Labor & Employment: Virginia
THE FIRM This leading firm attracts extensive praise for the breadth of its labor and employment practice. The team advises clients from a range of industries on employee benefits, trade secrets, wage and hour matters and ERISA litigation. Sources appreciate the collegial attitude of the group and its excellent internal communication.
Sources say: "The lawyers put the needs of the client at the forefront when forming legal strategy."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Dray is commended for his expertise in employee benefits: "He is extremely strong technically and has an excellent grasp of current issues." He recently implemented a new stock and incentive award plan for a major transportation company. In addition to technical excellence, clients value his strong client service: "He has proven himself to be very responsive, and a good listener." Thomas Murphy is widely recognized as "an excellent trial lawyer." He has a broad practice and a prestigious client following, including Rolls-Royce, Sunrise Senior Living and the Fairfax County Public School System. The "practical and efficient" Gregory Robertson is commended for his traditional labor law practice. He recently acted on an OFCCP audit of a large client facility, focusing on race and gender issues. David Mustone is an expert on employee benefits. Interviewees are particularly impressed with his market knowledge: "He is excellent at anticipating change and looks over the horizon to alert us to regulatory developments." Hill Wellford is "a wonderful attorney" who is highly respected for his knowledge and experience in the field. He successfully defended a major packaging company against claims under the NLRA.
THE FIRM This large practice is highly praised for the quality of its advice and outstanding level of service. It handles a range of labor and employment matters including discrimination, union-management relations, ERISA litigation and employee benefits.
Sources say: "It is an outstanding firm. The lawyers are extremely knowledgeable, astute and very well connected."
KEY INDIVIDUALS James McElligott is based in Richmond and is a highly experienced employee benefits attorney. He recently represented Dominion in an ERISA lawsuit. Stephen Robinson is commended for his expertise in litigation: "He is an outstanding lawyer with an extensive breadth of practice." He recently represented DynCorp International in a case concerning the obligations of an employer under Section 4312 of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Carter Younger focuses on employment discrimination, union-management relationship, international employment and government regulation. Sources say he is "absolutely terrific and an expert on a wide range of subjects." Gary Marshall is an experienced traditional labor law attorney. Sources particularly highlight his business acumen and strategic input: "He understands our business and where we want to go." Jonathan Harmon is a trial lawyer who is commended for his "tremendously successful handling of big-ticket cases."
THE FIRM This boutique firm is dedicated to representing employers on the full range of labor and employment matters. Clients include Serco, Navy Federal Credit Union and EADS North America.
Sources say: "A strong local practice with great depth of knowledge."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "first-class" Edward Isler heads the department and is currently serving as the chair of the Labor Relations & Employment Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He recently defended an employer on a ten-count complaint alleging racial discrimination and harassment. Theresa Connolly has a broad range of experience and recently successfully defended an NLRA charge brought by a union relating to the dismissal of union employees. Mark Dare is commended for his litigation expertise. He recently obtained a dismissal in a sexual harassment case against a prominent law school and its law school dean.
THE FIRM This team is dedicated to providing advice in all areas of workplace law including discrimination, employee benefits, wage and hour and workplace privacy. It also excels in employment litigation. Clients value the firm's national reach.
Sources say: "The lawyers are attentive to our needs and are quick to respond."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Nagle is an experienced employment litigator whose work is "absolutely first-class." He defends clients against a broad range of matters including employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and defamation. Paul DeCamp is commended for his expertise in wage and hour law. As a former administrator of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division, clients benefit from his "unique practical insight." One source adds: "It would be hard to find someone in the field with more knowledge than him in this specialist area."
THE FIRM This firm handles all aspects of employment law counseling and litigation as well as maintaining a strong reputation for traditional labor law advice. The team is particularly praised for the importance it places on understanding its clients' businesses. Recent highlights include successfully defending Hampton Roads Transit in a multiplaintiff lawsuit alleging age and race discrimination.
Sources say: "A firm we would turn to for the tricky and significant issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS James Meath is commended for his expertise on traditional labor law matters. Clients say they have "the highest regard for his ability and judgment." David Burton chairs the practice and is commended for his expertise in labor law and litigation. Sources say he is "prompt, available and practical, as well as extremely personable." Catherine Marriott is chair of the employee benefits practice and is praised for her breadth of experience in this area. She advises clients on stock-based compensation, executive and incentive compensation arrangements and welfare plans, among other matters. Similarly, Lynn Jacob is widely praised for her employment litigation and arbitration practice.
