim, which was assisted by benefits and compensation specialist Robert Fleder. All named individuals are based in New York.

According to one client, ‘few firms consistently match the depth and quality’ of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s ERISA litigation team, which recently bolstered its senior line-up with the promotion to partner of Sam Schwartz-Fenwick in Chicago. The group is currently defending a multi-employer medical plan and its trustees in a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties, and San Francisco-based D Ward Kallstrom and Kevin Lesinski are advising a client on a suit brought by healthcare providers claiming they were owed around $16m in unpaid or underpaid medical bills. The ‘very experiencedIan Morrison - who ‘shows great flexibility to adapt to his clients’ needs’ - and Amanda Sonneborn jointly lead the department from Chicago.

Paul Ondrasik and Gwen Renigar lead the ERISA litigation practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. In recent highlights, Ondrasik secured a win for BP alongside Eric Serron and Morgan Hodgson in a longstanding stock-drop case which arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other significant wins included defending clients such as American Express and Express Scripts against claims involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duties and ACA obligations as well as prohibited transactions. Republic Services also engaged the team to defend a fiduciary breach class action in relation to the management of an employee-owned company, the sale of the ESOP’s stock to a third party, and the investment and distribution of the sale proceeds in connection with the termination of the ESOP. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP recently bolstered its ERISA litigation practice with the promotions to partner of Jared Friedmann and Adam Banks, who operate respectively within the complex commercial litigation and appellate litigation groups. The team is currently representing the University of Miami in a putative class action filed by a former ‘voluntary faculty’ staff member claiming the university breached its fiduciary duties when it denied the claimants the opportunity to participate in a number of plans open to regular employees. The team also represented an insurance company in a nationwide class action related to the inflation rider on its long-term care insurance policies, and continues to counsel an investment management entity on its response to a series of DoL subpoenas in the context of its investigation into a pension plan. Other key clients include Genworth, UnitedHealth and Washington Mutual. The New York-based team is led by Nicholas Pappas, Jeffrey Klein and Paul Wessel.

Goodwin’s ERISA litigation practice is ‘superior to most other choices’, according to one client, who also said the lawyers ‘have all impressed through their depth of knowledge, candor and business acumen’. The ‘outstandingJames Fleckner heads the practice and is ‘the best at what he does’; he is currently defending a Fortune 500 company in a putative class action pertaining to the management of its 401(k) plan. In other highlights, the firm represented clients in excessive fee, damage claim and breach of fiduciary duty cases. Other key names include Alison Douglass (who is overseeing a client’s response to a DoL inquiry into the propriety of its selection of investments for plan participants) and Jack Cleary (who advised a brokerage firm on a class action challenging the compensation it received from recordkeeping services and its retention of an independent financial adviser). All named attorneys are based in Boston.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP covers the gamut of ERISA litigation and recently intervened in an ESOP case in which a former participant launched a class action against the plan and its former fiduciaries in connection with its termination in 2011. Atlanta-based Todd Wozniak led advice to GlaxoSmithKline and other entities and their medical plans with regard to breach of fiduciary duties and unfair competition claims arising from the denial of services provided by out-of-network medical providers. In New York, Jonathan Sulds secured a motion to dismiss in a breach of fiduciary action involving allegations of failure to disclose information pertaining to a 401(k) plan. New Jersey-based Robert Bernstein is also a key name and has recently been representing a national reinsurance company in ERISA litigation.

Jenner & Block LLP has longstanding expertise in litigation and recently strengthened its ERISA capabilities with the additions of Christopher Rillo in Los Angeles from Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and special counsel Michael Graham in Chicago from Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. The team, led by litigation department head Craig Martin and ERISA litigation practice leader Amanda Amert, recently obtained a complete victory for Dow in a class action challenging the way pension benefits are calculated for certain employees. In other highlights, Northwestern University appointed the firm to intervene in a fee litigation case, and Aon Hewitt engaged the group to handle a novel case regarding the fees of ‘robo-advisers’. Named lawyers sit in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Jones Day’s ERISA litigation practice draws strength from its renowned appellate team and recently secured a win for GE in a nationwide putative class action arising from its changes to post-retirement medical benefits for union retirees. Stanley Weiner, based in Cleveland, also settled a class action regarding retiree medical benefits on behalf of Century Aluminum, and Atlanta-based Craig Friedman - who was recently promoted to partner - defended Flower Foods against allegations of unfair denial of long-term disability benefits. In Washington DC, Evan Miller represented The New York Times in its filing of a federal court complaint against a pension plan determination that the client owes over $25m in withdrawal liability.

The ERISA litigation team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is particularly strong in cases pertaining to healthcare but provides dispute resolution services covering the full gamut of issues. In recent highlights, the group successfully challenged a PBGC determination in support of a client's competitor to avoid sizable pension liabilities, and successfully defended a major US-based multinational on appeal in fiduciary breach claims. The practice heads are Los Angeles-based Chris Scheithauer - who has represented clients such as Walt Disney, Northrop Grumman and State Street - and Chicago-based counsel Bill Boies.

Arent Fox LLP has considerable experience at the intersection of employee benefits and bankruptcy mandates from its Washington DC office and has recently been prominent in the healthcare space - specifically with regard to managed care litigation. Practice head Caroline Turner English is currently representing a provider of dialysis products and services in a number of ongoing cases centered on disputes with ERISA-governed group health plans and large national insurers. Other names to note are Brian Schneider, who was recently promoted to partner, associate Alison Andersen and New York-based Mark Angelov, who acted for an oil company in a multi-employer pension plan withdrawal liability case involving mass withdrawal.

DentonsAlan Gilbert in Chicago is currently representing Hanover Insurance Group in a nationwide class action in which the plaintiffs are seeking the recovery of allegedly underpaid lump sum distributions from its cash balance pension plan. In New York, practice head Brian Cousin and Richard Scharlat are defending Chimes District of Columbia and its self-funded health and welfare plan in an excessive fee suit brought by the Secretary of Labor. Other names to note include Douglas Scullion in San Francisco and Jason Scheiderer in Kansas City.

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘a top-level quality of service’ delivered by ‘the top echelon of lawyers in the field’, according to one client. Known for his ‘ability to understand both the technical and practical implications of a case’, Atlanta-based David Tetrick successfully obtained a motion to dismiss on behalf of Peabody Energy in a stock-drop case. In Washington DC, Bobby Burchfield specializes in retiree health benefits and recently represented Meritor at the Sixth Circuit; in 2008, the appeals court ruled against Meritor on the question of whether retirement healthcare benefits are vested for life, but based on rulings in Gallo v Moen and M&G Polymers v Tackett, the firm filed a petition for rehearing, in which the appeals court found in favor of the client. Also notable is Tetrick’s work for Chevron in connection with disputes concerning withdrawal liability allegedly owed to a pension fund.

According to one client, ‘no firm compares toMayer Brown when it comes to ERISA litigation. The team is ‘very responsive and provides practical and proactive advice’ under the leadership of the Chicago-based Nancy Ross, who represents clients such as Northrop Grumman and universities including Columbia and Cornell. In Washington DC, Brian Netter is also defending universities and their 403(b) plans, but other recent work includes acting for the Chamber of Commerce in the filing of amicus briefs in two separate cases: one alleging breach of fiduciary duties and one concerning the availability of mandatory, non-opt-out class actions in cases involving defined contribution plans. Los Angeles-based Elizabeth Mann is also a key contact.

Paul Hastings LLP’s Stephen Harris recently won a summary judgment in a class action brought by an individual claiming he and his fellow beneficiaries were unlawfully denied accelerated transition benefits by the client’s benefit committee. In other highlights, the team is representing the authorities of a small island in a complex multi-employer plan withdrawal liability suit, and Harris is acting on behalf of an individual who was allegedly denied vested benefits by his former employer following his resignation and taking up of employment with a competitor. Eric Keller is also a name to note and is based in Washington DC along with Harris.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design

Index of tables

  1. Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Groom Law Group is ‘clearly the best in this area’ and clients value its ‘highly responsive, extremely knowledgeable, efficient and business-oriented’ lawyers, based in Washington DC. Covering the full gamut of employee benefits and executive compensation mandates, the team consists of recommended names such as the ‘fantastic’ Erin Cho, the ‘vastly experiencedJon Breyfogle, Michael Prame, who is known for advice on Department of Labor (DOL) audits, and Tom Roberts, who is recommended for his expertise in fiduciary compliance and collective investment fund matters. The ‘particularly strongJeff Witt is part of a group assisting clients with pension plan de-risking mandates and, alongside Seth Perretta and Allison Ullman, has advised clients on healthcare issues. Mark Lofgren is a key name for IRS and Treasury matters.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s employee benefits team is divided into seven task forces which cover the scope of the practice area, from fiduciary duties to fringe benefits. Clients such as CSS, PNC Financial and Novitex retain the group to oversee day-to-day maintenance and administration of their retirement, health and executive compensation plans, which includes advice pertaining to tax regulations, ERISA requirements and plan mergers and spin-offs. Althea Day represents a wide variety of plan sponsors and recently acted for a corporate client in the resolution of penalties imposed by the DOL following a filing error. Other key names include Pittsburgh-based John Ferreira and Matthew Hawes, Philadelphia-based Steven Spencer, as well as Rosina Barker and Jonathan Zimmerman, who recently joined from Ivins, Phillips & Barker. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

The service at Proskauer Rose LLP is ‘consistently superior to other firms in the field’, according to one source, and the team is ‘knowledgeable on any regulatory issues the client may encounter’. The ‘extremely creativeRobert Projansky is praised as ‘extremely pragmatic, exceptionally smart and capable of setting his ego aside to protect his clients’. New client PROMESA appointed a team, led by Washington DC-based practice head Paul Hamburger, to restructure its debts - a large fraction of which is attributed to the retirement systems for government employees. Ira Golub and Neal Schelberg specialize in withdrawal liability issues and multi-employer plans respectively. Other key names include Washington DC-based Seth Safra as well as Andrea Rattner, Rory Albert and the ‘proactive’ Katrina McCann. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

The ‘overall service is excellent’ at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where the employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers are trusted ‘with the most significant matters in the field’. Clients such as trade associations, insurance companies and financial advisers appointed the group to advise on the regulatory landscape surrounding the term ‘fiduciary’, while health and welfare plan service providers engaged Melanie Nussdorf and Paul Ondrasik in Washington DC to respond to DOL investigations. Eric Serron, Edward Mackiewicz and Patrick Menasco are other names to note in the Washington DC office, as is ‘superb lawyer’ Morgan Hodgson. Public sector pension plan sub-team leader Don Wellington joined Reed Smith LLP in April 2018.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s practice is led by Nancy Gerrie and the New York-based Scott Landau, who is ‘the best employment lawyer for private equity-backed companies in the market today’ and ‘an invaluable extension of any team’. The group was recently bolstered by the arrival of ten partners and a portion of their established clients from McDermott Will & Emery LLP - including Gerrie. In recent highlights, Susan Nash led the advice to Starbucks with regards to its adoption of a private healthcare exchange, and Washington DC’s David Rogers counseled Carnival Control Group on its non-qualified plan compliance with the ACA and incoming legislative changes. Amy Gordon and Joe Adams are also key names. Named attorneys are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

The ‘service provided is at the highest level on every relevant scale’ at Baker McKenzie LLP, where the employee benefits and executive compensation experts are known for their ‘fast response times, deep knowledge of the area and outstanding efficiency’. Clients recommend Chicago-based practice head Maura Ann McBreen for her ‘broad expertise and broad experience’; she recently teamed up with the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Sinead Kelly in San Francisco to advise heavyweight corporate clients on plan design, tax regulations and proxy disclosure obligations. San Francisco-based Valerie Diamond and Victor Flores are part of the team assisting a multinational technology company with the design and administration of its equity incentive, cash bonus plans and deferred compensation arrangements. Christopher Guldberg is also a name to note in the Chicago office.

Leslie Klein and Jeffrey Mamorsky head Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s employee benefits and compensation practice from the Phoenix and New York offices, respectively. In Silicon Valley, Magan Ray continues to serve as outside benefits counsel to Western Digital - namely with respects to tax issues and healthcare plan administration - while the Denver-based Renée O’Rourke oversaw the implementation of two lump sum window benefits to a large pension plan. Collective Health also appointed the group to advise on ERISA, ACA and HIPAA-related issues pertaining to self-insured healthcare plans. Other noteworthy clients include Twitter, Xilinx and Intuit.

At McDermott Will & Emery LLP, ‘there is always someone available who knows the area well and can respond in a timely fashion and without need for a lot of research’. The employee benefits lawyers are ‘very thorough, thoughtful and look for cost-saving alternatives’ and operate under the leadership of Todd Solomon in Chicago. In recent highlights, Boston-based Andrew Liazos obtained a prohibited transaction exemption from the DOL on behalf of a well-known insurer and secured a closing agreement from the IRS allowing a large 401(k) plan to maintain its tax-qualified status. Steven Eckhaus is a key name to note in New York, while Judith Wethall and Finn Pressly recently joined the Chicago office from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered's main strength lies in regulatory compliance advice, particularly with regard to the ACA and the HIPAA. The team regularly works alongside health insurance carriers to ensure the products they provide to clients and their own staff are compliant with the latest regulatory obligations and requirements. The Washington DC-based practice is chaired by Tess Gee and includes 401(k) and pension plan de-risking expert Elizabeth Drake and ERISA litigation head Anthony Shelley.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP recently advised Chevron on securities registration, foreign exchange and data privacy issues in connection with its global long-term incentive plan, and Estée Lauder engaged the group to handle defined benefit pension plan and 401(k) compliance matters and to represent the company in DOL audits. Peter Hunt is a key name in the practice, as is Susan Serota, who recently acted for a reinsurance company in ESOP qualification, compliance issues and IRS discussions. In San Francisco, the name to note is Christine Richardson; recent work includes negotiating a vendor agreement on behalf of a retail chain. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP advises clients on vendor procurement, pension plan investment issues and tax regulations under the leadership of Robert Flanagan in Chicago. New York-based Richard Schwartz continues to assist David Yurman Enterprises with regard to the design of various retention agreements, while Randell Montellaro - who is also based in New York - is advising Northwell Health on the tax-qualified status of its cash balance, 403(b) and 401(k) plans as well as handling submissions to the DOL and IRS. Based in Chicago, Jake Downing, Adam Greetis and ACA expert associate Benjamin Conley represent Nike in all aspects of its retirement, health and welfare arrangements. Howard Pianko and senior counsel Richard Loebl are names to note in the New York office.

Described by one client as ‘absolutely peerless’ and ‘the best in the market without question’,

Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered’s Richard Skillman recently acted for the Kaiser Family Foundation in amendments to its qualified defined contribution and 403(b) plans and the regulatory compliance issues surrounding retiree medical plans. In the life insurance space, of counsel Ronald Cluett is currently advising VALIC on rule 409A compliance and a number of IRS approval letters. Also notable is Joanne Youn, who represents clients such as NASA Federal Credit Union, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Teekay in matters pertaining to the merger of plans onto a single recordkeeping platform, tax regulations and the design of executive retirement plans. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Dentons assisted a government-owned healthcare system on the termination of its underfunded defined benefit plan, and implemented complex equity compensation arrangements on behalf of a private equity-backed Cayman Islands company. Kansas City-based Martin Moderson represented a 401(k) plan investment committee in the successful resolution of a DOL audit, while Michael Maryn in Washington DC guided an American citizen based in the UK through the cross-border tax issues arising from the grant of an equity interest in an affiliate of their employer. In Chicago, Pamela Baker and Frank VanderPloeg transitioned to the position of of counsel.

Goodwin has a strong record in ERISA fiduciary regulatory issues and vast experience in dealing with the DOL. Clients such as State Street regularly engage the firm to intervene in compliance matters, the administration of benefits and welfare plans, and IRS or DOL audits and investigations. In Boston, practice head Scott Webster has particular expertise in advising financial services clients and other fiduciaries on investment options in pension plans and prohibited transaction issues. Other notable contacts include financial industry partner John Cleary and Natascha George, who has substantial experience designing severance agreements and incentive structures.

