Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment - Virginia


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THE FIRM This leading team continues to impress clients and peers with the sheer breadth of its expertise and market coverage in the labor and employment arena. Its client portfolio encompasses a wide range of industries, demonstrating its ability to handle disputes and advisory work across the board in the space. It continues to house an enviable array of recognized senior attorneys.

Sources say: "There is real value in having one firm with all that talent." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Gregory Robertson is widely praised for his expertise in all aspects of labor and employment law. Clients applaud his "excellent technical and legal expertise, common sense, and strong sense of urgency."

A long-standing doyen of the Virginia Bar, Hill Wellford's practice encompasses a wide range of labor and employment litigation. He is a highly experienced trial lawyer, and has handled multiple claims at both a state and federal level.

Thomas Murphy is recognized by clients and peers alike as one of Virginia's preeminent labor and employment lawyers. Clients observe: "He is a problem solver, and brings creative solutions to the table."

David Mustone is respected for his long-standing experience in matters related to employee benefits. He works with a wide range of government, nonprofit and for-profit employers, and has particular expertise in tax issues and ERISA.

Noted by clients as "strong, measured and thoughtful," leading associate Kurt Larkin has a broad-based labor and employment practice, with a particular focus on handling union campaign matters for corporate employers.  

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THE FIRM The labor and employment practice at McGuireWoods remains a stalwart leader in this area. The practice has a reputation for being a full-service team with leading professionals operating across the spectrum of employment law. Its reputation is matched by a list of high-profile clients which include DuPont, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Amgen.

Sources say: "I know we are important to them. They understand our business as much as we do." "They handle all of our big labor and employment problems, and are first rate."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Harmon is an established trial lawyer who has handled employer defense cases in a wide range of state and federal courts. His clients include CSX and Verizon.

Gary Marshall is a highly respected labor attorney who is well known for his skill in collective bargaining negotiations. Sources describe him as "very knowledgeable, practical and service oriented." Recent notable clients include Catalent Pharma and the Remington Arms Company.

James McElligott remains one of Virginia's most respected attorneys in the field of employee benefits and compensation. He recently defended ITT Excelis in ERISA litigation claims related to disability pensions.

Stephen Robinson has been described by peers as "the best in Virginia." Clients are equally enthusiastic, commending his excellent technical skills in a wide range of labor and employment matters.

Carter Younger is reported to have "all the qualities you look for in a lawyer." Clients highlight his wealth of knowledge, and particularly value his practical approach. He represents employers in matters as diverse as union management relations, discrimination and international employment.

Band 2 | Isler Dare

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THE FIRM This firm is a compact boutique with a big reputation. It is commended by clients for providing consistently high-level employment work at a reasonable cost. Recent highlights include work done on behalf of the Navy Federal Credit Union in relation to harassment and discrimination cases.

Sources say: "Their performance level is very high and they are very experienced, practical and business oriented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Edward Isler is once again celebrated for his deep expertise in the field, and is described as having an "encyclopedic brain." He is highly respected by peers and clients alike, and is considered "outstanding in the employment space." He recently represented the Navy Federal Credit Union in the matter referred to above.

Theresa Connolly is an established employment practitioner who continues to earn praise for her responsive approach to client relationships. She has impressive experience in advising clients on litigation and counseling matters relating to labor and employment law.

Mark Dare's breadth of experience in this field inspires confidence in his clients, one describing how "any time I have any employment issues I hand them straight over to him." He has a reputation for being a thoughtful and strategic thinker who is "tough when he needs to be, but always balanced."

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THE FIRM This practice continues to flourish, and houses expertise in a wide range of matters, including employment discrimination claims, ERISA and labor relations. Its growing team serves a number of noteworthy clients, such as Capital One Financial, Safeway and Goodrich.

Sources say: "They always have time for us, and do wonderful work."

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Nagle is a highly experienced litigator who is admired for being "technically omniscient" and someone who "sees the big picture." He offers experience across a broad spread of labor and employment matters.

Paul DeCamp "is an expert on wage and hour labor issues, and is just a genius when it comes to this kind of work," according to one impressed client. He has extensive experience in litigating cases for a wide range of clients.

Jewell Lim Esposito recently joined the firm from Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP. With over 20 years' experience of employee benefits and tax matters, she is particularly well versed in crossover matters concerning the tax dimension of employment issues such as pensions and payrolls. She is appreciated by clients for being “very personable.”

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THE FIRM This group maintains its impressive presence in the Norfolk area. It offers market-leading expertise in matters such as wage and hour compliance, union avoidance and employee contract negotiation. Recent clients include ECPI and Virginia Oncology Associates.

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Bredehoft is a well-established management lawyer. He is credited for his "high technical skill and inventive approach."

Burt Whitt has a strong reputation built on years of experience in this field. He currently chairs the practice group, and represents employers in all aspects of employment law.

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THE FIRM Williams Mullen is commended for the skill and expertise of its attorneys, and focuses on all aspects of labor law. Its extensive employment law expertise sees it represent management in a wide range of litigation and arbitration. Its recent work includes successfully representing Hampton Roads Transit in a case concerning its collective bargaining agreement.

Sources say: "The attorneys with Williams Mullens have a great Southern charm, and I really can't say enough about them. They have not only met expectations but exceeded them."

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Meath has long-standing experience in advising both private and public sector clients on a range of labor and employment matters. He is lauded by clients as "highly skilled, very diligent and accessible."

David Burton chairs the labor and employment practice. Sources highlight him as a "knowledgeable, very experienced, responsive and practical" attorney. 

Catherine Marriott heads the employee benefits practice. Her expertise spans a wide range of matters, including pension and welfare matters as well as incentive and executive compensation.

