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


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  1. Workplace and employment counseling
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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP excels in California law counseling, workplace investigations, corporate transaction-related matters and other work. Diversity expert Grace Speights leads the practice (which has partners based in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Princeton, San Francisco and Washington DC), and David Bowman heads the resources workplace training team; both are ‘approachable, easy to communicate with and accommodating’. Recent matters saw David McManus assist new client Cabela’s with outsourcing its creative and content-related services, and advise Quest Diagnostics - also a new client - on outsourcing its revenue-cycle management function, involving the transfer of over 2,300 employees. Other clients include Amazon and Wells Fargo. Jacqueline Aguilera and Barbara Miller, in conjunction with Melinda Riechert, Carol Freeman and Michael Schlemmer, continue to assist employers with both minimum wage and California Fair Pay Act compliance requirements. Also recommended are Ross Friedman, Jonathan Snare, Michelle Seldin Silverman and Joseph Costello, who previously led the practice; Douglas Schwarz, Larry Turner and Debra Fischer are additional key figures. Ethel Johnson joined from Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP. In other personnel changes, Stephanie Sweitzer, Terry Johnson, Melissa Rodriguez and W. John Lee were made up to partner.

Recent mandates for Paul Hastings LLP include advising clients from sectors such as insurance, technology and finance on disputes, investigations, preventing the misappropriation of trade secrets, and other matters. The team also handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions and compliance with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, among other work. The practice, which is led by Patrick Shea, counts LinkedIn, Samsung and Kmart among its clients. Kenneth Willner is highly regarded for pre-employment tests and Kenneth Gage leads the workplace retaliation and whistleblower defense group. In Los Angeles, Nancy Abell and Al Latham are standout figures, as is Heather Morgan, who leads the workforce data and technology team. Other experienced practitioners include Jon Geier, Stephen Sonnenberg and Bradford Newman; of counsel Tammy Daub joined from the Department of Labor (DOL); and Kirby Wilcox transitioned to senior counsel.

Proskauer Rose LLP provides daily advice to leading clients from a range of sectors, including media, sports, higher education and retail. Well-known law firms also retain the firm, with Bettina Plevan and Kathleen McKenna providing day-to-day advice on complex matters. Erika Collins co-heads the international labor and employment group, with recent matters including ongoing assistance to an online retailer with its global bonus program, payouts for employee terminations and leaves of absence. Keisha-Ann Gray leads on discrimination mandates and Washington DC’s Connie Bertram is well regarded for whistleblowing and C-suite disputes. The team’s recent workload included OFCCP audits, internal investigations and compliance with wage and hour laws. Gregory Rasin heads the department with Joseph Baumgarten, who has expertise in advising on internal investigations, restrictive covenants and the labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions, among other matters. Boca Raton’s Allan Weitzman, Chicago’s Nigel Telman, Washington DC’s Guy Brenner and Los Angeles’ Anthony Oncidi are names to note, along with Chicago-based associate Amanda Wiley, who is a rising star. Patrick Lamparello, Evandro Gigante and New Orleans-based Nicole Eichberger were all promoted to partner and Katharine Parker left to serve as a magistrate judge in the Southern District of New York. Named partners are based in New York, unless stated otherwise.