Jackson Lewis P.C.’s team recently grew through the arrivals of Dorothy Parson McDermott from Ogletree Deakins and Brian Johnston from Polsinelli PC in the Indianapolis and Overland Park offices respectively. Practice head Joy Napier-Joyce is based in Baltimore and is currently advising DuPont on its offering of a lump sum window to deferred vested pension plan participants. In Omaha, Randal Limbeck assisted an industrial construction company with its pension fund liabilities and successfully obtained an agreement from the IRS pertaining to cash balance plan provision on behalf of a health system. Other key names include Chicago’s Natalie Nathanson and of counsel Raymond Turner in Dallas. Jewell Lim Esposito joined FisherBroyles, LLP in Washington DC.

Mayer Brown has a strong pension plan investment practice and a client roster which includes domestic and multinational companies across a vast range of industry sectors. A large retailer engaged a team led by New York-based practice head Maureen Gorman to oversee the restructuring of its existing pension arrangements to reduce cash flow, and Lennine Occhino represented a financial institution in its efforts to obtain DOL relief from a disqualifying criminal conviction in a foreign jurisdiction. Debra Hoffman is also a key contact and oversaw the implementation of employee stock purchase plans, deferred compensation plans and director compensation programs. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless otherwise indicated.

Thompson Hine LLP’s Kim Wilcoxon specializes in ACA regulations and group health plans, while practice head Laura Ryan leads the advice to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with regard to its 403(b) and defined benefit pension plans. In Cleveland, Stephen Penrod and Julia Love counsel a global company and a public sector entity on the administration of all their employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements. Other key names include Timothy Brown - who splits his time between Cincinnati and Atlanta - and David Whaley. Named individuals are based in Cincinnati unless otherwise stated.

Vedder Price advised a client on the design and implementation of a severance benefits program in the context of a workforce restructuring and continues to assist longstanding clients such as ArcelorMittal with the day-to-day maintenance of all their health and benefits plans. Kelly Starr and Thomas Desmond jointly head the department from the Chicago office, where Christopher Collins, Thomas Hancuch and Patrick Spangler also play key roles. In other highlights, the team intervened in the implementation of an annuity lift out involving more than 10 pension plans. All named attorneys are based in Chicago.

Arent Fox LLPsets the bar for other firms’ timeliness, thoroughness and industry knowledge’. Clients describe Quana Jew’s communications skills as ‘second to none’; ‘the way she articulates the details of regulations and interprets them at different levels is admirable’. She sits in Washington DC alongside deferred compensation expert Bill Charyk, with whom she collaborates to counsel CEB on the full gamut of its fringe benefits, executive deferred compensation arrangements and retirement plans. Other law firms and their individual partners have also engaged the group to oversee their cash balance retirement plans and to design unique benefit plans.

Baker & Hostetler LLP provides a broad range of services, including advice on employee benefits, executive compensation, 409A compliance and welfare plans. Cleveland-based John Boyd and John McGowan assisted a nonprofit organization with the restructuring of its benefits distribution channels to ensure ACA compliance, and Columbus-based Susan Lubow has experience liaising between employers and governmental bodies such as the IRS. Practice heads Georgeanne Peters and Raymond Malone are based in Columbus and Cleveland respectively.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s global platform provides for a multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary team, which was further bolstered by the arrival of hedge fund and ERISA Title 1 expert Adrienne Scerbak in New York from an in-house position at Sony. In Washington DC, Rita Patel assisted a public telecoms company with the negotiation of a severance agreement pertaining to a CEO residing abroad, and Chicago’s Anne Pachciarek represented an ACA reporting provider in regulatory issues relating to its client base of large employers. A technology company also engaged the team to design and implement incentive structures and special purpose vehicles including employee benefits trusts. Patel heads the group with Silicon Valley-based Cisco Palao-Ricketts and Chicago-based Richard Ashley III.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. advises financial services clients on equity compensation schemes and incentive plans, and has recently been appointed to counsel on the implications of the fiduciary rule on a number of retirement plans. Gretchen Harders recently acted for BlackRock in matters regarding investments in proprietary funds under the client’s retirement savings and amendments to its corporate governance arrangements. Sharon Lippett assisted a client with the drafting of documents related to the restatement of its welfare and cafeteria plans following a DOL audit. The full-service offering is led by Michelle Capezza in New York, where all named attorneys are based.

The advice at Eversheds Sutherland is ‘always clear, concise and precise’, according to one client, who describes the ‘efficient and understanding’ Adam Cohen as ‘the best lawyer in the field of qualified plans, executive compensation and taxation’. In recent highlights, counsel Meredith O’Leary teamed up with Paul Lang and Michael Hepburn to counsel a longstanding client on all its design, administration and compliance issues. On the healthcare side, Vanessa Scott is currently advising on the ACA implications of some of its insurance lines. Some of the firm’s noteworthy clients include Cox Enterprises, the US Chamber of Commerce and the HR Policy Association. Brenna Clark and Carol McClarnon were made partner in the Atlanta and Washington DC offices, respectively. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC except where otherwise stated.

Among Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s recent highlights, Stephen Fackler (who splits his time between New York and Palo Alto) advised AECOM on the drafting and administration of executive and employee compensation programs and related SEC disclosure obligations. Also notable is Sean Feller, who sits in Century City and assists MGM Resorts and Korn Ferry with the full spectrum of employee benefits matters. Clients such as Parsons and Gilead Sciences also appointed the group to oversee their employee stock ownership plan and qualified and non-qualified benefits plans. Other notable clients include Amazon, Aurora Capital and Cast & Crew Entertainment.

Washington DC-based boutique Ivins, Phillips & Barker represents clients in DOL and IRS audits as well as advises on the design and administration of health and pension plans. The key names to note include of counsel Harry Gutman, who previously acted as chief of staff of the congressional joint taxation committee and now heads the firm's federal tax policy offering. Noteworthy clients include names such as Bayer, GE and IBM.

Jenner & Block LLP’s Matthew Renaud, Sarah Haddy and Tony Ling counsel General Dynamics on the full spectrum of employee benefits matters, including fiduciary duties, plan administration and incentive plans. Raymond Sinnappan led the advice to a supplier of infrastructure technology with regard to pension de-risking, while Renaud assisted a web hosting company with the design and implementation of executive compensation and equity compensation plans. Counsel Will Wilder joined the firm from Seyfarth Shaw LLP and sits in the Chicago office along with all other named individuals.

K&L Gates’s employee benefits and executive compensation offering was recently bolstered through the promotion to partner of George Barbatsuly in Newark, the promotion to of counsel of John Farrell in Dallas, and the hire of Spencer Hamer in Orange County from Michelman & Robinson, LLP. The Pittsburgh-based Michael Hart has substantial experience in de-risking transactions and pension plan management, while in Seattle Karrie Diaz has previously advised clients such as SSL and Zulily on their fiduciary obligations.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. has a strong track record assisting global and national clients with the ACA issues arising from their welfare and retirement plans. One of the main names to note is practice head Alden Bianchi, who advised the American Staffing Association on the congressional efforts to ‘repeal and replace’ the ACA. Of counsel Patricia Moran works alongside Bianchi to counsel clients such as Healey & Associates and Emerson College on their health and retirement plans, as well as compensation arrangements for senior management. Named individuals are based in Boston.

The Chicago-based team at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP recently bolstered its ranks with the addition of Linda Hoseman from Thompson Coburn LLP. The group oversaw the revamping of retiree health plans, the negotiation of service agreements, and the design and implementation of a new deferred compensation scheme for key executives over the past year. Patricia Cain heads the group with Jeffrey Bakker, and the latter assisted a client with its non-qualified retirement plan for partners with respect to rule 409A.

Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren SC’s team is led by Milwaukee-based Steven Huff, who advises corporate entities, public plans, ESOPs and qualified plans on the full spectrum of ERISA matters, including compliance. The group also acts as fiduciary counsel to clients such Schreiber Foods as well as major investment consulting firms, their managers, record keepers and trustees. In other highlights, the group assisted a number of charities on a pro bono basis.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has substantial ERISA expertise in highly regulated sectors, particularly financial services. In recent highlights, SIFMA and numerous other global financial service entities appointed the team to advise on the impact of the DOL’s changes to the ‘fiduciary’ rules on the capital markets, and a number of leading financial institutions engaged Steven Rabitz and Marissa Holob to assist on the design, operation and distribution of their products with regards to the regulations governing US private and public retirement plans. Other noteworthy names include special counsel Bruce Gallant. In May 2018, Michael Keats moved to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s practice is based in Boston and led by David Guadagnoli, who advised clients on prohibited transaction issues, fiduciary regulations and IRS filings with regards to tax-qualified status. Amy Sheridan continues to guide a number of clients through the regulatory landscape of the IRC’s rule 409A, and supported Guadagnoli in his work for a school pertaining to the correction of missed non-elective contributions in its 403(b) plan. Jonathan Dubitzky is now of counsel.

The ‘service is fantastic’ at Thompson & Knight LLP, where the employee benefits attorneys are ‘responsive, up to date on legal and industrial trends, and very practical’. Clients recommend the duo of ‘employment law expert’ Elizabeth Schartz and ‘tax expert’ Sharon Fountain, who together form ‘the perfect team for this field’. The team acts as primary counsel on employee benefits and executive compensation issues for clients such as Nexen Petroleum, Mary Kay and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Other key names include Jason Loden, Russell Gully, Neely Munnerlyn and the Los Angeles-based Shelly Youree. Named individuals are based in Dallas unless otherwise indicated.

Venable LLP provides day-to-day counsel on the administration of a large multinational software and data security company’s employee benefit plans, and has strong experience advising clients on multi-employer plan funding rules, contract negotiations and regulatory compliance. The names to note are Washington DC-based Kenneth Hoffman and Lisa Tavares, and practice head Thora Johnson and Harry Atlas in Baltimore.

The four-partner offering at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represents clients such as Citigroup, Level 3 Communications, Bloomberg and Credit Suisse. Peter Haller led a client’s submission to the DOL for a QPAM exemption, and guided Credit Suisse through the ERISA compliance requirements of its major business lines, such as investment banking, asset management and wealth management. Jordan Messinger is also a name to note. Both named attorneys are based in New York.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional

Index of tables

  1. Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York-based team acts for an enviable client base, including the likes of General Motors, which Arthur Kohn and counsel Kathleen Emberger recently advised on the sale of its transnational Open/Vauxhall business to the PSA group. Elsewhere, Michael Albano was part of the team assisting McCormick & Company with its $4.2bn acquisition of Reckitt Benckiser’s food business. Counsels Caroline Hayday and Mary Alcock are also key names to note alongside Robert Raymond. Laura Bagarella was promoted to counsel. Other notable clients include Google, Verizon and Warburg Pincus, which the team advised on various acquisitions.

The five-partner team at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represents a client roster that includes Citigroup, PepsiCo, Goldman Sachs and several high-profile executives and management teams in executive compensation and employee benefits issues arising from corporate and M&A transactions. Practice head Edmond FitzGerald recently advised Reckitt Benckiser on its $17.9bn acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition and on the sale of its foods division to McCormick & Co. In the financial space, Veronica Wissel acted for TIAA in its takeover of EverBank, while Jeffrey Crandall intervened in SUEZ’s acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies from GE. Also notable is Jean McLoughlin, who handled the executive compensation aspects of Charoen Pokphand Foods from Centre Partners. All named partners are based in New York.

Huge standoutKirkland & Ellis LLP recently welcomed Michael Falk to its Chicago office from Winston & Strawn LLP; he ‘has an incredible ability to negotiate effectively on very complex issues and keep a business-focused and problem-solving approach’. Among the firm’s recent highlights, Scott Price advised LINN Energy and its affiliates on their emergence from bankruptcy, which involved the restructuring of $8bn of funded indebtedness. Avista also engaged the practice to handle its multibillion-dollar acquisition by Hydro One, and Caesars Entertainment appointed the group to oversee its contentious and high-profile Chapter 11 proceedings. In Chicago, Alexandra Mihalas is the name to note. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s impressive client roster includes names such as Bass Pro Shops, Siemens, Virgin America and The Carlyle Group. In recent highlights, the firm witnessed a number of partner promotions, including Matthew Conway and Julie Crisp in Washington DC and San Francisco respectively. The Chicago-based Robin L. Struve recently advised FMC Technology on its $13bn merger of equals with French company Technip, while Lori Goodman advised Energy Capital Partners on its acquisition of Calpine from the New York office. In Washington DC, the names to note are David Della Rocca and Adam Kestenbaum. The team is headed by New York-based Bradd Williamson, whose recent highlights include a number of notable transactions on behalf of Leonard Green & Partners.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is ‘the best in class’ and provides ‘the best experience for executive compensation advice’, according to one client. The team is based in New York and has a strong track record acting for clients in private and public M&A transactions as well as bankruptcy cases. Team leader Robert Flederhas a deep understanding of his clients’ and is described by one source as ‘the best in the business’. Larry Witdorchic is leading the advice to Qualcomm on its widely publicized $47bn acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, and recently assisted Agrium with its merger of equals with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Andrew Gaines acted for Caesars Entertainment in the Chapter 11 filing of one of its subsidiaries, and advised ARIAD Pharmaceuticals on its sale to the Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Named attorneys are based in New York.

The team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP consists of five partners in New York and Tristan Brown in Palo Alto, and services a client roster including the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Hilton and Microsoft. A team led by Greg Grogan is currently guiding Invitation Homes through its $20bn merger of equals with Starwood Point Homes; Brian Robbins and Andrew Blau recently advised China National Chemical on its acquisition of Syngenta. Also notable was David Rubinsky advising Capsugel on its multi-jurisdictional sale to Lonza, and Larry Moss assisting Teleflex with two separate acquisitions. Senior counsels Erin Murphy in Palo Alto and Jamin Koslowe in New York are also names to note.

Regina Olshan acts as global head of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s executive compensation department and recently led advice to DuPont regarding the sale of its crop protection business to FMC Corporation. Janus Capital and Centene engaged a team led by Erica Schohn to oversee a merger of equals and an asset acquisition transaction, respectively. Also notable is Neil Leff, who is currently advising Mars on its $9.1bn acquisition of VCA. In Palo Alto, the name to note is Joseph Yaffe, who advised Cardinal Health on its acquisition of several businesses from Medtronic. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP recently represented Amazon in its acquisition of Whole Foods, and acted for AT&T in its $108.7bn takeover of Time Warner. Matthew Friestedt is currently advising Bayer on its $7bn pending sale of crop science assets to German company BASF, and is assisting China Oceanwide with its acquisition of Genworth Financial. Also notable are Heather Coleman and Washington DC-based special counsel Rebecca Coccaro, who is part of the team overseeing Praxair’s high-value merger of equals with Linde. The practice is headed by Marc Trevino and also includes special counsel Regina Readling, who counts several international entities in its client roster. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s executive compensation team works intimately with the firm’s renowned M&A practice to handle issues arising from high-value transactions, spin-offs, restructurings and IPOs. Michael Segal, who specializes in representing individual executives and management teams, leads the offering with financial sector expert Jeannemarie O’Brien and Andrea Wahlquist. Adam Shapiro is also a key contact and has strong experience in corporate governance and spin-off transactions.

The team at Baker McKenzie LLP recently saw the promotion of Barbara Klementz to head of the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices and the promotion to counsel of Bianca Lansdown. In recent highlights, the group recently intervened in a number of high-profile, high-value public M&A transactions on behalf of household names in the media and technology spaces. Also notable is the team’s work in the healthcare and life sciences space. Elsewhere, Valerie Diamond advised Hewlett Packard on its acquisition of Nimble - which the firm also represented - as part of Hewlett Packard’s expansion into the flash storage business. Chicago-based Maura Ann McBreen is an expert in single employer, multi-employer and multinational benefit plans. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise indicated.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP focuses on executive compensation and benefits matters in the context of M&A transactions, and practice head Eric Hilfers is part of a team advising Disney on its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. He also recently assisted Crown Castle with several transactions, including its $7.1bn acquisition of Lightower from Berkshire Partners and Pamlico Capital. The team regularly assists with significant cross-border mandates, such as Jennifer Conway advising Santander on its takeover of Citigroup’s onshore consumer credit card, consumer brokerage and retail banking businesses in Argentina; Conway also assisted Time Warner with its sale to AT&T. Also noteworthy is Jonathan Katz, who is leading the advice to new client Northrop Grumman with respect to its acquisition of Orbital ATK. Other key clients include Johnson & Johnson, IBM and Brookfield. All named individuals are based in New York.