THE FIRM This team is best known for its strength in employment litigation. It is experienced in a range of matters from litigating trade secret disputes to defending discrimination claims. Clients include American Commercial Lines, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Ford.
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Flanagan heads the department and is an excellent trial lawyer. He continues to provide counseling and litigation support to CapitalSource.
THE FIRM This Norfolk-based practice handles a broad spectrum of employment and labor law matters. It is highly regarded by peers and clients, particularly for its value-for-money advice.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Bredehoft is "a brilliant lawyer" who is particularly praised for his skill in litigation. His experience includes discrimination and harassment matters, executive contracts and trade secrets. Burt Whitt chairs the labor and employment practice and advises on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship.
THE FIRM This team is best known for its expertise in traditional labor law matters, including collective bargaining, arbitration proceedings, and unfair labor practice work. It also handles employment benefits and ERISA work and employment litigation.
Sources say: "The team is responsive and professional. It is my go-to firm in Virginia."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clinton Morse is a highly respected and experienced labor lawyer who clients turn to when they have "particularly complicated issues." Sources also value his practical approach and business acumen. Charles Meyer focuses on employment litigation and counseling. Sources say he is "an excellent communicator and gives practical, concise advice."
THE FIRM This national labor and employment boutique represents employers across the full spectrum of labor, employment and benefits issues. It is experienced at handling a range of employment litigation including disability discrimination, unfair competition and trade secrets, and ERISA litigation.
Sources say: "An excellent boutique firm with highly capable lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Flaherty is a highly respected attorney who has a diverse labor and employment law practice. His expertise includes unfair trade practices, employment litigation and class actions. Elizabeth Lalik receives particular praise for her expertise on discrimination and harassment claims. She recently represented Sage Payment Solutions on an alleged breach of executive employment contract.
THE FIRM This compact practice is highly regarded in the state, receiving particular commendation for its high-quality, value-for-money advice. The team represents employers from a variety of industries in both litigation and counseling.
Sources say: "A strong, cost-effective regional firm with intelligent, business-minded partners."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Lorenger moves up the rankings after receiving a multitude of praise for his diverse employment practice. In addition to his superb technical capability, interviewees value his client-focused approach: "He is extremely responsive, accessible and completely understands the significance of the lawyer-client relationship." Susanne Harris Carnell is an experienced attorney who is "intelligent, efficient and highly responsive," say sources.
THE FIRM This group advises clients from a variety of industries on the full spectrum of labor and employment issues. The practice has a dedicated employee benefits and compensation group, providing advice on plan development, privacy issues and executive compensation. Clients value the firm's national presence.
Sources say: "A wonderful firm of fine lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Constine's practice includes litigation and counseling. Sources say he is "hard-working, dedicated and results-driven." Wallace Starke is highly experienced in executive compensation and benefits matters, while Eugene Webb is best known for his experience in labor and employment disputes.
THE FIRM This team advises publicly traded companies, private companies and both unionized and nonunionized employers on a diverse range of workplace issues. Recently, this has included the defense of EEOC claims, class actions and trade secrets litigation. Market sources commend the lawyers for their effective communication and negotiation skills.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Smith is "an excellent traditional labor lawyer." He is highly experienced in collective bargaining negotiations and counsels large corporations facing sensitive labor and union issues. Gregory Ossi counsels employers on a range of matters, including unfair labor practice charges, union organizing and issues arising from M&A and bankruptcy.
THE FIRM This practice handles an extensive range of labor and employment matters including wage and hour, discrimination, ERISA, employee defection and noncompete issues. It has recently been advising State Farm on issues involving ADA, ADEA and the defense of a Civil Rights Act action.
Sources say: "A responsive and effective team that consistently achieves the results we desire."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The head of the group, Thomas Sawyer is praised for his practical and client-centered approach. His practice includes both employment counseling and high-stakes litigation. "He is very good at anticipating the outcome of a case and giving advice accordingly," says one client.
of Cooley LLP is "a very clever litigator
" who handles a broad spectrum of employment issues. Particular areas of expertise include contract and civil rights, jury trials and class actions. Daniel Westman
of Morrison & Foerster LLP focuses on trade secrets, noncompetition disputes, whistle-blowing cases and discrimination claims. Sources say he is "a practical and bright attorney who understands the needs of his clients.
" James Coleman
of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP is a wage and hour expert and is highly commended for his breadth of knowledge in this area. Clients say he is "extremely responsive, practical and can explain complex issues in a direct and straightforward manner
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