Seyfarth Shaw LLPdistinguishes itself by offering excellent legal advice’ through ‘highly useful’ resources, such as the service model SeyfarthLean, which provides clients with project management and technology solutions, The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exemption Resource Center and the recently launched pay equity practice, which is led by Valerie Hoffman, who divides her time between Chicago and Century City. Recent matters saw Washington DC-based Alexander Passantino act for The Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity in its response to the DOL’s revisions to overtime exemptions for white-collar employees; and Randstad North America retain Atlanta’s Benjamin Briggs and San Francisco’s Kerry Friedrichs to conduct a wage and hour audit across 36 of its sites. The practice group is led from Chicago by David Baffa and counts Costco, US Foods and General Electric among its clients. In the same office, Pamela Devata has ‘exceptional skills’ in Fair Credit Reporting Act and background screening matters, standing out with Condon McGlothlen, Tracy Billows and the ‘smart, practical and responsiveEllen McLaughlin. Los Angeles’ Chelsea Mesa proves ‘invaluable’ in California and federal law compliance and in New York, William Perkins is ‘first rate’ and Robert Nobile’s advice to ‘the upper echelons of management is unsurpassed’. Boston’s Cindy Westervelt, Washington DC’s Lawrence Lorber and Century City-based Debbie Caplan are highly experienced senior counsels. Personnel changes included the hire of Jack Lambremont from Littler Mendelson, P.C. in Atlanta, Anthony Califano’s promotion to partner in Boston and Giselle Donado and Johanna Wise’s move to in-house positions at RR Donnelley and Chick-fil-A, respectively.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘stellar’ practice is singled out for cross-border work, where it assists multinational companies with employment matters arising from corporate transactions and global expansion, as well as with workforce issues such as redundancy. In Palo Alto, practice head Susan Eandi advises Hewlett Packard Enterprise on several ongoing mandates, including two spin-offs and mergers into Computer Sciences Corporation and Micro Focus, respectively; these matters included advice on employee transfers and pensions. The ‘business-oriented’ group has also led on Sarbanes-Oxley Act matters, internal investigations into discrimination claims, executive terminations, pay equity and other work. Clients include Seagate Technology, GlobalLogic and Trend Micro. In Chicago, Ryan Vann provides ‘business-savvy advice’ and Carole Spink is highly recommended, as are Douglas Darch, Arthur Rooney and recently promoted partner Miriam Geraghty Petrillo. Palo Alto’s Joseph Deng routinely assists clients with Asia Pacific operations and former joint head Scott Nelson maintains an active practice in Houston, where managing partner Richard Hammett and recently elected partner Emily Paige Harbison are also noted. San Francisco’s Benjamin Ho and New York-based Robert Lewis are additional contacts, along with Kevin Whittaker, who divides time between Palo Alto and San Francisco. Cynthia Jackson moved to Dentons.

In addition to a preventative practice that seeks to avoid litigation, Jones Day handles terminations, workforce reductions, internal investigations, labor advice and numerous other related matters. Recent mandates include Cleveland’s Stanley Weiner conducting an investigation into the conduct of a CEO, which led to their dismissal; and New York-based co-chair Matthew Lampe, and Deborah Sudbury in Atlanta, advising a national company on policies for contingent workers, as well as handling the review and restructuring of practices for employees. Dividing his time between Columbus and Chicago, E. Michael Rossman provides ongoing advice to employers on diverse mandates, along with Dallas’ Brian Jorgensen and Chicago’s David Birnbaum, ranging from compliance with anti-discrimination laws to disciplinary actions. Also noted are Terri Chase and Doreen Davis in New York, and Chicago’s Michael Gray and Lawrence DiNardo; San Diego’s Rick Bergstrom is another key figure as are Houston-based Joanne Bush and Tonya Blosser Braun in Columbus. Alison Marshall is highly regarded in the Washington DC office, which hired Elizabeth Dougherty and Douglas Hall from Ogletree Deakins and Ford & Harrison LLP, respectively. Team changes saw Fred Alvarez transition to of counsel in Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles’ Liat Yamini and Atlanta’s Craig Friedman become partners.

The ‘exemplaryJeffrey Klein leads Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s ‘extraordinary’ practice, which includes Gary Friedman. Counsel Lawrence Baer advises clients from a wide array of sectors on workforce reductions, store closures, labor integration following M&A transactions and on corporate restructuring as a result of bankruptcy. Klein recently acted for the Lincoln Center and its audit committee on an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct and gender-based favoritism by the organization’s former president. ERISA expert Nicholas Pappas is another key contact in the ‘highly talented’ group and Ami Zweig is an associate to watch. Other recent matters for the New York-based team included: C-suite terminations, compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and whistleblower matters. Dimension Data, Godiva and The Kraft Heinz Company feature on the impressive client roster.

Under the leadership of Gregg Gilman and Howard Rubin, Davis & Gilbert LLP handles the full range of matters, including employee classification, compliance with federal and state laws, and the drafting of employment policies and agreements. Gilman and counsel David Fisher advised RSE Ventures on negotiating employment agreements for Miami Dolphins’ CEO Tom Garfinkel and David Tyler, the CEO of Relevent Sports. Service industry clients from sectors such as media, marketing and communications retain the New York based practice, which has VaynerMedia, Kepler Group and Interlude on its client list. Also recommended are Daniel Feinstein, Gregg Brochin, Jessica Golden Cortes, Shira Franco and recently promoted partner Jason Pruzansky.