Known by clients as ‘very service-focused and prompt’, the team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is based in New York and consists of Meir Katz, Lawrence Cagney, the ‘responsive and vastly experiencedElizabeth Pagel Serebransky and Jonathan Lewis. Tribune Media recently engaged the practice to advise on its $6.6bn sale to the Sinclair Broadcast group, and Pagel Serebransky is currently assisting Discovery with its acquisition of Scripps Networks. The group also represents senior executives, management teams and companies such as Walt Disney, Apple and Ralph Lauren in the negotiation of executive compensation agreements. Counsel Michael Snypes recently joined the firm from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and the ‘very knowledgeable and reliable’ Alison Buckley-Serfass was promoted to counsel.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s executive compensation team is known to clients as ‘very responsive, unfailingly thoughtful and comprehensive in its advice’. The ‘excellent’ Washington DC-based Adam Kaminsky recently advised the Sinclair Broadcast group on its acquisition of Tribune Media, and counseled Knight Transportation on its merger with Swift Transportation. Practice head Jeffrey Ross represented AEA Investors in several transactions, and Donald Carleen regularly assists Goldman Sachs. Amy Blackman is also a key name and acted for the Jacobs Engineering group in a number of transactions. Other noteworthy clients include Coach, Humana and Terex. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a strong caseload in the REIT space and is handling an increasing amount of life sciences-related transactions, as illustrated by Washington DC-based Kurt Lawson’s work for a number of academic medical centers regarding combinations with hospital systems. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Michael Frank in the Silicon Valley office from Sidley Austin LLP, and the promotion to counsel of Michael Applebaum in New York. In Washington DC, Carin Carithers led the advice to the JBG Companies with regard to its merger with Vornado Realty Trust, while New York’s Martha Steinman advised GE Capital on the sale of its domestic select-service hotel franchise finance loan portfolio to Western Alliance Bank. She jointly heads the team with Margaret de Lisser, who also sits in Washington DC; de Lisser advised RLJ Lodging Trust on its merger with FelCor.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Todd Solomon was recently appointed global head of the employee benefits practice, which was strengthened by the arrival of Judith Wethall and Finn Pressly in Chicago from Littler Mendelson, P.C.. Diane Morgenthaler recently advised Evonik on its acquisition of the performance material unit from Air Products & Chemicals, while Lisa Loesel was part of the team which acted for a household name in the food industry in the expansion of its animal healthcare business. Also noteworthy is Boston-based Andrew Liazos, who recently represented a CEO in the sale of their company and the issues surrounding their ‘golden parachute’ agreement. Lawyers named are based in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s team’s recent work includes advising TriMark on the executive compensation aspects of a series of acquisitions of food service equipment and supplies dealers across the country, and advising Southern Light on its sale to the Uniti group. Gary Rothstein also advises individual executives and management on issues arising from transactions and restructurings. The team is jointly led by Steven Spencer in Philadelphia and Craig Bitman in New York, where Gina Lauriero was recently promoted to partner. Amy Pocino Kelly in Philadelphia and Patrick Rehfield in Washington DC are also key names.

Proskauer Rose LLP acts for big corporate entities, senior executives and management teams in the executive compensation issues arising from IPOs and high-end M&A transactions. Washington DC partner Joshua Miller is part of a group advising the likes of Hospitality Investors Trust, Tellurian and BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group on various transactions, as is New York-based Michael Sirkin, whose expertise lies in representing individual executives. Andrea Rattner is also a key contact in New York and Colleen Hart is one of the names to note in Los Angeles. The department is jointly led by Paul Hamburger and Myron Rumeld in Washington DC and New York, respectively.

The lawyers at Shearman & Sterling LLP are ‘conscientious, caring and genuinely concerned’ and clients ‘get great technical, tactical and strategic deal-related advice’. In recent matters, Doreen Lilienfeld advised GE on its merger with Baker Hughes, and the ‘enormously hard-workingJohn Cannon III - whom clients describe as ‘both a reliable stalwart and a star’ - represented numerous management teams and executives, such as Pandora’s CEO, Roger Lynch. Counsel Gillian Moldowan recently joined the firm from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Wells Fargo and State Street appointed a group led by Linda Rappaport to act as independent counsel to their board of directors. Counsel George Spera is also a key contact. All attorneys named are based in New York.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s corporate-driven practice handles the executive compensation and employee benefits issues surrounding M&A transactions, restructurings and bankruptcy filings for a client roster including Sanofi, Walgreens Boots Alliance and SoftBank. The transaction committee of the board of directors of Reynolds American engaged the firm to oversee its $60.5bn sale to BAT, and practice head Paul Wessel is advising Scripps Networks on its merger with Discovery. Amy Rubin is acting for Westinghouse Electric in its Chapter 11, and recently assisted InVentiv Health with its $4.6bn merger of equals with INC Research. Sarah Downie and Michael Nissan are also names to note. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Winston & Strawn LLP recently expanded its offering with the addition of 12 partners - including 10 from McDermott Will & Emery LLP - and two counsels to its Washington DC, New York and Chicago offices. In recent highlights, New York-based practice co-head Scott Landau led advice to Verizon with regard to its high-profile acquisition of Yahoo!, while Chicago-based Joe Adams and Amy Gordon advised a household-name pharmaceutical company on the executive compensation issues arising from a number of high-value transactions. Nancy Gerrie co-heads the practice from the Chicago office and New York-based Nyron Persaud is also a name to note.

Dechert LLP’s Andrew Oringer is ‘a remarkable ERISA lawyer’ and heads the executive compensation practice alongside Philadelphia-based David Jones, who recently acted for Ipsen in its acquisition of global oncology assets from Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. New York-based Stephen Skonieczny advised Lexmark on the sale of its enterprise software business, Kofax, to a newly formed entity affiliated with Thomas Bravo, while Philadelphia-based Eric Rubin assisted ECN Capital with the sale of various of its assets, including its commercial aviation business. Other noteworthy clients include KKR, Credit Suisse and Monster Worldwide. In June 2018, Steven Rabitz joined in New York from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

Clients rely on Washington DC-based Groom Law Group to ‘answer the toughest questions regarding federal regulations and board fiduciary duties’, providing ‘a clear advantage in making daring and successful decisions’. David Levineknows governmental plans better than any attorney’ and recently oversaw a number of corporate divestiture and spin-off transactions alongside Jennifer Eller, executive compensation practice head Jeff Kroh and Jeff Witt. The practice - which also features Seth Perretta and Jon Breyfogle - has a strong track record in advising benefit and retirement service providers on mergers and transactions.

The team at Jones Dayis simply the best in the business’ and comprises ‘national experts in all areas’, according to one client. Known for their ‘great attention to detail’ and ‘great sense of humor’, the executive compensation lawyers are led by Daniel Hagen and Evan Miller from the New York and Washington DC offices, respectively. Recent highlights include advising Parker Hannifin on its acquisition of Clarcor and representing Reynolds American in the sale of its remaining shares to BAT. The practice recently welcomed Victor Chang to its Washington DC office from Ivins, Phillips & Barker and Laura Bader from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago. Other notable contacts include Cleveland’s Tricia Eschbach-Hall, who led advice to Sherwin-Williams on its $11.3bn takeover of the Valspar Corporation.

Domnick Bozzetti in New York and Paul Borden are the key names in Morrison & Foerster LLP’s executive compensation practice, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of of counsel Linda Barrett in the Palo Alto office from an investment management agency. In recent highlights, the team advised Renesas on its acquisition of Intelsil and assisted Mobileye regarding its takeover by Intel. The team also handled the executive compensation issues arising out of a Chapter 11 filing of a technology consulting firm. Of counsels Ali Nardali and Amanda Hines Gold are also noteworthy contacts. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

The ‘overall level of service is exceptional’ at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where the ‘executive compensation team has a deep bench and several sub-areas of expertise which clients can call on for specific issues’. Jonathan Ocker and Juliano Banuelos ‘are both outstanding lawyers’; they recently teamed up with New York’s Laura Becking to advise Visa on its post-merger HR and employee benefits issues. Other notable clients include the former CEO, chairman and president of Etsy, Nvidia, Facebook and Snap, the last of which Becking has been assisting in relation to its global expansion transactions. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

New York-based Susan Serota leads the practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP. The group’s enviable client roster includes names such as AT&T, Tiffany & Co and Chevron. In Los Angeles, Mark Jones was part of a team advising BancWest - a subsidiary of BNP Paribas - on its spin-off from First Hawaiian, and assisted Synnex with its acquisition of Westcon Comstor’s North American and Latin American business from Datatec. Also noteworthy in the New York office is Peter Hunt, who advised Headwaters on its sale to Boral. Silicon Valley-based Cindy Schlaefer re-joined the firm after a sabbatical, while Dan Stellenberg departed for Paul Hastings LLP.

In recent highlights, Ropes & Gray LLP acted for healthcare investment fund CRG regarding the executive compensation and ERISA issues surrounding the closure of CRG Partners III, and advised China Oceanwide on the regulatory compliance aspects of its acquisition of Data Group and its subsidiaries. Key names to note include Jennifer Rikoski, Loretta Richard and William Jewett, who oversaw State Street’s sale of its interest in Boston Financial Data Services. Renata Ferrari heads the team with Richard, and New York-based Alexandra Alperovich is also noted. Named individuals are based in Boston unless otherwise indicated.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s service ‘is always top-notch’ and its executive compensation lawyers are ‘consistently responsive with thoughtful advice and a deep understanding of the issues at hand’. Shane Tucker (who advised Milestone on its sale to Starwood Capital and is assisting a technology company with its anticipated IPO) and Vanessa Griffithare particularly great at what they do’. David D’Alessandro leads the team and is currently overseeing Rice Energy’s merger with EQT Corporation, while Brian Bloom is guiding AltaGas through its merger agreement with WGL Holdings. Above-named attorneys are based in Dallas, while Stephen Jacobson is a name to note in Houston.

White & Case LLP’s team has a strong track record advising on the executive compensation and ERISA aspects of corporate and capital markets transactions. Practice head Henrik Patel advised Sempra Energy on its $18.8bn acquisition of Energy Future Holdings. He also recently acted for NeuroDerm in its all-cash sale to Japanese company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and teamed up with counsel Kenneth Barr to advise Anthem on its now-terminated $52.4bn agreement to acquire Cigna Corporation. Victoria Rosamond, Tal Marnin and Silicon Valley’s Jeffrey Ii (who are all counsel) are also names to note. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

The service clients receive at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is ‘incredible’. The executive compensation lawyers are ‘very accurate, responsive and knowledgeable, raise applicable issues and give sound advice on structuring and compliance’. Jordan Messinger is ‘by far the best’, according to one client; he recently acted for Level 3 in its sale to CenturyLink. Michael Katz advised Colony Capital on its merger of equals with NorthStar Asset Management and NorthStar Realty Finance, while Mark Holdsworth represented Fidelity National Information Services in two transactions including the sale of its majority ownership stake in Capco to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is particularly strong in assisting public companies in the media and entertainment and energy spaces with their corporate governance issues. Dallas partner Eric Winwood acted for a group of investors led by Hunt Power regarding the tax and employee benefits issues arising from the conversion of Energy Future Holdings into a REIT structure, while Houston-based Mark Bodron advised Westar on its merger of equals with Great Plains Energy. On the media front, Rob Fowler - who is also based in Houston - handled Liberty Media’s acquisition of Formula One, and oversaw the sale of Starz to Lions Gate. Other notable clients include Halliburton, AT&T and Shell.

Bracewell LLP services a client base comprising leading players in the energy and natural resources arenas and recently assisted Great Plains Energy with the executive compensation and employee benefits aspects of its high-profile amended merger agreement with Westar under the leadership of practice head Bruce Jocz. Elsewhere, Pembina appointed a team headed by Scott Sanders to oversee its acquisition of Veresen, while Hydro One sought the group’s advice on its takeover of Avista. Senior counsel Allison Perry is also a key contact and represented a board of directors in a merger transaction. Other notable clients include HPS Investment Partners and Parsley Energy. All mentioned attorneys are based in Houston.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s ‘ERISA and trading advice is top of the line’, according to one client; the ‘team is very responsive and composed of knowledgeable subject matter experts whose advice reflects deep industry experience’. David Teigman recently joined the firm from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and led the advice to investment firm Mantle Ridge with regard to its investment in CSX Corporation. Other notable highlights include representing Pershing Square Capital Management in its $4m investment in Automatic Data Processing, and acting for Genpact in its acquisition of OnSource. James Frazier is also a name to note. All named individuals are based in New York.

The multidisciplinary practice at DLA Piper LLP (US) recently welcomed hedge fund specialist Adrienne Scerbak to its New York office from an in-house position at Sony. In recent highlights, the team advised Server Technology on its sale to the France-based Legrand Holdings, and assisted Arsenal Capital Partners with the sale of its portfolio company, Certara, to EQT VII Fund. The main names to note are Rita Patel, who sits in Washington DC, Chicago-based Rich Ashley III, and Cisco Palao-Ricketts in Silicon Valley.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP provides a deal-driven, full-service offering which recently advised Ford on its $1bn investment in a joint venture aimed at developing self-driving vehicles. The main name to note in Palo Alto is Stephen Fackler, who has experience acting for senior executives and management teams as well as companies; he co-heads the practice with Washington DC’s Michael Collins, who represented Berkshire Hathaway Energy in its acquisition of Energy Future Holdings and its 80% interest in Oncor Electric. Sean Feller continues to act for Amazon in the executive compensation and employee benefits issues arising from its corporate transactions, and is currently assisting Market Track with its sale to Vista Equity Partners.

Goodwin recently advised Monogram Residential Trust on its $3bn acquisition by newly formed fund led by Greystar Real Estate Partners and its capital partners. Natascha George led the advice to Pamplona Capital with regard to the ERISA and regulatory issues arising from its acquisition of BakeMark, while James Mattus oversaw Albany Molecular Research’s sale to Carlyle Group. The practice is led by Scott Webster, and Lynda Galligan in Silicon Valley is also a key name. Sarah Bock was recently promoted to partner. Attorneys mentioned are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.

The versatile multidisciplinary team at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP represents companies, management teams and individuals executives from its Houston office. Among recent highlights, Matthew Grunert advised Tokyo Gas America on its acquisition of a 30% equity interest in Castleton Resources, and Anthony Eppert acted for the executive team of Sable Permian through the company’s restructuring. Associate Emily Cabrera is also a key contact.

Mayer Brown’s executive compensation team is largely based in Chicago but is led by Maureen Gorman, who splits her time between Palo Alto and New York. CIBC appointed a team led by Ryan Liebl to oversee its $3.8bn acquisition of PrivateBancorp, while Debra Hoffman advised Isle of Capri Casinos on its merger with another public company. Wells Fargo, UBS, Caterpillar and the Wendy’s Company also feature among the group’s enviable client roster. Lennine Occhino is also a key name to note.

Paul Hastings LLP recently welcomed Dan Stellenberg to its Palo Alto office from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; he recently acted for GI Partners and its portfolio company in their acquisition of ViaWest. Los Angeles’ Stephen Harris advised Samsung on its $8bn acquisition of connected car specialist Harman International, while Washington DC-based Eric Keller advised Eli Lilly & Company on its takeover of Boehringer Ingelheim’s animal vaccine business. Also notable in Washington DC is Mark Poerio, for whom The Economist Group is a longstanding client. Other notable firm clients are Ford, Sony, RBS and Electrolux.

Thomas Desmond and Kelly Starr lead Vedder Price’s executive compensation and employee benefits practice from Chicago, where Daniel Lange joined from Dentons. The group has recently acted for corporate entities such as the Thompson Pipe Group, which it assisted with the acquisition of Forterra’s US concrete and steel pressure pipe assets, with Chicago-based Patrick Spangler acting as the benefits and employment lead, and also acts for individual clients such as the management team of a leading human resources services provider in the drafting and negotiation of long-term incentive and compensation schemes. Desmond advised PrivateBancorp on its merger with CIBC. Scott Adamson is the name to note in Los Angeles and Stewart Reifler sits in New York.