Lynn Jacob has expertise in a number of different areas of employment law. She is commended as a particularly effective employment litigator, and also handles noncontentious matters. Enthusiastic peers describe her as "tenacious" and "fantastic at identifying solutions."

Associate Nelson Wilkinson is one of the rising stars of the team. He is particularly well versed in employment discrimination matters, including age, race and sex discrimination.

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THE FIRM This practice advises on employment litigation as well as management-side labor relations, and handles matters spanning a wide range of industries. Its expertise includes a broad spread of litigation, counseling and transactional matters, and high-profile clients include the Dana Corporation and the Ford Motor Company.

Sources say: "A very broad-based practice. They are fantastic - very good at handling expectations."

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Flanagan is acknowledged by peers for his expertise in employment litigation. Clients commend him as "accessible at all times, incredibly thorough and very fair."

Band 3 | LeClairRyan

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THE FIRM This practice handles a variety of labor and employment matters, including wrongful discharge claims, breach of employment contracts and restrictive covenants, and a wide range of litigation claims. Its client base includes such names as Advance Auto Parts and Genworth Financial.

Sources say: "High-level, high-quality work product and service. They are very familiar with local courts and judges, which is a great help."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clinton Morse is "a very seasoned and experienced labor lawyer" whose breadth of expertise garners him particular praise. He is commended by clients as "collaborative, practical and helpful." 

Acclaimed by clients as "a superb all-around attorney," Charles Meyer is a stalwart of the practice who offers widespread experience in employment litigation and counseling.  

Alongside her wide-ranging experience of employment litigation matters, the "terrific" Susan Childers North also has significant experience in handling mandatory arbitration programs. Clients commend her as being "very hard-working and conscientious."

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THE FIRM Littler's Northern Virginia team plays a key part in the firm's leading national labor and employment practice. The group advises large US and global organizations across a range of industries. Its practice encompasses every and all types of labor and employment work, including wage and hour disputes and unionizing matters.

Sources say: "Skilled practitioners with great client-handling skills. High quality and results-driven."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "An excellent negotiator who always maintains a calm demeanor and never loses his cool," Thomas Flaherty has extensive experience in class action litigation cases pertaining to discrimination and wage and hour laws, among other types of work. He is also managing partner of the firm's McLean office.

Elizabeth Lalik is hailed as a "very responsive" attorney who is "unflappable when standing up to aggressive attorneys on the opposing side." She is especially well versed in advising UK clients and their US counterparts.

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THE FIRM This Alexandria-based boutique firm handles the full spectrum of labor matters, including discrimination, workplace harassment, wage and hour law violations, leave entitlements, and wrongful termination.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Lorenger garners superb reviews from clients. He is described as "exceptionally conscientious, incredibly intelligent, and practical." He has a highly respected practice undertaking a range of labor and employment matters.

Susanne Harris Carnell is best known for her superb litigation talents, as well as for her preemptive capabilities in helping her clients avoid disputes.

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THE FIRM Headquartered in Richmond, this six-partner team advises employers on assorted workplace issues, including breach of contract, noncompete and discrimination matters. The group is also highly active in wage and hour disputes.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Deputy group leader of the firm’s labor and employment practice David Constine is an expert in a broad range of advisory and litigious issues, including noncompetition agreements and employment contracts.

Wallace Starke is considered an excellent go-to attorney for ERISA, pension and deferred compensation plans, as well as for health and welfare matters.

The highly experienced Eugene Webb boasts particular expertise in union avoidance and defending employers against union organizing campaigns.

Band 3 | Venable LLP

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THE FIRM Long recognized for its involvement in labor matters pertaining to the energy industry, this practice has also acts for clients from a broad range of industries. The team has recently negotiated a number of health and welfare contracts, including negotiating with drug retail chains to secure pharmacy benefits for employees.

Sources say: "The service has been so, so good. One of the things that impresses you most is their responsiveness and professionalism."

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Smith is praised by clients as "very seasoned and very detail oriented, and very proficient in the language of contracts." He undertakes sophisticated labor work, including collective bargaining and union negotiations.

Gregory Ossi is described by clients as "extremely professional and highly responsive to client needs." He continues to be highlighted for his collective bargaining expertise, as well as for his work involving retiree health benefits in bankruptcy situations.

David Warner enters the rankings on the back of strong praise for his labor and employment disputes expertise. He is acknowledged as "an extremely helpful and dependable attorney who always reports back in a timely manner." 

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THE FIRM This firm's Tysons Corner office opened in 2001, and has since flourished. A perennial presence in the rankings in recent years, the employment group's impressive client portfolio includes a number of housing companies and educational institutions.

Sources say: "An excellent team of lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Sawyer leads the firm's labor and employment group, and is cofounder of its Northern Virginia office. He advises a number of government contractors in Northern Virginia, as well as carrying out multijurisdictional work with noncompete and employee defection issues. Peers acknowledge him as "a great attorney and a nice guy."

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THE FIRM Woods Rogers continues to develop an excellent reputation in the state, representing management across various industries. Its expertise spans a range of labor law and employment litigation.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Winn is a key contact at the firm.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

The tremendously experienced James Coleman of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP is "a very responsive attorney who is always available and offers great value for money," according to satisfied clients. He is best known for his superb wage and hour practice. 

Reston-based Betsey Lewis of Cooley LLP is held in high regard by clients for her responsiveness and up-to-date knowledge. Her expertise encompasses a range of issues, including misconduct allegations and employment agreements.

The “very collegial” Daniel Westman is managing partner of the Northern Virginia office of Morrison & Foerster LLP. He has a national practice encompassing employee mobility, noncompete issues and whistle-blower matters.

King Tower of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC is hailed as "a standout lawyer - really pleasant to work with and easy to understand." He has a very strong and broad-ranging labor and employment law practice.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.