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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.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.consistently provides a high level of service’ to executives, in-house counsel and HR departments. Deborah DeHart Cannavino advises CooperSurgical on a range of matters, including severance agreements and employee handbooks; and Ian Carleton Schaefer provides training and daily advice to BT on compliance and cross-border initiatives for its US workforce. David Garland leads the practice, which excels in the hospitality, financial services and healthcare sectors. Jeremy Brown is ‘exceptional’, Peter Stein always ‘considers the options from several different angles’ and Marc Mandelman ‘provides clear definitions and recommendations for the best path forward’. Joshua Stein, William Milani, Maxine Neuhauser and George Carroll Whipple are also noted.

Under the leadership of Morristown-based chairman Vincent Cino, boutique firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is a standout in preventive work. The firm recently launched the JL data analytics group, led by Long Island-based Eric Felsberg, which leverages technology and data science to assist employers with workplace management challenges. In New York, Philip Rosen co-heads the labor and preventive practices group and, together with Daniel Schudroff, acted for the New York Yankees in collective bargaining negotiations with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America. Portsmouth managing principal Debra Weiss Ford handled a workforce reduction matter for a healthcare sector client, and also advised a hospitality company on various mandates with White Plains-based Michelle Phillips and Hartford-based Margaret Strange, including restroom accommodation for transgender employees. Weldon Latham (Washington DC), Francis Alvarez (White Plains), Richard Greenberg (New York), Elayna Youchah (Las Vegas) and Joseph Lazzarotti (Morristown) are additional contacts. Personnel changes included Laura McKnight’s hire from Bassford Remele and Jody Kahn Mason’s elevation to principal.

With both a nationwide footprint in the US and a range of Latin American offices, specialist firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. provides technological solutions to employers which enable management to engage with new regulations, handle litigation and effectively manage their workforces, utilizing services such as Littler LaborSmart, the workplace policy institute (WPI) and Littler CaseSmart. San Francisco-based Michael Lotito heads the WPI and has been advising Uber on varied matters, including labor relations and its independent contractor model for drivers. Chicago’s Judith Wethall handled Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance for Reyes Holdings, regarding data security for its health plans. Other clients include Edward Jones, Walgreens and Rite Aid. Katherine Franklin in Seattle, New Haven-based George O’Brien and Washington DC’s Stefan Marculewicz are key figures along with OFCCP practice co-chairs George Chaffey and David Goldstein, who are based in Walnut Creek and Minneapolis, respectively. Gary Lieberman’s hire from Locke Lord LLP in Boston and James Frederick’s promotion to shareholder in Dallas were among recent team changes.

Mayer Brown remains on top of legislation and holds an annual conference that focuses on the most pressing issues in the market; in 2016’s event, the firm advised on the impacts social media, data privacy and cybersecurity have on the workplace. Practice co-head Marcia Goodman and Lori Zahalka are advising a food production company on numerous matters, including dismissing employees, disciplinary actions and updating its employment policies and practices. Los Angeles-based John Zaimes also leads the practice and has been retained by an aviation sector client to assist with a union campaign as well as harassment and leave issues, among other work. In other recent mandates, the firm has been handling matters concerning compliance with employment law across multiple states and various corporate-related matters arising out of M&A transactions, company disposals and establishing new companies. PetSmart, Northern Trust and AXA Equitable Life Insurance are among significant clients of the practice, which includes counsels Kim Leffert and Maritoni Kane. Unless stated otherwise, attorneys work out of Chicago.

Growing specialist boutique Ogletree Deakins provides targeted advice through specialized practices, including the data privacy, drug testing and pay equity groups. In addition to these, in-house and HR professionals use The Innovations Center to handle compliance, litigation, project management and workplace training matters. Dallas-based Ron Chapman advised the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on removing its prohibition on gay leaders and employees, as well as representing the client in an investigation conducted by the office of New York’s Attorney General into its policies and practices; and defending it in a discrimination action filed by a former employee. San Francisco-based Gregory Cheng’s recent matters include assisting a Super Bowl security contractor with wage and hour compliance. Employers from industries such as healthcare, technology and energy retain the firm. Timothy Garnett (St Louis), Los Angeles-based managing director Joseph Beachboard and Margaret Campbell in Atlanta are highly regarded, as are David Powell in Denver, Columbia-based Leigh Nason, Robert Jones, who splits his time between San Francisco and Sacramento, and San Francisco-based of counsel Carolyn Hall. Erika Leonard joined from Paul Hastings LLP in Atlanta, one of a number of new hires, and the firm also made a series of shareholder promotions. Michael Marra left for Fisher & Phillips.