One client describes Arent Fox LLP as ‘superb, excellent and any other exemplary adjective’, and the executive compensation lawyers ‘are extremely responsive and stay current in their fields’. The main names to note in the Washington DC-based team are Quana Jew and Bill Charyk, who ‘complement each other and can take extremely dense subject matters to the client in a straightforward way’. Clients such as Monsanto, RTI International and CEB appointed the practice to advise on notable transactions, including CEB’s sale to Gartner. Other notable clients include Lacoste, Catholic Charities USA, AARP and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Baker & Hostetler LLP represents clients across a wide range of industry sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, technology and media. Georgeanne Peters and Raymond Malone jointly head the team from Columbus and Cleveland respectively, and are experienced assisting clients with deferred compensation and 409A compliance. Notable clients include Scripps Networks, TRW Automotive and Trinity Health.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s executive compensation team works intimately with the firm’s tax department and has recently been handling a strong international caseload. Described by one client as ‘the absolute best’, the Boston-based group is led by Louis Merritt. In recent highlights, Arthur Meyers - whose ‘responsiveness and excellence is unmatched by other firms’ - acted for Riverside Partners in its leveraged acquisition of a security alarm business from Keyser Capital, a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Counsel Wells Miller is also a key name and the advice to PRWireless with regard to its decision to combine its business with Sprint in Puerto Rico.

The executive compensation team at Clifford Chance advises on cross-border M&A, individual compensation schemes and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) transactions. The group recently represented Cristal in the sale of its domestic and international titanium dioxide business to Tronox, and acted for Credit Suisse as portfolio management in a series of restructuring, CLO and refinancing transactions. Howard Adler leads the practice and assisted Informa with its acquisition of Penton Media from Wasserstein & Co and MidOcean Partners. Counsel Paul Koppel joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Other notable clients include several individual executives, S&P Global and Hearst. Mentioned attorneys are based in New York.

Dentons’ team is led from the Kansas City and Washington DC offices by Martin Moderson and Michael Maryn respectively. The group recently advised DoubleVerify on its sale to Providence Equity Partners, and assisted an electronic entertainment company with its acquisition of the equity interests of a video game developer. Other noteworthy clients include McDonald’s, Singing River Health System, Hewlett Packard and H&R Block. Pamela Baker and Frank VanderPloeg transitioned to of counsel roles in the firm’s Chicago office.

Jenner & Block LLP’s Matthew Renaud is praised as ‘excellent’ by clients and was part of the team advising Hertz on its spin-off transaction which separated its car rental business from its equipment rental business. In other highlights, Raymond Sinnappan and Sarah Haddy oversaw the establishment of a VEBA and retiree health plan as part of a bankruptcy filing, and Tony Ling led the advice to Clementia Pharmaceuticals with regard to its IPO. General Dynamics and SPX Corporation also feature among the firm’s noteworthy clients. Will Wilder recently joined the group as counsel from Seyfarth Shaw LLP. All named individuals are based in Chicago.

King & Spalding LLP’s full-service offering is led by Kenneth Raskin, who is currently advising Jamestown Properties on the ERISA aspects of its investments and several high-end acquisitions across the nation. Raskin also acted for the CEO and senior management team of Nature’s Bounty regarding KKR’s purchase of a majority stake in the company from Carlyle Group, and advised on a number of Chapter 11s on behalf of a multinational technology company. Laura Westfall has significant expertise in ACA and healthcare benefits and was recently promoted to the partnership. The firm’s client roster also includes names such as Morgan Stanley, General Motors and JW Aluminum. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Reed Smith LLP’s John Martini advised a medical technologies company on all executive compensation and employee benefits issues relating to its high-profile merger with another such company, and acted for a major security systems clients in its merger agreement with a multinational auto parts company with respect to its 409A compliance, the establishment of new equity compensation agreements, corporate governance issues and PBGC negotiations. Martini is based in Philadelphia and Don Wellington recently joined the firm from Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Los Angeles.

Of counsel Bruce Gallant recently joined the New York office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP from JPMorgan Chase, adding depth to the firm’s executive compensation practice. Also based in New York is Marissa Holob, who is representing an ad hoc group of first and second lien debt holders with regard to the Chapter 11 filing of technology company Avaya. Other key clients include HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo. In June 2018, former practice head Steven Rabitz moved to Dechert LLP.

Washington DC-based Scott Kilgore and Boston-based Amy Null and Kimberly Wethly are the names to note at WilmerHale. In recent highlights, Null led the advice to Analog Devices with regard to its $14.8bn acquisition of Linear Technology, and Wethly acted for Blue Apron Holdings in its IPO. Amundi Pioneer also engaged the group to oversee the sale of Pioneer Investment Management - now known as Amundi Pioneer - to Amundi. Other notable clients include Bose, State Street and Red Hat.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Immigration clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP is a powerhouse in immigration law. The firm has seven US offices and 11 international platforms, all of which focus exclusively on corporate immigration law, and its highly experienced lawyers attract praise for offering ‘proactive solutions’ to a wide range of immigration matters. From Dallas, managing partner Jeremy Fudge and Kortney Gibson are advising a global internet technology company on the full scope of immigration issues involving over 60 countries. Gibson also manages some of the largest immigration programs in the US, with the telecoms sphere a notable sweet spot. From Houston, Roberto Caballero specializes in managing immigration programs for large oil and gas companies. In San Francisco, David Berry is assisting a multinational military contractor with immigration issues. Vernadette Antonio, who attracts praise for her ability to ‘think outside the box’, is also recommended in San Francisco; she oversees the office’s global visa practice and handles multinational immigration matters for clients from the aerospace, construction, hi-tech and engineering sectors. Washington DC-based Lynden Melmed acts for clients in immigration-related audits and federal investigations. Senior counsel Jeffrey Gorsky is also recommended in the Washington DC office. In March 2017, senior counsel Kelli Duehning, who was previously the managing attorney of the Western Law Division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), joined the San Francisco office.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy has an excellent reputation in the immigration arena. The firm operates across the globe, with 40 offices across 20 countries, including 16 offices in its US network. All practitioners in the US offices focus solely on immigration law and handle the whole spectrum of visa applications, including services for accompanying family members, compliance matters and strategy issues. New York-based name partner Austin Fragomen is an authority in the immigration space. Atlanta-based Daryl Buffenstein is also a notable expert in the field and has a track record in writing immigration legislation. Other key names include Cynthia Lange, who leads the firm’s hi-tech practice from Silicon Valley, and Bo Cooper in the Washington DC office, who heads up the firm’s government strategies and compliance group. Shawn Orme recently left the firm.

Full service firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s practice provides ‘comprehensive immigration support’ to clients, particularly in corporate immigration matters, and has notable strength in M&A-related work. The group also handles compliance issues, visa applications, program development and strategic planning. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ team houses ‘experienced industry experts’ that provide ‘timely and accurate’ advice; Los Angeles-based ‘immigration law expertAngelo Paparelli continues to represent clients in the hospitality industry in high-stakes cases. Boston managing partner Russell Swapp chairs the national practice alongside Atlanta-based James King, who is noted for having a ‘great body of immigration knowledge’; the duo continue to shape the firm’s immigration management programs. King recently overturned a Department of Labor denial of a labor certification on behalf of a technology firm; the application was initially denied on the basis of the employer’s unquantified minimum requirements. Atlanta-based Gabriel Mozes is also recommended; he has expertise in H1-B third party placement matters and PERM program issues. On the pro bono side, in January 2017, Washington DC-based senior counsel Dawn Lurie and Atlanta-based senior counsel Sharon Poorak assisted travelers detained at the Washington DC and Atlanta airports following the issuance of Executive Order 13769, which placed a restriction on the number of individuals re-entering the US. In 2017, the firm strengthened its team via the acquisition of Leon Rodriguez to its Washington DC office; Rodriguez brings a wealth of knowledge from his previous role as the former director of USCIS.

Akerman LLP’s immigration team assists a broad range of clients from across the hospitality, restaurant, media, communications, banking and manufacturing sectors. The group’s workload includes PERM planning, compliance issues, naturalization and citizenship matters and EB-5 applications. Orlando-based Thomas Raleigh has a strong track record in handling immigration work for corporate and private clients seeking to expand their businesses in the US. Miami-based Maria Casablanca is chair of the practice.

Baker McKenzie LLP is revered as ‘one of the most reputable global immigration practices - a perfect fit for major international companies seeking a full-service immigration solution’, according to clients. The ‘incredibly responsive’ team attracts praise for its ‘expert knowledge’ and ability to provide ‘practical and pragmatic solutions’. The group is largely housed in Chicago, although immigration specialists are also located in the Washington DC and Miami offices as well as across the firm’s extensive global network. Chicago-based group head Betsy Morgan is ‘extremely knowledgeable’; she is advising Caterpillar and the Mozilla Corporation on global immigration and related issues. The ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable’ Ginger Partee, also based in Chicago, led a team comprising immigration, employment, litigation and data privacy experts to advise clients on the search and seizure of electronic devices procedure carried out by US Customs and Border Protection, as well as international immigration and border control authorities. In Washington DC, Shannon Donnelly is noted for her experience in assisting clients from the financial services sector with global business immigration matters; she leads the team’s management of the Royal Bank of Canada immigration portfolio for the US, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific regions. Miami-based associate Laura Garvin, who provides ‘a wealth of knowledge on immigration and gives very practical advice’, is also recommended.

Duane Morris LLP’ practice houses ‘solid lawyers’ with comprehensive knowledge of the whole spectrum of immigration work, including contentious matters, corporate transactional support, removal issues, compliance audits and in-house training; the group has seen a significant uptick in work permit, global visa and residence applications. Washington DC-based department head Denyse Sabagh leads a six-partner team that represents a varied client base of start-ups, multinationals and medium-sized companies, particularly from the education, technology, media, retail, financial services and life sciences sectors. Representative clients include CNSI, Apollo Education Group, Inova and Zensar Technologies. San Francisco-based Lisa Spiegel is ‘very knowledgeable’ and recently assisted US Core Holdings with filing a successful L1-A application for the chief operating officer from their affiliate company in Taiwan.

Texas-based immigration boutique Foster LLP handles the full gamut of immigration matters from its three offices in Houston, Austin and Rio Grande Valley. From Houston, firm founder and chairman Charles Foster heads up a large team that assists clients with the full spectrum of global compliance management, non-immigrant and permanent residency matters, visa issues and contentious work. EB-5 visas are a cornerstone area of expertise and the firm is viewed as a leader in immigrant investor visa petitions. The client roster includes educational institutions and sports teams. Other key names in the team include Austin-based Robert Loughran, as well as Judy Lee and Avalyn Langemeier, both based in the Houston office.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s practice has expertise across the full spread of immigration services, with a notable specialty in advising multinational corporations on strategic immigration planning regarding relocation of personnel, both into and out of the US. The group also receives recognition for its strength in corporate immigration matters, policy development, visa issues, compliance matters and contentious work. Laura Reiff has an excellent reputation in the space and splits her time between the firm’s McLean and Washington DC offices. Reiff chairs the practice alongside McLean-based Martha Schoonover, who is also a high-profile name in the group. Kate Kalmykov, who splits her time between New York and New Jersey, Atlanta-based Ian Macdonald and McLean-based Pamela Mak are other key names.

The ‘professional and customer service-oriented’ team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has solid expertise across a broad spectrum of business immigration matters. Counsel Theodore Ruthizer has an established track record in advising corporations, financial services companies and NGOs across the cycle of hiring, transfer and retention of foreign national professionals, investors and performing artists, as well as assisting clients with global workforce planning and mobility issues. The practice chairs are Matthew Dunn, who assists corporate clients with immigration matters and represents high-net-worth foreign individuals seeking permanent resident status via EB-5 visa applications, and Mark Koestler, who is noted for his expertise in advertising, media and technology and represents more than one-third of the 50 largest US advertising agencies in hiring and retaining extraordinary talent. Special counsel Allison Gray is ‘professional, hard working and always willing to go the extra mile’. The team is based in New York.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at ‘top-rate’ firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. handles a diverse range of immigration matters for financial services clients, construction companies, sports teams, universities and tech companies, with EB-5 applications and financing matters cornerstones of the practice. Department chair Susan Cohen is noted for her extensive expertise in the space; she leads advice to Thomson Reuters and Fast Retailing on cross-border matters, contentious issues and visa and green card applications. Douglas Hauer combines his expertise in both corporate and immigration work to advise investors and developers on EB-5 matters. Other representative clients include AscendAmerica and Informa plc. Immigration section manager Kevin McNamara has over 20 years of experience in employment-based immigration matters. Special counsel Angel Feng is ‘very knowledgeable’. All named lawyers are based in Boston.

Full-service firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP draws upon its international network to assist clients with the full gamut of global mobility matters. Washington DC-based Eleanor Pelta chairs the firm’s global immigration practice alongside San Francisco-based James Vázquez-Azpiri. The practice combines its expertise in US-related matters with a deep knowledge of corporate immigration matters, foreign employment laws, non-US visas and work permits, and taxation issues. Clients come from a broad array of sectors and industries, including technology, financial services, retail, hospitality, life sciences and energy. Representative clients include Choice Hotels, Seagate, Samsung Research America, Deutsche Post DHL and Fujitsu America.

Specialist labor and employment firm Ogletree Deakins’ large immigration practice represents domestic and multinational companies across the full range of immigration matters. The group handles compliance issues, temporary employment visas, corporate support and residency applications. The firm maintains a joint venture with Emigra and continues to work alongside the corporate immigration consultancy to advise clients on global immigration strategy, case management and visa preparation. Andrew Merrills heads up the practice from the Raleigh office. Other key names in the team include Greenville-based Rebecca Sigmund, who focuses on temporary working visa and permanent residency matters for professionals, and Denver-based John Combs, who specializes in inbound immigration and related tax and export control matters. Since publication, New York-based Maria Gandarez has joined Pryor Cashman LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s practice encompasses high-stakes immigration matters, day-to-day issues and transactional support. David Grunblatt, who is regarded by many as an authority on immigration law, has expertise in the I-9 program and regularly assists clients with complex corporate-related matters. Grunblatt co-leads the Newark-based practice with special immigration counsel Valarie McPherson, who handles employment-based non-immigrant visas and assists clients with the EB-5 visa process. The group’s wide-ranging client base includes financial institutions, universities, multinational corporations, religious institutions and nonprofit NGOs.

Cozen O'Connor’s immigration practice assists corporations and high-net-worth individuals across a broad range of immigration matters, including visa applications, M&A due diligence, global mobility issues, audits and compliance matters. EB-5 visa matters are a key area of expertise for the group. Miami-based Scott Bettridge heads up the team; he represents individuals and companies in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and assists corporate clients with global workforce mobility immigration matters. Representative clients include Banco Itaú International, RWS Entertainment Group and Spirit Airlines. Philadelphia-based Frances Rayer, Miami-based of counsel Randall Sidlosca and associate Michael Stevenson, also in Miami, are names to note.

The ‘quick-to-respond’ immigration team at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. attracts praise for its ‘very commercial’ advice across the full spectrum of corporate immigration matters. New York-based Robert Groban leads the group, which has a dominant presence in the healthcare space and a solid client base in financial services, technology, hospitality, restaurants and fashion. Also in New York, the ‘always available’ Pierre Bonnefil is noted for his expertise in enforcement matters. Newark-based Jungmin Choi and New York-based associates John Hamill and Jennifer Taler are also recommended.

With 33 offices in its US network, labor and employment boutique Fisher & Phillips has the capacity to assist clients with the full range of immigration issues. The large team has expertise in visa procurement, compliance matters and global migration strategy and has a solid track record in permanent residency matters. Seattle-based Davis Bae and Atlanta-based Shanon Stevenson chair the practice; Stevenson specializes in immigration matters within the information technology industry. Atlanta-based Kim Thompson has notable expertise in EB-1 category cases for clients such as scientists, internationally recognized academics and Olympic athletes; she is also recognized for her solid experience in governmental agency discrimination charges, as well as audits and investigations. Denver-based Jocelyn Campanaro is highly experienced in representing sports team and athletes, notably from the hockey and equine fields.

