This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – MANAGEMENT LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
2013 was a year of further expansion for labour and employment firm Littler with two new practice areas created – a dedicated robotics group was announced in October and a health-care reform consulting group in May. New partners were also in abundance with 23 new hires announced throguhout the year across the firm’s US offices.
|Labour & Employment||21|
The new health-care reform consulting group addresses compliance with the obligations created by the Affordable Care Act and the robotics practice group creates a new resource for employers who deploy artificial intelligence systems in the workplace, as well as offering representation to robotics industry employers. Remaining at the forefront of innovation and development, the firm maintains its stellar reputation in the management-side labour and employment field and wins our law firm of the year award for the third year running.
|Total Listings in WWL||21||Established||1942|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||1008|
|Number of partners||482||Number of offices||63|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Littler provides a full range of employment services including compliance, compensation, employment taxes and workplace safety. It also provides additional services in the way of training in compliance, ethics and leadership and employment practices audits, ensuring that clients need look no further to meet all their employment demands. The team has recently been involved in major litigation including the significant case Giordano et al v Safeway Inc regarding the exempt status of managers and assistant managers. Another highlight stems from the collective action brought against ManorCare in a case that involved potentially 44,000 class members. A team of Littler shareholders worked on the case for three years, culminating in a class decertification.
In Chicago, Barry Hartstein has a “well-deserved” reputation representing employers in a broad range of matters. He has particular expertise dealing with the EEOC on a local and national level and clients include employers in the retail, hospitality and fitness industries. Peter Susser is a “top choice” practitioner with a “wealth of experience” in the field. He works with global employers to design and implement human resources policies from the DC office and currently services as global practice leader and chair of the international employment law and labour law practice group.
US practice co-chair of the international employment law practice group Philip Berkowitz is a “highly responsive” lawyer with “great expertise” on contractual matters. Based in New York, he represents employers in individual and class action lawsuits and arbitrations and has a diverse selection of clients in the financial services, oil and gas and pharmaceutical industries. Fellow co-chair Johan Lubbe is a “leading light” in the field and guides US multinational employers on the compliance requirements of multi-jurisdiction employment matters. Terri Solomon’s practice encompasses counselling employers on ways to avoid litigation. She is praised for her “dedication and commitment” to providing “pragmatic” advice for clients.
In San Francisco, Garry Mathiason co-chairs the new robotics practice group and provides advice and representation to employers using this technology in the workplace. He is an “authority” in the area of arbitration agreements and is noted for his “first class” negotiation skills. John Kloosterman is an “expert” on international labour standards and has experience in negotiating and drafting standards as well as advising on compliance issues.
Charles Powell is an “outstanding” practitioner and represents employers in and around Alabama in cases involving employment discrimination and harassment, non-competition and wage and hour litigation suits. In Kansas, Denise Drake is well respected for her practice specialising in the representation of management in collective, multi-plaintiff and multi-defendant employment actions.
Littler’s Mexico City office is also well represented. Oscar De la Vega Gomez is “one of the best” in the country. He provides consulting and litigation services to major multinational companies. Enrique García Conde’s practice focuses on labour litigation and consulting, social security and immigration. He is recommended for his “solutions-oriented approach”.
The firm’s proudest pro bono moment of the year involved participation in the amicus brief in United States v Windsor advising the US Supreme Court on the impact of the Defence of Marriage Act on employers. The firm has also won a number of awards acknowledging their commitment to providing hours of service to various charitable and legal organisations. Examples include the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Partners for Women and Justice.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Diversity is viewed as a core cultural value. Not only does the firm aim to be diverse itself, but it also offers clients employment law training and corporate diversity and inclusion programmes to provide businesses with “the tools they need to recognise and utilise diversity and inclusion to the fullest extent”. In particular, the in-person and online NAVEX diversity training programme offers workshops for managers and employees to address the issues required for successful hiring and retaining of a diversified workforce.
In order to maintain is position as the leading labour and employment practice, Litter is committed to evaluating opportunities for geographic expansion and recruiting exceptional talent. The firm also aims to further develop innovative products to deliver superior and cost-effective legal services to clients.
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