The ‘exceptionalReed Smith LLP covers everything from systemic discrimination to religious accommodation and the employment aspects of corporate restructuring. In Pittsburgh, David McAllister continues to advise clients from industries such as transport, education and pharmaceuticals on pay equity mandates, handling compliance evaluations conducted by the DOL, allegations of pay discrimination and various other matters. Clients include Verizon Communications, NBCUniversal and CITGO. Philadelphia-based Sara Begley leads the practice and is adept in diverse matters, ranging from global investigations into Fortune 100 companies to severance packages. Princeton’s John McDonald is noted, along with Houston’s Peter Stuhldreher; and in Chicago, Mark Temple provides ‘well-considered advice’. The well-respected Betty Graumlich is based in Richmond and Tysons, while managing partner Cindy Schmitt Minniti operates out of New York. Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Jean Kuei was up to made partner.

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics on its IPO, the anchor investment by CMA CGM and its migration

    CEVA Logistics, one of the world's leading third-party logistics companies, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange, where trading commenced on 4 May 2018. With a market capitalization of CHF 1.6 billion and generating gross proceeds of CHF 821 million, this is so far considered as the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange for 2018. In addition, CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping group in the world, has committed to make a strategic cornerstone investment in CEVA Logistics by purchasing CHF 379 million of mandatory convertible securities which will convert into shares of CEVA Logistics once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained. Simultaneously with the IPO, CEVA Holdings, the former holding company of the CEVA group, migrated from the Marshall Islands to Switzerland by way of a cross-border merger with CEVA Logistic as the surviving company.
  • BAG: Employer not liable for harm caused by vaccine

    Employers who have flu vaccines administered within their company are not liable for any harm that might occur as a result of the vaccine. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, in a recent ruling.
  • Tax Update

    Cyprus Tax Department has announced that, as of June 1 st 2018 , the following taxes, not bearing interest and charges, can ONLY be paid via JCCsmart (website ) . JCCsmart is a Cyprus portal used to contact payments to various organizations including the Government. This measure follows the successful implementation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax withheld from employees through JCCsmart.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on the Financing of the Largest Thermoelectric Plant in Latin America

    Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A. (CELSE) has successfully issued bonds for approx. USD 1 billion equivalent in local currency at a fixed, long-term rate in international capital markets. The innovative bond issue is guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the export credit agency of Switzerland. The bonds are part of a financial package to finance the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant by CELSE in the state of Sergipe in the northeast region of Brazil. Besides the bond issue for approx. USD 1 billion, the transaction includes a USD 200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation and a financial package of the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of approx. USD 300 million. Once operational expected for in 2020, CELSE will sell electricity to 26 distribution companies in Brazil, becoming the largest and most efficient thermoelectric plant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • BAG: Threats made by employee can justify dismissal with immediate effect

    Employers do not have to accept threats made by employees. These can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary notice of dismissal with immediate effect, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court.
  • SyCipLaw is Tier 1 Firm in IP STARS 2018 Rankings

    SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) was once again ranked by Managing IP’s IP STARS 2018 as a Tier 1 firm in Patent and Trademarks/Copyright in the Philippines. In addition, SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan are ranked as Trade mark star – Philippines . Mr. Manuel is also ranked as Patent star – Philippines .
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed N.V. authorized the board of directors to repurchase up to 33 1/3% of the company's share capital by means of a partial self-tender offer. The resolution adopted under Dutch law contained detailed information, among others regarding the period for which the authorization is granted, the manner in which the shares are repurchased and the price range within which the offer price must be set.
  • New Serbian Law on Foreigners Adopted

    In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law- in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018.
  • The Serbian Law on Foreign Exchange Amended

    On 20 April 2018, the amendments to the Law on Foreign Exchange (the “Law ”) were adopted and will enter into force on 28 April 2018 . Exceptionally, the application of certain provisions related to the assuming of competencies over foreign exchange control by the National Bank of Serbia is delayed until 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vyaire Medical on its Acquisition of Acutronic Medical Systems

    Vyaire Medical, Inc., a global leader in respiratory care, acquired all shares in the Acutronic Medical Systems group, a Switzerland and Germany-based leader in the design and manufacture of neonatal ventilation equipment.