Ford & Harrison LLP’s practice has strength across all facets of immigration law, ranging from start-up advice for new companies to visa services, volume immigration management, citizenship and naturalization, compliance training and expatriate tax. Los Angeles-based Geetha Nadiminti Adinata heads up the practice; she specializes in permanent and temporary work visa matters and I-9 compliance issues. Key areas of strength for the group include mandates from the travel (particularly aviation), healthcare and technology sectors. Clients have included Imerys, CCP North America and Hi-Rez Studios. Minneapolis-based Charles Roach is also a key name in the team.

The ‘timely and accurate’ team at Hogan Lovells US LLP assists a client base encompassing major corporations, universities, NGOs, research institutions and media entities with traditional visa and immigration matters. Group co-lead Beth Peters is also a director of the firm’s international trade and investment group and has solid expertise in advising clients on complex export-related immigration matters; the roster includes 21st Century Fox, Washington University and Facebook. The ‘excellentAleksandar Dukic jointly chairs the Washington DC-based group and is noted for his expertise in security and compliance-related immigration matters. Dukic is assisting Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles with employee transfers under the E-2 visa category to support the company’s expansion in the US.

Mayer Brown’s practice houses a ‘thoughtful, responsive and knowledgeable’ team which is ‘very well versed in immigration law’. Based in Washington DC, the group handles visa and work permit applications, PERM program issues, M&A due diligence, compliance matters, enforcement issues and policy development. Department lead Elizabeth Stern ‘instils confidence with her deep subject-matter expertise and positive attitude’. Stern and the ‘very talented’ Grace Shie are advising the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on various immigration matters. American Express is another key client for the firm. Other names to note include Paul Virtue and associate Timothy D’Arduini. In May 2017, counsel Lisa Pino, formerly a senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, joined the group; she specializes in global mobility issues.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘very organized’ practice is led by New York-based Joan-Elisse Carpentier, who has a solid track record in advising on citizenship matters, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, government audits, compliance programs and providing transactional support. The client base includes financial institutions, manufacturers and media and entertainment entities and individuals. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Carpentier recently assisted renowned artist Alexander Klingspor with obtaining an O-1 visa for freedom of travel to and from the US. Other recent highlights include successfully representing Enstar in a blanket L transfer petition to bring a team of 14 foreign staff to the US to work in an area requiring specialized technical expertise. Other representative clients include Sonar Entertainment, CBS and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The cornerstone of Pryor Cashman LLP’s practice is sports-related immigration work; the ‘quick, reliable and thorough’ team acts for a broad range of athletes, teams and leagues, including the ECHL. The group also has strength in advising clients from the aviation, fashion, education, pharmaceutical, financial services, technology and entertainment sectors on immigration issues. The ‘exceptional’ Colleen Caden chairs the New York-based team and attracts praise for her experience in immigration planning, corporate support and policy development matters. Avram Morell is well known for assisting financial services clients with global mobility issues, compliance matters, foreign talent recruitment and I-9 procedures and audits. Since publication, Alice Stock has joined the National Labor Relations Board as an associate general counsel, while Maria Gandarez has joined from Ogletree Deakins.

Baker & Hostetler LLP has a solid track record in handling matters involving compliance audits, permanent residency visas and temporary work visas for clients from within the sports, IT, engineering and healthcare industries. The group assists IndyCar and Nascar drivers and business professionals with visa and green card matters. Columbus-based litigator Matthew Hoyt has expertise in employment law, contentious matters and traditional business immigration matters; he successfully acted for a Canadian lifestyle photographer in obtaining an O1-B visa on the basis of extraordinary ability. The other key names in the practice are immigration specialist James Levine, based in the Atlanta office, and Houston-based counsel Pamela Nieto.

Houston-headquartered Bracewell LLP’s ‘excellent’ immigration practice benefits from the firm’s prominent reputation in the energy space; the practice’s workload is dominated by mandates from oil and gas as well as power industry clients. Nonetheless, the group also has solid experience in handling work from the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors, with religious organizations a recent addition to the client roster. San Antonio managing partner Victoria Garcia heads the group and is adept at handling the full spectrum of business immigration matters. Garcia has been advising Sirius Computer Solutions, NuStar Energy and Food Safety Net Services on a range of immigration matters, including the preparation of non-immigrant visas, applications for employment- and family-based permanent resident status and citizenship, compliance trends and government auditing. Garcia is also assisting The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists with the preparation of R-1 visas for worldwide transfers of its employees. Houston-based senior counsel Nelli Nikova is also recommended.

Boston-based Chin & Curtis LLP’s practice is dedicated exclusively to immigration law. The firm handles permanent residency and naturalization issues, policy drafting, compliance matters and non-immigrant visa applications. The group’s wide-ranging client base includes start-ups, major multinational companies, schools and universities, and research institutions, as well as individuals such as investors and entrepreneurs. Managing partner Philip Curtis is recommended, with over 30 years of experience in the sector. Other key names in the team are Lorie Lunn, Miki Matrician and senior counsel Francis Chin.

Dentons’ practice focuses on business immigration matters on behalf of employers, investors, professionals and entrepreneurs, with applications for all types of business visas and the global movement of personnel. With group head Matthew Schulz based in Silicon Valley, a major pipeline of work for the practice is from technology companies. However, it is also adept at representing clients in agribusiness, entertainment and financial services. Representative clients include Driscoll Strawberry Associates and ROC-Connect. Recent work includes advising Clarke Financial Partner on corporate and immigration strategies for companies and high-net-worth individuals in Vietnam in order to expand their business presence in the US.

Dykema Gossett PLLC’s practice handles a comprehensive spread of temporary and permanent visa processing procedures, immigration sponsorship, asylum matters, naturalization issues and labor certification applications. The group also has notable strength in contentious work; the caseload includes database errors, worksite enforcement and removal issues. Michigan-based litigator James Aldrich, who has an established track record in representing clients before USCIS and other government agencies, heads up the practice. Kathleen Campbell Walker moved to the El Paso office of Dickinson Wright PLLC in July 2017.

Jackson Lewis P.C.’s practice covers the gamut of immigration work, including regulatory compliance, non-immigrant and immigrant visas, outbound immigration, transactional support matters and policy advocacy. Omaha-based Amy Peck and Reston-based Michael Neifach co-lead the team; Neifach recently successfully assisted nonprofit organization Panthera with obtaining an O-1 extraordinary ability visa for the organization’s new CEO, a prominent individual in the field of environmental and species conservation. Austin-based Maggie Murphy is also recommended.

New York-based Laura Devine Attorneys LLC is the US associate office of pre-eminent British immigration boutique Laura Devine Solicitors. The firm’s ‘responsive’ practice is well-known for advising on cross-border issues between the UK and US, and it is noted for its strong relationships with government bodies in both countries. The group assists clients from the business, finance, media, technology, fashion and entertainment industries, among others, with several high-profile high-net-worth individuals also appearing on the roster. Managing partner Anastasia Tonello heads up the team. In 2017 Jennifer Stevens was made up to partner and Jessica Churchman left the firm.

Full-service firm Vedder Price’s practice has notable strength in visa procurement matters, handling temporary and permanent applications for clients from nearly every continent. The group also draws upon other departments’ expertise within the firm when called upon to handle immigration matters arising from corporate deals. Gabrielle Buckley co-chairs the team from Chicago and continues to advise Mercedes-Benz US on immigration matters including non-immigrant visas, I-9 compliance, contentious matters and permanent residency applications. Other representative clients include Bank of Ireland, Dyson and ZS Associates. Counsel Sara DeBlaze, who co-chairs the practice with Buckley in Chicago, is also recommended.

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense

Index of tables

  1. Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘outstandingGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPgets good results in difficult matters’; it is particularly standout in employment class actions and recently has been active in cases challenging independent contractor status. Michele Maryott in Orange County and Theane Evangelis in Los Angeles represented Grubhub in a wage-and-hour case alleging that independent delivery partners in California were misclassified as independent contractors. Washington DC-based department co-head Jason Schwartz and Theodore Boutrous in Los Angeles represented Credico in in a minimum wage and overtime class and collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), New York Labor Law, and Arizona Labor Law. Boutrous, Evangelis and Washington DC-based Joshua Lipshutz obtained two significant appellate wins for Uber: one in a class action alleging driver misclassification, and the other in a class action regarding the enforceability of its arbitration agreements with drivers. Department co-head Catherine Conway and Jesse Cripps in Los Angeles represented Chevron USA, alongside Maryott and Boutrous, in a nationwide FLSA collective action brought by former well-site managers alleging that Chevron misclassified them as independent contractors. Eugene Scalia in Washington DC obtained a significant victory for Ford Motor Company in a case under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Dallas-based Karl Nelson, Gabrielle Levin in New York, and Katherine Smith in Los Angeles, are also key contacts.

Jones Day’s ‘knowledgeable, responsive and practical’ team comprises ‘problem solvers’. Michael Gray - who heads the team with New York-based Matthew Lampe - Elizabeth McRee, Brent Knight, Michael Rossman and San Diego-based of counsel Cindi Ritchey represented McDonald’s in a state-wide class and representative action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act. Willis Goldsmith and Doreen Davis in New York as well as Jonathan Linas, Michael Ferrell and Rossman are also representing McDonald's, which is being prosecuted by Region 2 of the NLRB in Manhattan as an alleged joint employer with its franchisees. Dallas-based Brian Jorgensen represented AirTouch Cellular dba Verizon Wireless in a store manager misclassification case, and David Birnbaum represented Kraft Heinz Foods in arbitration involving plant closure retiree medical benefits. Key contacts in the Washington DC office include Jacqueline Holmes, Eric Dreiband, Donald Munro and Patricia Dunn. Also recommended are the ‘outstanding’ Steven Zadravecz in Irvine, New York-based Terri Chase, who has ‘strong trial expertise’, Stanley Weiner in Cleveland, who is ‘excellent at assessing cases and defends aggressively’, Deborah Sudbury in Atlanta, who ‘inspires confidence’, the ‘brilliant’ of counsel Lawrence DiNardo, and Efrat Schulman. Atlanta-based Craig Friedman and Los Angeles-based Liat Yamini were recently promoted to the partnership. Recent hires include Amanda Sommerfeld in Los Angeles from Winston & Strawn LLP and Joseph Hammell in Minneapolis from Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Elizabeth Dougherty joined Business Roundtable in 2017. Named attorneys are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP delivers ‘superior performance’ and its ‘financial services industry expertise is outstanding’. Department head Grace Speights in Washington DC and Terry Johnson in Princeton secured a jury verdict for Cablevision in a case involving alleged race discrimination and retaliation. Richard Rosenblatt in Princeton represented Amazon in a long-running lawsuit alleging that Amazon workers should be paid for time spent passing through security screening during meal breaks and after the end of a shift. New York-based Samuel Shaulson represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch in an employment class action against allegations of wrongful termination, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, fraud, and other related torts and contract claims. The Boeing Company, ExxonMobil and North American Services are also key clients. In Philadelphia, key contacts include the ‘brilliantMichael Banks, the ‘experiencedJoseph Costello, Steven Wall and Michael Puma, who are ‘well respected’, Michael Burkhardt and Sarah Bouchard. New York-based Ira Rosenstein is ‘very focused’ and Debra Fischer in Los Angeles is ‘first rate’. Recommended individuals also include Robert Jon Hendricks and Eric Meckley in San Francisco, Michelle Silverman in Princeton, Anne Marie Estevez in Miami, Melinda Riechert in Silicon Valley, Orange County-based Barbara Miller, and Ethel Johnson, who splits her time between Dallas and Houston. Lincoln Bisbee and Krissy Katzenstein in Washington DC and Brendan Killeen in New York were recently promoted to the partnership.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team is ‘full of talented individuals’ and defends clients in a range of sectors, including legal, retail, sports, education, media, entertainment and financial services. The ‘outstandingElise Bloom - who heads the team alongside Joseph Baumgarten - Howard Ganz, Adam Lupion, Neil Abramson, Howard Robbins and Michael Lebowich are representing Major League Baseball and 29 clubs in a wage and hour putative class action brought by minor league baseball players. Allan Bloom represented Blue Hill Farm in a class action case filed by restaurant workers who brought claims for unpaid and improper tip pooling allegations. Bloom is also representing HSBC, alongside Steven Pearlman in Chicago, in various employment class and single-plaintiff actions. Pearlman and Keisha-Ann Gray represented MetLife in a putative nationwide race discrimination class action in the Southern District of New York. The team is also experienced in class action cases challenging unpaid internships. Key contacts also include the ‘brilliantBettina Plevan, Nigel Telman in Chicago, Howard Ganz, who co-heads the sports law group, Steven Hurd, who is co-head of the media and entertainment industry group, and Los Angeles-based Anthony Oncidi. Evandro Gigante, Gregory Rasin, Boston-based Mark Batten and Lawrence Sandak in Newark, who is co-head of the law firm practice group, are also noted, as are Kathleen McKenna, Zachary Fasman, Lloyd Chinn, senior counsel Harris Mufson. In Washington DC, Connie Bertram and Guy Brenner are key names, and other individuals deserving of mention are John Barry, who splits his time between Newark and New York, special employment law counsel Jurate Schwartz in Boca Raton, and senior counsel Rachel Philion. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is well known for its Railway Labor Act practice and also acts for a number of US passenger and cargo airlines. Adam KohSweeney in San Francisco and Los Angeles-based Robert Siegel secured two major summary judgment wins for United Airlines, confirming that California labor and employment law does not apply to individuals who work primarily outside state borders. The team is also active in a number of wage and hour class action cases; KohSweeney defeated a class certification in a putative wage and hour class action filed against The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and parent company Marriott International. Silicon Valley-based Eric Amdursky represents TuneCore Inc in a claim brought by its CEO regarding severance payments and benefits. Amdursky and Margaret Carter in Los Angeles are representing television network Starz, its CEO and its CRO in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a former senior vice president. American Airlines, Harvard University, XPO Logistics and Fitness International are also clients. Key contacts also include Chris Hollinger in San Francisco, Adam Karr in Newport Beach, Mark Robertson and Jeffrey Kohn in New York, as well as Michael McGuinness and team head Apalla Chopra, who are based in Los Angeles.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ‘responsive’ team delivers ‘strategic and practical advice’ and is active across the financial services, technology and retail sectors. Deputy practice head Andrew Livingston in San Francisco is representing Sephora in several matters, including a series of six interlocking wage and hour class actions in California challenging the way in which it pays its non-exempt employees. In Silicon Valley, Lynne Hermle, who is a ‘stellar trial lawyer’ who ‘commands the entire courtroom from beginning to end’, and Jessica Perry, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and practical’, obtained a victory for Morgan Stanley in a wage and hour multi-district class action case. New York-based Renee Phillips represented Facebook in Swiss litigation involving claims by a terminated employee. Oracle, Health Net, CVS, Apple, SpaceX, Solar City and Tesla are also key clients. Silicon Valley-based Joseph Liburt and Julia Riechert as well as Michael Weil and senior counsel Gary Siniscalco in San Francisco, Timothy Long, who is based across the Los Angeles and Sacramento offices, and Julie Totten in Sacramento and San Francisco, are noted. Senior associate Lisa Lupion, James McQuade, Jill Rosenberg and department head Mike Delikat in New York are also recommended.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Paul Hastings LLP delivers ‘excellent response times’ and stands out for its experience in complex class action cases. Elena Baca in Los Angeles, who is chair of the West Coast employment law practice and co-vice chair of the global employment law department, is representing California Cartage Company in several matters, including a putative wage and hour class action, and a living wage ordinance claim. Leslie Abbott, who is also based in Los Angeles, is representing Activision Blizzard in a range of matters, including a putative class action alleging that senior artists are misclassified as exempt from overtime. Google, IBM, Barclays Capital and General Electric are also clients. Practice head Patrick Shea is based in New York, where Marc Bernstein is also based; chair of the workplace retaliation and whistleblower defense practice Kenneth Gage splits his time between New York and Chicago. In Washington DC, Barbara Brown, Carson Sullivan, Neal Mollen and Kenneth Willner are recommended. In California, key contacts include Jeffrey Wohl, who chairs the firm’s San Francisco employment law practice, Zach Hutton, who is ‘able to explain complex points of view in a way that is easy to understand’, senior counsel Kirby Wilcox, Nancy Abell, Cameron Fox, Donna Melby, Paul Cane, Paul Grossman and Felicia Davis. Stephen Sonnenberg left the firm in January 2018 to join JAMS.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides ‘practical solutions’, impresses with its ‘depth of knowledge in employment law’ and is particularly active in complex class and collective actions. Gerald Maatman, who splits his time between New York and Chicago, is an ‘exceptionally skilled litigator and adviser’, and he led a team defending Sterling Jewelers (as co-counsel with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP) in a case brought by the EEOC that involved 77,000 female retail sales employees alleging gender discrimination, and also secured an appeal victory in a parallel class action. San Francisco-based Brian Ashe is defending Digital Realty Trust in a Supreme Court case which involves the proper definition and statutory application of the term ‘whistleblower’. In Boston, Ariel Cudkowicz, who is ‘very knowledgeable and a good listener’, Lisa Damon and the ‘superbRichard Alfred are recommended. Chicago-based Ada Dolph and Matthew Gagnon, Andrew Paley and David Kadue in Los Angeles, Brett Bartlett and the ‘top-notchRobert Stevens, who are based in Atlanta, are also noted, as are Camille Olson, who is based across the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago offices, and Richard Lapp, who splits his time between Chicago and Los Angeles. Laura Maechtlen in San Francisco heads the team, where Christian Rowley is also based.Andrew Scroggins in Chicago was promoted to partner. Scott Nelson joined in Houston from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2018.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP delivers an ‘exceptional service’, is ‘outstanding for big-ticket mandates’ and handles large class and mass action litigation as well as significant single-plaintiff cases. Department head Jeffrey Klein represented Sterling Jewelers in several matters, including a significant class arbitration in which a putative class of female Sterling sales employees claimed sex discrimination and a corresponding gender bias EEOC suit (the firm acted as co-counsel alongside Seyfarth Shaw LLP). Gary Friedman represented Elite Model Management in a putative class action challenging the classification of models as independent contractors. Perella Weinberg Partners and WoodSpring Hotels are also clients. Nicholas Pappas is a ‘great ERISA attorney and employment litigator’, and counsels Lawrence Baer and Millie Warner, who is a ‘talented, thorough lawyer’, and senior associate Ami Zweig, are also recommended. Named individuals are based in New York.

