Labor & Employment: District of Columbia
THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher maintains an exceptional reputation for its labor and employment work in DC. The firm routinely provides advice to corporate clients on employment concerns ranging from equal opportunities, discrimination and trade secrets to whistle-blower and class action litigation. Examples of the latter include recent work for Weight Watchers and Sunrise Senior Living. The firm also represented Walmart in the high-profile Dukes v Walmart case, and has recently been acting for Boeing in defense of a case brought by the NLRB.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "absolutely first-rate" William Kilberg is a former DOL attorney. Kilberg is lauded for his work on complex labor relations matters, exemplified by his recent high-profile work for Boeing on novel legal issues surrounding the case brought against it by the NLRB.
Eugene Scalia is the labor and employment practice chair. He handles a broad array of matters, including discrimination and sexual harassment, and ERISA and NLRB concerns. Scalia is a frequent publisher, and regularly contributes to debates on emerging law. Clients describe him as "an outstanding thinker - he's able to cut through what's going on."
Baruch Fellner is noted for his expertise on occupational health law. He recently represented the US Chamber of Commerce at hearings examining the relationship between health regulations and workplace hazards. Satisfied clients appreciate his "expertise on the subject matter and negotiation skills."
THE FIRM This impressive practice has developed a strong reputation for its representation of airlines and railroads under the Railway Labor Act. The firm also advises on union negotiations, trade secrets matters, and class and collective actions. Jones Day attorneys recently acted on behalf of the National Railway Labor Conference during a series of multiemployer collective bargaining negotiations. Other work highlights include advising Continental Airlines and United Airlines on employment considerations relating to their merger.
Sources say: "They are responsive, cost-conscious and knowledgeable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Dreiband is seen as being particularly adept at handling discrimination work and is a former general counsel to the EEOC. He is currently representing Bloomberg in an ongoing class action, and has also defended US Steel in a similar action brought by the EEOC.
Alison Marshall recently successfully defended R.J. Reynolds in a high-profile nationwide collective action. Her practice extends to representing employers faced with whistle-blower litigation, and she is currently acting for GE in such a case.
Glen Nager is lauded for his appellate work, which continues to focus upon labor and employment law. He also represents employers in class action cases, and is involved in the firm's defense of GE.
THE FIRM Paul Hastings is widely regarded as a preeminent firm for labor and employment law. The firm has a distinguished record of success in class action and discrimination litigation, and maintains equally strong appellate and labor law practices. Over the past year Paul Hastings lawyers have represented a number of pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, and the firm is also acting for American Airlines' parent company AMR in labor and employment matters arising from its recent bankruptcy.
Sources say: "Paul Hastings is great - they're so responsive and they provide great customer service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Barbara Brown is widely considered to be "the ultimate in the employment world." She continues to advise clients on various aspects of employment law, and recently led the defense of Dollar Tree Stores in a class action alleging gender discrimination relating to pay.
Ken Willner is lauded by clients and peers alike: "He is wonderful, incredibly knowledgeable, very strategic - measured, but firm in his dealings with adversaries. His responsiveness is unbelievable." Willner maintains a busy class action practice and recently won an appellate victory for the Federal Aviation Administration in an age discrimination case.
Neal Mollen is seen as "extremely helpful and knowledgeable" by clients. The past year has seen him represent the US Chamber of Commerce in a novel case emerging from the National Football League's labor disputes. Mollen is also representing the Chamber of Commerce in a lawsuit against the National Mediation Board.
THE FIRM Morgan, Lewis & Bockius enjoys an enviable reputation in DC and has a close relationship with Capitol Hill. The firm is seen as a good choice for collective bargaining, discrimination and class action cases, among others. It acts for a broad range of corporate clients, including Diageo, Wells Fargo and US Postal Service.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Charles Cohen receives acclaim from those who have worked with him: "He's an expert on NLRB matters and also has a very realistic assessment of practicalities" and "he is outstanding on both oral and written products. He understands policy ramifications beyond most lawyers." Cohen continues to focus on labor disputes.