DLA Piper LLP (US) is regularly engaged in class action, discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases. The team represented Octagon in a case examining the fee-sharing agreements between two sports agents and Octagon and whether these agreements are enforceable. In San Diego, Mary Dollarhide represented Teleperformance US in a FLSA collective action brought on behalf of 535 call center workers claiming unpaid overtime. The firm also represented USF Reddaway in a wage and hour class action case, and in a case alleging harassment and discrimination. Key contacts also include Joseph Alan Piesco, Brian Kaplan and Daniel Turinsky in New York, as well as Joseph Domenick Guarino in New Jersey, and Margaret Keane in San Francisco. In Dallas, Marc Katz, who is managing partner of the office, and Isabel Crosby, who joined from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in 2018, are also noted. In March 2018, 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. In July 2018, Ryan Vann joined the firm in Chicago from Baker McKenzie LLP.

At Greenberg Traurig LLP, practice co-chair James Boudreau, who is based in Philadelphia, is representing CVS Pharmacy in a putative class action filed by a group of CVS shift supervisors in Massachusetts, and is defending The Kellogg Company in purported class and collective actions alleging the company misclassifies its retail sales representatives as exempt from overtime under the FLSA and various state laws. In Atlanta, department co-chair David Long-Daniels is representing Landry’s in a putative class action. Phoenix Metals Company, Capital Health and Tenet Healthcare Corporation are also clients. Tampa-based Peter Zinober, Shira Yoshor in Houston, who is ‘a great communicator’, Kelly Bunting in Philadelphia, Justin Keith in Boston, and department co-chair Jonathan Sulds in New York are recommended. In Atlanta, John Richards, Todd Wozniak and Natasha Wilson, who co-chairs the complex employment litigation and trials team alongside Kurt Kappes in Sacramento and Long-Daniels, are also noted. Mark Kemple in Los Angeles and Naomi Beer in Denver co-head the class, collective and systemic employment litigation team with Boudreau. Key contacts in New Jersey include Wendy Johnson Lario, of counsel Micala Campbell Robinson and Kristine Feher.

The ‘pragmatic’ New York-based team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP regularly defends clients in the financial services, technology and media fields in a range of contentious employment mandates and is particularly experienced in complex single-plaintiff cases. ‘Brilliant’ department head Kevin Leblang represented Royal Bank of Canada in three separate suits involving age and gender discrimination claims as well as compensation claims involving high-level executives. Leblang and the ‘exceptional’ recently promoted partner Eliza Kaiser are defending Société Générale in a sexual orientation harassment suit brought by a former employee. Morgan Stanley, Andersen Tax and United Rentals are also clients. Executive compensation co-chair Robert Holtzman is also recommended.

Labor and employment boutique Littler Mendelson, P.C. handles a full range of disputes, from single-plaintiff litigation to class actions, and is also noted for its expertise in acting against government agencies. Maury Baskin represented a coalition of 55 business groups representing dozens of industries seeking to challenge the DOL’s increase in the salary threshold for exemption of white-collar employees from overtime. Leslie Dent defended Turner Broadcasting System, CNN and Time Warner in a race discrimination class action complaint. Tammy McCutchen, who is noted for wage and hour matters, alternative dispute resolution practice co-chair Robert Friedman, Danielle Kitson, Kevin Lilly and Helene Wasserman and Richard Harris, who jointly chair the litigation and trials group, are recommended, as are Keith Jacoby and Lisa Schreter. Thomas Bender and Jeremy Roth are co-presidents and managing directors. Named individuals are based across the firm’s Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington DC offices.

The California-based team at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP handles complex class actions as well as multi- and single-plaintiff cases across the retail, media, entertainment and healthcare sectors. Sharon Bauman secured a significant jury victory for Blue Shield of California in a whistleblower and breach of contract case. Esra Hudson secured a resolution for CashCall in a wage and hour class action brought under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Robert Platt obtained a complete defense victory for Rite Aid in a wrongful termination, retaliation and disability discrimination action. Team head Sandra King, Alan Brunswick, Mandana Massoumi and Andrew Satenberg are also key figures. Named individuals are based across the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orange County offices. Rebecca Torrey joined Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP in 2017.

Ogletree Deakins delivers a ‘great service’ and has ‘high-quality’ attorneys. Dallas-based Ron Chapman, Jr worked alongside Christopher Murray in Indianapolis in securing three separate appellate victories for clients examining whether employers can maintain a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement. In Phoenix, Mark Kisicki and Elizabeth Townsend challenged a decision of the NLRB - on behalf of Banner Health System - that businesses cannot direct employees to keep an internal investigation confidential based on the type of issue under investigation. Key contacts include Jeffrey Londa in Houston, Los Angeles-based Jack Sholkoff and Robert Roginson, who is noted for wage and hour mandates, Brian Hayes in Washington DC, Kim Ebert in Indianapolis, Sacramento-based Anthony DeCristoforo and Danielle Ochs in San Francisco. Danuta Bembenista Panich and Thomas Deer, who operate across the Chicago and Indianapolis offices, and Mark Stubley in Greenville are also recommended. C. Matthew Keen in Raleigh heads the team.

Based across the firm’s New York, Princeton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, the team at Reed Smith LLP handles a range of disputes including affirmative action and pay equity, discrimination and harassment, and wage and hour class actions. Recent highlights include defending a technology company in a nationwide collective action and defending an engineering and construction sector client and satellite service provider on numerous multi-plaintiff minimum wage and overtime pay violation cases under the FLSA. Former team head Sara Begley, Thomas Hill, David McAllister, senior counsel Linda Husar and Casey Ryan are key contacts. Houston-based Mark Temple heads the practice, and is ably supported by deputy practice leader Christine Kohler. Betty Graumlich is also a key name. Jay Glunt joined from Ogletree Deakins and Jill Vorobiev also joined the team from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, while Rick Etter left for Frost Brown Todd.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP handles a range of contentious employment cases, from single-plaintiff cases to class actions, and clients say of the group that its ‘response times are very good’. Los Angeles-based Richard Simmons and Daniel McQueen worked alongside Brian Murphy and special counsel Lisa Lewis in New York in securing a victory for Chipotle in federal district court in New York, which involved a claim that Chipotle misclassified persons in the position of apprentice as exempt on a nationwide basis. Simmons also led a team in a long-running case for Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, securing scheduling flexibility for hospital employees. New York-based Jack Kiley and special counsel Kevin Smith as well as Tracey Kennedy in Los Angeles obtained a $9.1m victory on behalf of Tullett Prebon Financial Services in FINRA arbitration against a former employee and Tradition Asiel Securities. Taco Bell, Whole Foods and E&B Natural Resources are also clients. Los Angeles-based Derek Havel, Tom Kaufman in Century City, and Eric Raphan in New York are key contacts. Kelly Hensley in Los Angeles, Greg Labate in Orange County and the ‘brilliantJonathan Stoler in New York lead the team. Samantha Grant joined the Century City office in 2017 from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.

Winston & Strawn LLP defends employers in a range of contentious matters, including claims filed by single plaintiffs, by multiple plaintiff and in major class and collective actions. In a recent matters, Daniel Fazio has been defending Fannie Mae in a Supreme Court case alleging violations of the ADEA and Title VII. Rex Sessions is defending LVMH in several matters, including wage and hour, and discrimination cases. Joseph Torres is representing Caterpillar Inc in a disparate impact collective action age discrimination lawsuit. Abbott Laboratories, Accenture and United States Women’s National Soccer Team are also clients. Key contacts among the team also include Washington DC-based William Miossi, the ‘superbJoan Tucker Fife in San Francisco, Aviva Grumet-Morris, Stephen Sheinfeld in New York, as well as Marcus Torrano and Laura Petroff, who are based in Los Angeles. Michael Roche heads the team and Michael Mulhern recently retired. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP handles a range of cases, from nationwide wage and hour class actions and EEO disputes, to complex labor controversies and high-profile arbitrations. It is particularly active in the sports sector and represents the National Football League (NFL) in several matters; Daniel Nash and Stacey Recht Eisenstein represented the NFL in lengthy disciplinary proceedings involving Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, following Peterson’s suspension and fine after a criminal plea agreement relating to alleged child abuse. Nash, Eisenstein and Nathan Oleson are representing the NFL in federal class action suits against claims for alleged injuries suffered as a result of the use of painkillers and other prescription drugs by players over the course of their careers. Starbucks, Ernst & Young, CEC Entertainment and Home Depot are also clients. Gregory Knopp and Gary McLaughlin in Los Angeles, Richard Rabin in New York, and Donna Mezias in San Francisco are also key figures in the team, while Robert Lian is the practice head. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Baker & Hostetler LLP is experienced in complex class actions, as well as single plaintiff cases, and regularly defends against wage and hour claims. In Atlanta, Eric Barnum is defending McDonald’s in several employment discrimination litigation cases; Barnum is working alongside counsel Porsche Austin in a race and retaliation matter that has been filed with the EEOC; and Barnum is also working with a team in Ohio defending against gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation claims made by a former employee. Joel Griswold in Orlando represented Kohl’s Department Stores in a putative nationwide class action alleging that Kohl’s denied access to persons with mobility disabilities by maintaining rack spacing in their stores that was too narrow. In Houston, Edward Friedman and Drew Tipton are recommended, as is Amy Traub in New York, Kevin Shaughnessy in Orlando and Los Angeles-based Margaret Rosenthal. In Washington DC, Peter Fischer was promoted to partner and David Grant heads the team.

The team at Baker McKenzie LLPconsistently delivers an outstanding service’ and has been bolstered by several new hires, including department head William Dugan, who is a ‘master in the art of defending corporations in litigation’, in Chicago from Seyfarth Shaw LLP, as well as Todd Boyer in Palo Alto, Meredith Kaufman in New York and Michael Brewer in San Francisco from Littler Mendelson, P.C.. Houston-based Richard Hammett and Douglas Darch in Chicago are representing Whirlpool Corporation against a group of union-represented retirees alleging that its changes to the level of their health insurance benefits violated their vested right to unchanged medical benefits. Arthur Rooney in Chicago led Kiewit Corporation in several high-profile cases, including a putative class and representative action brought by workers alleging that they weren’t given adequate meal breaks and rest periods. Emily Paige Harbison in Houston, Robert Lewis in New York, Miriam Geraghty Petrillo in Chicago are also highly regarded. In March 2018, a California-based team including Robin Samuel joined from Hogan Lovells.

Dedicated labor and employment offering Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP defends single- and multi-plaintiff employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, and also handles complex wage and hour litigation, workplace safety, and affirmative action compliance issues. Ken Sulzer in Los Angeles represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association in a class action suit on behalf of all football players in Pac-12 schools, claiming that football players are employees. Anjanette Cabrera in New York represented Zurich in a trade secrets case against a former employee. Key individuals also include Donald Prophete, who is based across the Kansas City and New York offices, and Kimberly Talley in Los Angeles. Barbara Antonucci and Sarah Hamilton joined in San Francisco from Littler Mendelson, P.C. and Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP respectively; L. Julius Turman heads the San Francisco office. Paul Ryan joined in Atlanta from Thompson Hine LLP and Carolyn Sieve, who is based in the Orange County and Los Angeles offices, joined from Ogletree Deakins. Neil Wasser in Atlanta heads the overall practice.

Dentons handles class actions, collective actions and single-plaintiff litigation as well as arbitrations, mediations and other forms of dispute resolution. Its West Coast offering is noted for its wage and hour expertise, while the East Coast team is adept at restrictive covenant, trade secret and unfair competition litigation. Gregory Wolf in Kansas City is defending two national class actions for Sprint Corporation brought by employees who assert Sprint's failure to properly pay commissions. Department head Brian Cousin in New York is representing Stallion LLC in a case involving the termination of an executive employee. The Society Model Management, Summit Materials and CDI Corp are also clients. Sandra McCandless, who is based in the San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley offices, Richard Scharlat in New York, Jim McNeill in San Diego, Daniel Beale in Atlanta, Cynthia Jackson in Silicon Valley and Nick Pujji in Los Angeles are also recommended.

Dickinson Wright PLLC regularly handles wage and hour collective actions and discrimination class actions, as well as disputes involving employment agreements, severance agreements, harassment claims, and NLRB matters. In Detroit, Kenneth McIntyre successfully defended Wayne State University in a qui tam action brought by a former medical professor, and Kathryn Wood represented The Michigan House of Representatives in its investigation into two Michigan State Representatives. Nestlé USA, United Towing and Auto Rescue and Comanche Construction are also clients. Samuel Coffman in Phoenix and Kenneth Ching6 in Reno are also noted. Department manager M. Reid Estes is based in Nashville and department leader Timothy Howlett is based in Detroit.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. delivers ‘timely and commercial advice’ and is noted for its expertise in the healthcare, financial, retail and technology sectors. Ian Carleton Schaefer in New York represented BT in a wage and hour collective action originating from its call center in Chesapeake, Virginia, and Patrick Brady in Newark represented Canada Dry Bottling Company in a case involving claims by four long-term independent distributors alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors. Key contacts include Joshua Stein, John Fullerton and Ronald Green in New York, Michael Kun in Los Angeles, Frank Morris in Washington DC, as well as Daniel Levy, James Flynn and Carmine Iannaccone in Newark, and Deborah DeHart Cannavino in Stamford. Recent hires include Jonathan Brenner in Los Angeles from Sidley Austin LLP, Paul DeCamp in Washington DC from Jackson Lewis P.C., and Brian Spang in Chicago from McGuireWoods LLP. Department head David Garland is based in the New York and Newark offices.

The ‘strong’ team at Jackson Lewis P.C. is commended for its ‘fast response times’ and is experienced in individual and class action cases, handling discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour and ERISA disputes. William Anthony in Albany, Gregg Clifton in Phoenix and Chris Lauderdale in Greenville represented NCAA in a putative nationwide collective action by former student athletes seeking minimum wage for time spent engaged in interscholastic athletics. Chicago-based Nadine Abrahams and John Nolan in Philadelphia lead the general employment litigation practice group. Stephanie Adler-Paindiris in Orlando heads the class actions and complex litigation practice with Anthony. Anheuser-Busch, Pfizer Inc, IBM, Apple and CVS Health are also clients. The arrival of Jeffrey Newhouse in Richmond from Ogletree Deakins was among several key hires. Morristown-based John Bennett, Mark Tilkens in Madison and Mia Farber in Los Angeles are also recommended. Vincent Cino in Morristown heads the practice.

K&L Gates defends employers in a range of disputes, including single-plaintiff litigation, class actions and agency-initiated enforcement actions. Patrick Madden in Seattle is representing AutoZone in a class action regarding meal period timing requirements under Washington law. Madden is representing VXI along with Todd Nunn, who is also based in Seattle, in several disputes including a class action filed in Ohio that asserts off-the-clock and overtime claims under Ohio law on behalf of over 10,000 call center employees. Román Hernández in Portland successfully represented Walmart in a nationwide disability discrimination case. Rosemary Alito in Newark leads the team, where George Barbatsuly is also based. Houston-based Nickolas Spiliotis, and Spencer Hamer, who joined in Orange County from Michelman & Robinson, LLP, are also recommended.

Mayer Brown’s ‘responsive team’ is ‘extremely knowledgeable about how to handle complex matters’ and has recently been involved in several class action cases. Los Angeles-based practice co-chair John Zaimes is defending PetSmart in a nationwide FLSA collective action and in a Rule 23 class action; and John Nadolenco, who is also based in Los Angeles, defended Tyson Foods in a putative nationwide class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Nestlé Waters North America and CSX Transportation are also clients. In Chicago, practice co-chair Marcia Goodman, Lori Zahalka, Laura Hammargren, Andrew Rosenman, Nancy Ross and associate Richard Nowak are recommended. Los Angeles-based Ruth Zadikany was recently promoted to partner.

Ropes & Gray LLP regularly defends high-stakes class actions and collective actions, and has a specialist focus on advising on sensitive matters involving senior executives and management, including handling investigations into allegations of misconduct. Practice head Jeffrey Webb in Boston worked alongside Rocky Tsai in San Francisco to represent Arctic Glacier in a putative nationwide wage and hour collective action and a California class action. Webb was also successful in defending Loomis Sayles in a civil action brought by Consiglia Stacey Grove alleging age discrimination. HeartShare, SkillSoft and Berkeley Research Group are also clients. Also in Boston, Peter Ebb, counsel Jenny Cooper and associate Douglas Brayley are recommended.

Vedder Price handles litigation involving restrictive covenants, labor management and relations, equal employment, wrongful discharge and ERISA matters. In Chicago, Edward Jepson, Jr. and Elizabeth Hall successfully defended a renowned medical school against claims of national origin discrimination and retaliation brought by a former surgical resident. Brendan Dolan in San Francisco defended Oracle in several matters, including a case brought by a class of employees alleging failure to pay overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and pay statement violations under California law. Washington DC-based practice chair Amy Bess; former practice chair Thomas Wilde, Nicholas Anaclerio and Patrick Spangler in Chicago; Thomas Petrides in Los Angeles; and the ‘brilliant’ Heather Sager in San Francisco, who co-chairs the employment class action group, are recommended.

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): plaintiff

Index of tables

  1. Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): plaintiff
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • David Borgen - Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho
    • Eve Cervantez - Altshuler Berzon
    • James Finberg - Altshuler Berzon
    • David Lowe - Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP
    • Michael Rubin - Altshuler Berzon

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): plaintiff clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Headline work for San Francisco-based firm Altshuler Berzon includes handling separate class actions against Oracle and Google under the California Equal Pay Act, alleging that women employed in technology and technology support positions were paid less than men with similar qualifications performing similar work. Michael Rubin led on California state law class actions brought on behalf of restaurant crew members employed by McDonald’s fast food outlets, alleging numerous violations of California employment law and seeking to establish McDonald’s corporate liability on joint employer and other theories. Recommended names include James Finberg, who represents employees in class and collective actions involving workplace discrimination and wage and hour violation cases; P. Casey Pitts, who represents workers, labor unions, consumers and public interest organizations; and Eve Cervantez, who handles civil rights, employment discrimination, wage and hour and privacy cases. Eileen Goldsmith, Barbara Chisholm, Stacey Leyton and Peder Thoreen are also noted and Eric Brown and Matthew Murray were recently promoted to partner.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP handles a range of high-profile employment class action lawsuits in the retail, medical, insurance, technology, banking, financial services and national security sectors. Headline work included bringing a gender discrimination class action against Google, and a gender discrimination class action on behalf of current and former female employees of defense contractor Sandia National Laboratories. It also brought a class action lawsuit challenging wage suppression by Duke University and officials at the University of North Carolina. Department head Kelly Dermody, Anne Shaver, Daniel Hutchinson, Dean Harvey and Lin Chan in San Francisco, and Rachel Geman in New York are key contacts.

Outten & Golden LLP is recognized for its class and collective litigation experience.

Head of the San Francisco office Jahan Sagafi was granted class certification in a case brought on behalf of allegedly misclassified systems administrators. Managing partner Wayne Outten, who co-chairs the executives and professionals whistleblower retaliation practice, and Darnley Stewart, who co-chairs the discrimination and retaliation practice group and co-chairs the LGBTQ workplace rights group, represented a senior executive, who was involuntarily retired, in arbitration. Deputy managing partner Adam Klein and Justin Swartz head the class action litigation team with Rachel Bien in Los Angeles. Counsel Peter Romer-Friedman in Washington DC secured two USERRA class action settlements in 2017. Romer-Friedman also worked alongside Juno Turner in New York and secured a settlement on behalf of a class of several thousand Walmart associates that were denied health insurance benefits for their same-sex spouses. Laurence Moy, Tammy Marzigliano and Cara Greene lead the individual litigation team. Ossai Miazad, Wendi Lazar, Katherine Blostein and Kathleen Peratis, who chairs the sexual harassment practice, Melissa Pierre-Louis and Molly Brooks are recommended, as are Lori Deem in Chicago and David Lopez in Washington DC. Sally Abrahamson (Washington DC), Melissa Lardo Stewart and Gregory Chiarello were recently promoted to partner. Individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is ‘one of the top plaintiff-side litigation firms in the country’ and handles a range of class and collective actions relating to discrimination and wage and hour disputes. ‘Smart litigator’ Joseph Sellers, who chairs the civil rights and employment group, is representing a class of approximately 69,000 female sales employees nationwide in a Title VII and Equal Pay Act case against Sterling Jewelers. Sellers is also representing Walmart employees in several regional class cases for sex discrimination in relation to pay and promotions. Representing McDonald’s crewmembers in several wage and hour class action lawsuits asserting that the McDonald’s regularly fails to pay workers for all the hours they work by denying them legally mandated meal and rest breaks is another highlight. Christine Webber, who is a ‘tenacious and passionate litigator’, and Kalpana Kotagal are key members of the team. Named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho in Oakland is known for its class action experience and is representing five licensed paramedics in a gender discrimination case against the City of Chicago; the plaintiffs were denied employment as paramedics because they did not pass a physical abilities test. It also won a class certification on behalf of truck drivers alleging that US Xpress’s mileage-based compensation system violates California minimum wage laws. Of counsel David Borgen, Laura Ho, who handles California and federal wage and hour class and collective actions, William Jhaveri-Weeks, who handles public interest class actions, Andrew Lee and James Kan are key contacts.

Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP in San Francisco is experienced in class action cases and is active across harassment, discrimination and whistleblower claims, in addition to employment transition and severance negotiations. It secured approval of a class action settlement on behalf of safety attendants, laborers and helpers working at California oil refineries. Chaya Mandelbaum, John Mullan and David Lowe are noted, as are of counsels Alan Exelrod and Steven Zieff. Erin Pulaski and Michelle Lee have been promoted to partner.

Labor-management relations

Index of tables

  1. Labor-management relations
  2. Hall of Fame
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The ‘top-rated’ team at Jones Day is praised for its work in union-related issues. In Washington DC, Patricia Dunn ‘provides excellent advice and is always extremely responsive’; she recently acted as lead negotiator for a media company in contract renewal talks with a union which resulted in the complete overhaul of her client’s legacy labor contract. In Chicago, a team that included Brian Easley and David Birnbaum acted in a collective bargaining negotiation on behalf of Kraft Heinz. Meanwhile Michael Ferrell led the advice to Bulkmatic with regards to a union organising campaign. Willis Goldsmith and Doreen Davis are representing McDonald’s in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) lawsuit alleging that franchise workers were retaliated against for participating in rallies that called for higher wages. Other names to note in New York are Daniel Hagen and Jessica Kastin. Houston-based Joanne Bush is also recommended.

The lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLPare experts in their field supported by a deep bench of junior practitioners’ and clients appreciate their ‘amicable approach to union matters’. John Ring and Joseph Ragaglia jointly head the practice from Washington DC and Philadelphia, respectively. Other notable practitioners include Steven Wall and Daniel Bordoni. Jonathan Frittstakes the time to understand his clients and their unique needs’; he continues to lead the advice to a global transport company with regards to all of its non-class action disputes with the NLRB and labor unions. Elsewhere, Century City’s Harry Johnson is known as ‘a walking encyclopaedia’ and successfully defended Chevron in an unfair labor practice action filed before the NLRB by the United Steelworkers.

The ‘deep bench’ at Proskauer Rose LLP is ‘a world leader in the field’ and ‘provides a clearly superior service’. The firm’s client roster includes heavyweight names in the sports, education and entertainment sectors - among others - who engage the group to intervene in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, labor arbitration proceedings and unionization petitions. New York-based Neil Abramson and Bernard Plum are part of the team representing the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS), while the ‘fantasticPaul Salvatore oversaw numerous mandates in the education sectors for clients such as Yale and Duke universities. The ‘fantastic, smart, practical and responsiveMark Theodore sits in Los Angeles.

At Seyfarth Shaw LLP response times and value are ‘excellent’, and advice from the ‘outstanding’ team is ‘always measured and pragmatic’. Practice co-head Bradford Livingstonprovides sound solutions-based advice to satisfy business objectives’ from Chicago, while San-Francisco-based Christian Rowley is known for his ‘high degree of integrity and trust’. In recent highlights, the team successfully dismissed unfair labor practices claims, negotiated a successor collective bargaining agreement for an industrial manufacturer, and continues to represent a heavyweight telecoms entity in all its disciplinary arbitrations. Brian Stolzenbach and Joshua Henderson lead the department with Livingston from Chicago and San Francisco, respectively. Glenn Smith recently joined from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

DLA Piper LLP (US) recently added experienced litigator Mary Dollarhide to the San Diego office from Paul Hastings LLP. The team in Chicago represented United Airlines in the negotiations of joint contracts for its flight attendants ahead of the merger with Continental Airlines. Washington DC-based Harriet Lipkin handled Station Casino’s response to a Culinary Workers campaign seeking voluntary ‘card check’ recognition, and the firm also assisted American Baptist Homes of the West in an appeal of an NLRB decision. In March 2018, Michael Sheehan left the firm for McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and not long after, in April 2018, a team including Ron Holland, Pankit Doshi , Marilyn Pearson, Ellen Bronchetti and David Durham made the same move.

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Jackson Lewis P.C. covers the full spectrum of labor issues such as union organization, ‘card check’ and neutrality agreements, corporate campaigns, and protected concerted activity. The practice is jointly led by Atlanta’s Jonathan Spitz and New York’s Philip Rosen. In one recent highlight, New Orleans-based Jeffrey Schwartz continues to work alongside New York’s Daniel Schudroff to advise Murphy Oil on a longstanding dispute. The group also oversaw complex disputes involving significant regulatory changes, union elections and arbitration. Other key clients include ExxonMobil, the New York Yankees and Legends Hospitality. Laura Pierson-Scheinberg and Chad Richter are also names to note in San Francisco and Omaha, respectively. In February 2018, Gary Tocci joined in Philadelphia from Reed Smith LLP.

Littler Mendelson, P.C.’s Washington DC-based Maury Baskin and Joshua Waxman represented FedEx in appellate proceedings before the NLRB regarding the agency’s decision that single-route drivers in Connecticut be considered employees rather than independent contractors. Also notable was Tanja Thompson and Stefan Marculewicz’s advice to a leading manufacturer with regards to a large-scale union election. The team is led by Thomas Bender and Jeremy Roth from Philadelphia and San Diego, respectively. In Houston, A. John Harper III is a name to note.

Ogletree Deakins continues to advise clients in collective bargaining, labor-management disputes and arbitration proceedings, and on regulatory issues. Ron Chapman Jr led the team, including Indianapolis’ Christopher Murray, which secured three successful appeals that considered whether employers can maintain a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement. In Phoenix, Mark Kisicki represented Banner Health in its challenge against the NLRB’s decision that businesses cannot direct employees to keep an internal investigation confidential based on the nature of the issue being investigated. The firm significantly bolstered its labor and employment offering through the promotion to partner of 20 attorneys and the lateral hire of thirty partners across its national offices. Managing partner Matthew Keen leads the group from Raleigh.

The offering at Baker & Hostetler LLP covers a vast range of matters for clients across the transport, media and healthcare sectors, and under the leadership of Columbus-based Daniel Guttman continues to advise the administration of Ohio governor John Kasich on its unionized workforce. The group, which is jointly spearheaded by Washington DC’s Jay Krupin and Orlando’s Patrick Muldowney, also intervenes in collective bargaining agreements negotiations, arbitration proceedings and regulatory challenges.

Bracewell LLP advises clients in matters pertaining to collective bargaining, individual terminations in the context of white-collar crime allegations, and arbitration. Dallas-based Robert Sheeder acts as lead counsel to L-3 Communications across the full gamut of labor mandates, and, in San Antonio, James Kizziar continues to represent Adventist Health System in union organization matters and disputes before the NLRB. Of counsel J. Tullos Wells is a name to note and leads the firm’s work for several entertainment and sports entities such as the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. In Houston, Rebecca Baker and Robert Nichols handled the labor aspects of several high-value corporate transactions in the energy space.

Headed by David Garland in New York, the labor and employment practice - with a particular niche in healthcare - is one of the founding pillars of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.. In a recent matter led by Steven Swirsky, the team intervened in a campaign by a builders’ union that sought to force a manufacturer to cease all dealings with a non-union maintenance contractor. On the non-contentious side, Los Angeles’ Adam Abrahms secured a win for a not-for-profit when its employees voted down a well-known union in union elections. Jeremy Brown is the name to note in Newark.

In an example of its multi-disciplinary offering, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, under the leadership of practice co-chair Jonathan Sulds, is representing a major electric power utility in collective bargaining, healthcare insurance and other labor relations matters arising from the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings. Also in New York, Jerrold Goldberg continues to advise the NoMad Hotel on union grievances, employment issues and various discrimination charges, while Boston-based Terence McCourt acted for a client in contentious proceedings pertaining to the interplay of NLRB and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is ‘the premier advisor to the entire airline industry as it provides unparalleled expertise regarding the Railway Labor Act’. Led by Los Angeles’ Apalla Chopra the team has achieved ‘extraordinary results’ and represents clients such as Walt Disney, American Airlines, FedEx and Harvard University. In New York, Jeffrey Kohn assisted Mylan Pharmaceuticals in labor negotiations with the United Steel Workers, and Robert Siegel - also based in Los Angeles - successfully obtained a temporary restraining order for Spirit Airlines prohibiting its pilots from disturbing its operations. Mark Robertson is another key name to note in New York.

Under the leadership of Houston-based Mark Temple and Los Angeles-based Christine Kohler, Reed Smith LLP represents large employers, across a wide array of industry sectors. In Philadelphia, Karl Fritton led several collective bargaining negotiations, and in a separate matter the team secured a three-part victory for a package delivery company in a longstanding dispute with a Teamsters-backed employee. A number of lawyers recently left the firm, including Gary Tocci, while James Glunt joined the Pittsburgh office from Ogletree Deakins. Betty Graumlich is also a key name.