Managing partner Grace Speights is very well regarded by both clients and peers. She specializes in defending and advising employers on both single plaintiff and collective discrimination cases. Speights has extensive experience of litigation, and remains an instrumental figure within bar associations.
Robert Smith has a wealth of experience in defending class and collective actions pertaining to ERISA law. He is currently advising a number of federal contractors on their response to proposed regulatory changes by the OFCCP.
THE FIRM This firm is particularly well respected for its advice to clients in labor negotiations. Recent work includes acting for a range of hotel and retail companies on disputes arising from the formation of a break away union from UNITE/HERE, as well as representing a nationwide company in its successful response to a Teamsters strike. The group has also been acting on behalf of the Washington Service Contractors Association during multistate union negotiations.
Sources say: "We've been using them for more and more work and we're just delighted; they are gems."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Chatilovicz continues to represent long-standing client The Hotel Association of Washington in complex collective bargaining negotiations. He is described as "a very sharp guy who represents clients well at a very high level."
THE FIRM Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld routinely handles the whole range of labor and employment matters. The practice is positioned within a full-service firm, enabling the attorneys to provide a streamlined legal service to corporate clients. The firm advises on class actions, equal opportunity and discrimination litigation, as well as providing guidance on a range of traditional labor matters. Recent highlights for the team include successfully representing Starbucks in a major statewide class action suit involving tipping provisions in New York State Labor Law.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Former EEOC general counsel Donald Livingston is regularly sought out by clients and other lawyers for advice on that organization's procedures. He recently handled several EEOC matters for leading marketing client Freeman.
Joel Cohn is equally well regarded for his efforts on wage and hour and discrimination class actions. He is experienced in handling FLSA and Title VII collective actions.
Daniel Nash has considerable experience of representing clients in both federal and state courts. He also regularly defends large employers before various regulatory bodies and agencies. Nash was involved on the aforementioned Starbucks case.
THE FIRM Arent Fox handles an assortment of labor and employment matters for regional and national clients. The past year has seen it advise a number of government contractors on affirmative action compliance, as well as representing clients on noncompetition agreements, collective bargaining and arbitrations. A large proportion of the work conducted by the firm's nine labor and employment attorneys involves representing companies faced with wage and hour class actions.
Sources say: "Their strategic and practical advice means that we are very happy with their work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Stevens is currently representing a large technology company in a breach of contract and defamation case. His clients appreciate his ability to "understand the particular needs of the company and discuss strategy."
THE FIRM The DC branch of this sizable labor and employment boutique is well equipped to deal with discrimination and wage and hour class actions. The firm also offers advice on labor matters, corporate compliance and workplace restructuring. It continues to provide employers with a number of educational training initiatives.
Sources say: "It's a formidable practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tammy McCutchen is widely recommended as a go-to lawyer for expert advice on wage and hour law. She draws on extensive previous experience as administrator of the DOL's wage and hour division; she is similarly well positioned to advise on audits.
THE FIRM This firm is well placed to guide companies and individuals through a host of labor and employment matters. It represents clients faced with discrimination charges and ERISA litigation, and has also acted for large companies undergoing government audits and dealing with collective bargaining. Key clients include Lockheed Martin, Glencore and Peabody Electric.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Melissa Bailey is the managing partner of the firm's Washington, DC office.
of Fortney & Scott, LLC previously worked as chief legal officer to the DOL. His work on wage and hour law is seen as a key strength.
of Dickstein Shapiro LLP is described by clients as "the most rock solid, straight-shooting legal adviser we've ever had."
She is currently representing CitiPostal in a breach of contract dispute.
of Hogan Lovells US LLP enjoys a varied practice. He acts on behalf of the George Washington University on a range of labor and employment matters.
of Proskauer Rose LLP is highly commended for his handling of labor and employment matters. He guides employers through audits, wage and hour disputes and compliance programs. Sources say: "He has great knowledge and makes practical, realistic assessments of what is possible.
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