Steven Wheeless spearheads Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s team from Phoenix and recently teamed up with Washington DC-based Alan Feldman to advise Walmart on a series of state trespass and nuisance actions arising from ‘store invasions’ coordinated by the United Food and Commercial Workers. The pair also defended Walmart in an unfair labor practice claim which sought to allow non-union employees the right to a representative during investigative interviews. Larry Katz intervened in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of BridgePoint Hospital. Of counsel Doug Janicik is also a key contact and worked alongside Wheeless to represent Adecco in its challenge of an NLRB decision pertaining to class waivers in employment agreements.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s practice is grounded in the public sector where it regularly represents labor unions. Co-managing partner Alan Klinger continues to work alongside special counsels Dina Kolker and Beth Norton to advise the United Federation of Teachers on arbitration, mediation and collective bargaining agreements. On the contentious side, the group acted for the 237 Local Teamsters Islip Welfare Fund in a claim by a rival union alleging an equitable interest by former fund participants. David Kahne was promoted to partner and is part of the team counselling the New York City Municipal Labor Committee on its long-term cost-saving goals of $4.3bn in healthcare services over a four-year period. All named attorneys are based in New York.

With clients across a range of industries, Vedder Price advises on the full spectrum of labor-management relations, including collective bargaining, disputes and union organizing. Under the leadership of San Francisco’s Heather Sager, the group continues to counsel a national transportation group on state-wide wage-and-hour compliance and negotiations with several unions. In Chicago, Kenneth Sparks represented a regional hospital in an election petition and unfair labor practice allegations. In Chicago, Mark Stolzenburg was recently promoted to partner and Patrick Spangler took over Charles Wolf’s practice following his retirement.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s Joseph Torres is ‘a real expert in the field’, ‘a great communicator’ and ‘able to cut right to the core of any issue’. Based in Chicago, Torres teamed up with Derek Barella to assist Caterpillar with its response to the United Auto Workers’ 450-worker strong campaign at an Ohio distribution centre. In another recent highlight, Washington DC-based William Miossi represented Liberty Maritime in a dispute arising from the failure to renegotiate employee wages, benefits and other economic terms, and its disagreement with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association over the need for arbitration.

Workplace and employment counseling

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  1. Workplace and employment counseling
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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises clients across the financial services, pharmaceutical, retail, technology, energy and transportation sectors, including General Dynamics, The Hershey Company, and Morgan Stanley. Department head Grace Speights, who is based in Washington DC, and Larry Turner in Philadelphia lead on diversity and inclusion mandates. Speights works with Philadelphia-based Michael Banks on crisis management and has recently been advising on high-profile sexual harassment allegations. Richard Rosenblatt in Princeton and Michael Puma in Philadelphia lead counseling for companies on wage and hour issues, while Los Angeles-based Debra Fischer, Ronald Manthey in Texas, New York and Boston-based David McManus, and Turner handle national trade secret and unfair competition mandates. The California-based team of Melinda Riechert, Carol Freeman, Barbara Miller, Michael Schlemmer and Jacqueline Aguilera provides guidance to California employers on amendments to existing laws as well as new policies and procedures. McManus also leads on workforce change matters and Princeton-based Michelle Seldin Silverman leads the practice-wide employment counseling team. David Bowman, who is based across the Boston and Philadelphia offices, the ‘very thorough’ Douglas Schwarz, who is based in Boston and New York, and Ross Friedman in Chicago are also recommended. Lincoln Bisbee and Krissy Katzenstein in Washington DC and Brendan Killeen in New York were promoted to partner.

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Paul Hastings LLP routinely assists with the employment aspects of high-profile M&A deals and corporate reorganizations and is adept at advising employers on access for individuals with disabilities, pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Its client base spans the healthcare, banking, telecoms, media, aerospace and pharmaceutical sectors, and it acts for clients such as Google, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Barclays Capital and Target Corporation. In New York, department chair Patrick Shea is advising Unum Group in relation to an in-house investigation of issues that led to the termination of a number of managers. Vice chair of the employment department Kenneth Willner is based in Washington DC and Kenneth Gage, who is based across the New York and Chicago offices, leads the workplace retaliation and whistleblower defense practice group. In California, the ‘outstanding’ Nancy Abell, Bradford Newman, who is the founding chair of the global employee mobility and trade secret group, and senior counsel Kirby Wilcox are recommended. Of counsel Tammy Daub in Washington DC is also noted. Heather Morgan joined Grube Brown & Geidt LLP in 2017, while Stephen Sonnenberg left the firm in 2018 to join JAMS.

Proskauer Rose LLP advises clients across the sports, financial services, education, public, retail, arts, entertainment, media, technology, healthcare, legal and real estate sectors, such as Allen Health Care Services, Etsy, Lidl US, Chanel, The Boston Globe, Chicago State University, Ashmore Group and Major League Baseball, on a full range of employment and workplace counseling matters. Joseph Baumgarten and Elise Bloom head the team in New York, where Bettina Plevan, Kathleen McKenna, Erika Collins, who co-leads the international labor and employment group, and Keisha-Ann Gray are also based. In Washington DC, Connie Bertram leads the labor and employment group, co-heads the whistleblowing and retaliation group, and heads the government contractor compliance group, and Guy Brenner co-heads the non-compete and trade secrets group. Nigel Telman heads the labor and employment group in Chicago, and Anthony Oncidi leads the Los Angeles-based group. Allan Weitzman recently left the firm to found Weitzman Arbitration & Mediation Services LLC and Amanda Wiley joined Reyes Holdings.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides ‘practical and commercial guidance’ on complex issues for clients such as Randstad North America, Aldi, General Electric and RELX Group. In Chicago, senior counsel Christine Hendrickson, Annette Tyman, chair of the workplace compliance solutions group David Baffa, and Valerie Hoffman, who also operates in Los Angeles, are key members of the firm’s pay equity group. Atlanta-based Brett Bartlett and Boston-based Richard Alfred are noted for wage and hour matters, while senior counsel Lawrence Lorber in Washington DC is experienced in regulatory enforcement and counseling mandates and is advising the United States Chamber of Commerce on several matters. Key contacts also include Alexander Passantino and Leon Rodriguez, who recently joined from the Department of Homeland Security, in Washington DC; Tracy Billows, Ellen McLaughlin, Pamela Devata and Condon McGlothlen in Chicago; Ann Marie Zaletel, Kerry Friedrichs, Chelsea Mesa and senior counsel Debbie Caplan in Los Angeles; Benjamin Briggs in Atlanta; senior counsel Cindy Westervelt in Boston; and Robert Nobile in New York, where associate Joshua Seidman, who is experienced in mandatory paid sick leave laws, ‘industry expertWilliam Perkins, and Glenn Smith, who joined from Littler Mendelson, P.C., are also based. Scott Nelson joined in Houston from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2018.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘efficient’ department provides ‘clear guidance’ and is noted for cross-border employment matters in relation to significant transactions; the team is advising Hewlett Packard Enterprise on several matters, including the global employment and employee benefits issues related to the purchase of Nimble Storage shares. It is also experienced in pay equity, employee global privacy, HR data protection and corporate reorganizations, as well as advising on social media policies. Nielsen and Keysight Technologies are also clients. Key contacts include Carole Spink, Douglas Darch, Arthur Rooney, and Miriam Geraghty Petrillo in Chicago; Richard Hammett and Emily Paige Harbison in Houston; the ‘excellent’ Benjamin Ho in San Francisco; and Robert Lewis in New York. Susan Eandi heads the team in Palo Alto, where Joseph Deng is also based. William Dugan in Chicago joined from Seyfarth Shaw LLP, while Todd Boyer in Palo Alto and Meredith Kaufman in New York joined the team from Littler Mendelson, P.C..

Jones Day regularly counsels clients to minimize the risk and exposure of litigation, in addition to advising on matters such as compensation and benefits programs and agreements, terminations, reductions-in-force and plant closings, and investigations of sexual harassment and other misconduct, as well as compliance and policy developments. Verizon Communications, Reynolds American, Verizon Wireless and McDonald’s are on the firm’s client roster. In Chicago, Jonathan Linas, Elizabeth McRee, Michael Ferrell, David Birnbaum, E. Michael Rossman, of counsel Lawrence DiNardo, and department co-head Michael Gray are singled out for praise. Stanley Weiner, who is based across the Dallas and Cleveland offices, Brian Easley, who operates across the Minneapolis and Chicago offices, Joanne Bush in Houston, Deborah Sudbury in Atlanta, Columbus-based Tonya Blosser Braun, Brian Jorgensen in Dallas, and department co-head Matthew Lampe in New York are also recommended.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s ‘knowledgeable and strategic team’ is adept at handling complex and sensitive counseling matters such as board-level internal investigations, compliance audits, diversity initiatives, and compensation arrangements, in addition to issues arising from M&A, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy. Signet Jewelers, WoodSpring Hotels, Tiffany & Co. and UnitedHealth Group are clients for the New York-based team. Department head Jeffrey Klein is a ‘great negotiator and an excellent counselor’, ‘very good at reading the room’ and ‘tough when he needs to be’. Gary Friedman regularly advises on internal investigations and matters such as whistleblowing and other claims of misconduct, discrimination, and harassment. Nicholas Pappas, who is a highly regarded ERISA expert, counsel Millie Warner and ‘responsive’ associate Ami Zweig are also recommended.

Davis & Gilbert LLP’s ‘very commercial’ team advises clients across a diverse range of industries, such as the financial services, fashion, transport, media, construction, publishing and hospitality sectors, and handles a range of workplace and employment counseling mandates, including wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, investigations, ERISA, executive compensation, benefits and compliance mandates. It is advising Turner Construction Company on resolving and mediating numerous employment-related matters across the country and on the revision of its nationwide drug-testing policies and procedures. Gregg Gilman, who ‘makes a real effort to understand the client’s business’ (and co-heads the firm’s hospitality practice), co-leads the New York-based team with Howard Rubin. Counsel David Fisher, Daniel Feinstein, Gregg Brochin, Jessica Golden Cortes, the ‘terrificShira Franco, and Jason Pruzansky are key contacts.

Dentons regularly advises clients on litigation avoidance and is commended for its cross-border expertise. Brian Baggott in Kansas City is advising Summit Materials on issues relating to disciplinary proceedings, terminations, and wage and hour matters. San Francisco-based Sandra McCandless is assisting Skidmore Owings & Merrill with a range of matters, including cross-border issues, and Cynthia Jackson in Silicon Valley is advising clients such as Maxim Integrated Products, Mozilla and Vista Outdoor on global codes and data privacy. In Los Angeles, Nick Pujji, who is active in ADA compliance matters, and Jim McNeill, who also operates out of the San Diego office, are also noted. Brian Cousin in New York heads the team.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.’s team ‘provides an outstanding service’; its members are ‘experts in their field and highly responsive’ and counsel clients across the healthcare, financial services and hospitality sectors. In New York, Ian Carleton Schaefer, who co-leads the firm’s TMT service team, Jeffrey Landes, Jeffrey Ruzal, who heads the hospitality practice, William Milani, who heads the international employment law group, Victoria Sloan Lin, George Carroll Whipple, Joshua Stein, and Marc Mandelman are recommended. Adam Forman, who is based across the Detroit and Chicago offices, regularly handles issues relating to the use of technology in the workplace, and Nathaniel Glasser in Washington DC, who co-leads the health employment and labor strategic industry group, is also noted. Deborah DeHart Cannavino and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Peter Stein in Stamford are key figures, as are Jeremy Brown and Maxine Neuhauser in Newark. Department head David Garland is based across the New York and Newark offices. In Los Angeles, Jonathan Brenner joined from Sidley Austin LLP, while Paul DeCamp joined in Washington DC from Jackson Lewis P.C., and Brian Spang joined the Chicago office from McGuireWoods LLP.

Greenberg Traurig LLP routinely advises on internal investigations, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) audits, compliance and force reductions, performance management, discipline, and wage and hour issues. Hillsborough County Civil Service Board, Bellwether Behavioral Health and KeyBank are clients. Johnine Barnes in Washington DC advised Profit Investment Management on corporate restructuring in addition to compliance issues and diversification. Houston-based Shira Yoshor, who ‘offers well-informed advice’, Wendy Lario in New Jersey and John Richards in Atlanta are key figures in the team, which also includes Philadelphia-based Kelly Bunting, who co-chairs the workforce compliance and regulatory enforcement group with Tiffany Fordyce and Jon Zimring in Chicago. David Long-Daniels in Atlanta, Jonathan Sulds in New York and James Boudreau in Philadelphia head the labor and employment department. Michael Taylor, who chairs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) group, joined the Northern Virginia office from Baker & Hostetler LLP in 2017.

Jackson Lewis P.C.’s nationwide practice focuses on the prevention and limitation of workplace and employment disputes. In New York, Philip Rosen is assisting clients such as the New York Yankees and Legends (which runs various sports venues) with ongoing workplace matters, while Jeffrey Brody in Boston is advising Biogen on disability and leave management issues. Pfizer, IBM, Apple and Mercedes-Benz are also clients. Francis Alvarez in White Plains, Margaret Strange in Hartford and Debra Weiss Ford in Portsmouth are key members of the team, as is the recently promoted Daniel Schudroff in New York. Vincent Cino heads the team from Morristown, where Joseph Lazzarotti is also based. The arrival of Jeffrey Newhouse in Richmond from Ogletree Deakins was among several key hires for the firm.

Littler Mendelson, P.C. utilizes technology to advise its clients on the full range of employment issues, such as compliance, policy issues and administrative agency charges, and on single-plaintiff litigation, as well as wage and hour class and collective actions. Taco Bell of America, FedEx Ground and Darden Restaurants are among its clients. New Haven-based George O’Brien, Arthur Carter and James Frederick in Dallas, Gary Lieberman in Boston, San Francisco-based Michael Lotito, who co-chairs the firm’s workplace policy institute (WPI), and Washington DC-based Stefan Marculewicz, who co-chairs the business and human rights practice group, are key figures. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) department co-chairs, George Chaffey in Walnut Creek and David Goldstein in Minneapolis (who also co-chairs the government contractors industry group), are also noted. Thomas Bender in Philadelphia and Jeremy Roth in San Diego head the team. The arrival of Donald Dowling in New York from K&L Gates was among several notable additions to the department. Judith Wethall joined McDermott Will & Emery LLP in 2017.

Mayer Brown is praised for its ‘expertise’ and ‘astute advice’, as well as its ‘commitment to quality’. It handles strategic organizational change involving benefits restructuring, outsourcing, and the de-risking of liabilities, as well as data protection, terminations, discrimination and harassment investigations, and OSHA matters. The team is also commended for its expertise in cross-border matters. TH Foods is a key client. Counsels Roxanne Wilson, who is based in Los Angeles, and the ‘brilliant’ Kim Leffert and Maritoni Kane in Chicago are also noted. The team is led by Marcia Goodman in Chicago, where Lori Zahalka is also based, and John Zaimes in Los Angeles.

Ogletree Deakins’ counseling expertise covers OSHA matters, drug testing, disability access, data privacy, pay equity and governmental affairs, and it is also noted for its project management and workplace training experience. Its client base spans a range of sectors such as healthcare, education, transport, retail and energy. Key individuals include Melissa Bailey in Washington DC, who is noted for workplace safety work, Dallas-based Ron Chapman, San Francisco-based Gregory Cheng, who handles California employment issues, St Louis-based collective bargaining expert Timothy Garnett, and Los Angeles-based managing director Joseph Beachboard, who is experienced in delivering training programs for high-profile clients. Margaret Campbell in Atlanta, David Powell in Denver, Columbia-based Leigh Nason, who chairs the affirmative action and OFCCP compliance group, Greenville-based Stephen Woods, who handles background checks, Nonnie Shivers in Phoenix, and San Francisco-based of counsel Carolyn Hall are also noted among the team. Robert Jones recently left the firm.

Reed Smith LLP regularly advises on policies and practices involving wage and hour issues, disability accommodation, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance, religious accommodation, social media, pay equity, and union avoidance. Its client base spans the pharmaceutical, financial services, education, technology, transport and media sectors. David McAllister and Jay Glunt in Pittsburgh, Princeton-based John McDonald, Peter Stuhldreher in Houston, Philadelphia-based Sara Begley, and recently promoted partner Christina Tellado, who is based in Los Angeles and has ‘sharp legal acumen’, are key figures in the team. Houston-based Mark Temple heads the department, and Christine Kohler in Los Angeles is the deputy practice leader. New York office managing partner Cindy Schmitt Minniti is also recommended, as is Richmond's Betty Graumlich. Jean Kuei recently joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

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