Most Highly Regarded Lawyers: Management Labour & Employment 2012

In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Roy Heenan OC Heenan Blaikie LLP, Montreal
Gerlind Wisskirchen CMS Hasche Sigle, Cologne
Ignacio Funes De Rioja Funes de Rioja & Asociados, Buenos Aires
Chris Engels Claeys & Engels, Brussels
Nancy Abell Paul Hastings LLP, Los Angeles, DC
Clare Murray CM Murray LLP, London
Iñigo Sagardoy Sagardoy Abogados, Madrid
Oscar De la Vega Gomez Littler de La Vega y Conde SC, Mexico City
Mariann Norrbom Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen
Gary Siniscalco Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco

With an impressive total of 26 lawyers selected for inclusion in this edition, Littler Mendelson PC is the firm with the largest number of lawyers featured for the second year running.

The San Francisco office is the best represented and fields six lawyers. Garry Mathiason is chairman of the board at the firm and focuses his practice on defending employers in wage and hour and discrimination class actions. Wesley Fastiff is chair emeritus of the board and receives “high praise” for his extensive knowledge in the field of labour and employment. Margaret Edwards is a “talented litigator” and has appeared before state and federal courts in a wide range of cases including discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge claims. The “impressive” John Kloosterman defends employers in international employment issues.

In New York, Johan Lubbe is “greatly admired” for his expertise in data privacy and the workplace and regularly advises foreign companies engaging in business activities in the US. Philip Berkowitz is US co-chair of the international employment law practice group and specialises in advising multinational companies on their US and overseas employment and executive compensation practices. Bruce Millman has a “long-standing reputation” in the field with his practice spanning more than 35 years.

In Chicago, Barry Hartstein is best known for his work dealing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), while Grady Murdock represents employers in individual and class actions and is “top notch”. Completing the trio, Robert Long is the founder and co-chair of the firm’s business restructuring practice group and counsels clients extensively in this area.

In Birmingham, Charles Powell is a “leading practitioner” with a wealth of expertise in discrimination and harassment, non-competition and wage and hour litigation suits. In Washington DC, Peter Susser is chair of the international employment and labour law practice group and is “well versed” in aiding employers with their global human resources policies.

Terrence Murphy is based in Pittsburgh and focuses on employment discrimination class actions, collective bargaining and EEOC litigation. In Dallas, Scott McDonald is “highly regarded” for his practice encompassing wrongful termination litigation and unfair competition disputes and trade secret protection. In Los Angeles, Robert Millman is considered a “superb” litigator and also represents clients in arbitration and mediation.

In addition to its US offices, the firm has recently opened offices in Mexico and three lawyers from these offices feature prominently. Managing shareholder Oscar De la Vega Gomez specialises in the field of labour consulting and social security law and is “internationally renowned” for his “depth of expertise”.

Seyfarth Shaw fields 14 lawyers from seven of its offices across the US and England. The Chicago office is represented by six lawyers. Gerald Maatman Jr is a “distinguished” practitioner best known for his representation of employers in defending class actions. Camille Olson is “highly responsive” and a “trusted adviser” according to her clients, as chair of the complex discrimination litigation practice group she has “vast” trial experience. Bradford Livingston is chair of the firm’s national labour relations practice and “greatly respected”.

In Los Angeles, David Kadue specialises in defending employers in harassment, wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims and is considered “excellent” by his peers. Alongside him, Jeffrey Berman has a “wealth of expertise” in labour and employment matters and has represented employers in nearly all of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) regional offices in the western United States. In San Francisco, Gilmore Diekmann Jr has a “very active” practice in litigating and mediating complex labour and employment disputes.

Richard Alfred is located in the firm’s Boston office and chair’s the firm national wage and hour litigation practice group in addition to the office’s labour and employment group. Alfred is a “well-known name” in the field. In New York, Marshall Babson specialises in labour relations while head of the London office Peter Talibart focuses on advising major multinationals and financial institutions in their cross-border employment issues.

Fourteen lawyers are selected for inclusion from Proskauer Rose LLP, eight of whom reside in the New York office. Bettina Plevan is co-head of both the international labour and employment group and the class/collective action group and “highly praised” for her counselling and contentious work. Paul Salvatore is co-chair of the global labour and employment law department and handles major collective bargaining agreements as well as actively participating in arbitrations and litigations arising from these relationships. Lloyd Chinn is a “leading litigator” and handles a wide variety of cases ranging from discrimination to non-competition and trade secret matters. Kathleen McKenna is “tremendous” and has experience handling cases such as discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge and wage and hour. Howard Ganz is a “very fine” lawyer whose clients include the National Broadcasting Company, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Ganz is co-head of the sports law group.

In New Orleans, Howard Shapiro specialises in employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA litigation and is considered a “terrific” practitioner. Lawrence Lorber is located in Washington, DC, and focuses on advising employers in respect of employee discipline, M&A, equal opportunity issues and wage-and-hour issues. In Paris, Yasmine Tarasewicz is co-head of the international labour and employment group and has a “superb” litigation practice focusing on collective issues.

Twelve lawyers feature from the firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. In Philadelphia, four lawyers are selected for inclusion among them is the firm’s chair of the labour and employment practice Mark Dichter. Dichter has extensive experience in the field and has represented clients in many high-profile cases including complex discrimination, sexual harassment and whistleblower cases. Steven Wall is managing partner of practice and his “top-notch” practice focuses on traditional labour matters.

The DC office fields three lawyers including Grace Speights, who is managing partner of the office, chair of the complex employment litigation practice and co-chair of the diversity committee and receives mention for her “excellent” handling of employment discrimination class action cases. Alongside her, Harry Rissetto is described as “client-focused” and specialises in labour law.

In San Francisco, Rebecca Eisen is chair of the west coast wage-and-hour practice and is “greatly respected” for her defence of employers in these related class action cases. Representing the Paris office is “business-oriented” François Vergne, who practises French, EU and international employment and labour law.

Paul Hastings LLP is represented by 11 superb practitioners. Nancy Abell is one of the most highly nominated lawyers in our research and resides in the Los Angeles office. Abell is the global chair of the firm’s employment law department and a “renowned” litigator having represented clients in numerous sectors including technology, manufacturing, entertainment and finance. Alongside her, Paul Grossman is an “outstanding” lawyer and represents major private employers in the full gamut of employment law.

In San Francisco, Paul Cane Jr is a “trusted adviser” and focuses on major motions and appeals, while Kirby Wilcox is “well versed” in defending equal employment opportunity claims. In Washington, DC, Barbara Brown represents employers in discrimination claims and wage-and-hour class actions and in addition carries out investigations of allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation suits.

Zachary Fasman in based in New York and is the national co-chair of the firm’s employment discrimination practice. Fasman regularly represents clients in litigation and maintains a “highly praised” labour law practice. In Atlanta, Geoff Weirich is best known for his handling of compensation discrimination matters and is “brilliant” according to our research.

In Paris, Deborah Sankowicz chairs the Paris employment law practice and is considered a “very able practitioner”.

Ten lawyers are selected for inclusion from Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, three of whom are based in Morristown, New Jersey. David Copus has a “long-standing reputation” in the sector and over 40 years’ experience defending employers in litigation. The “highly regarded” Richard Mariani specialises in employment discrimination, disability accommodation and wrongful discharge matters, while Patrick Stanton is “greatly valued by clients”.

In New Orleans, Steven Hymowitz features prominently and is a “superb technician” and Mark Mallery regularly handles complex disputes such as the Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims before the office of Administrative Law Judges.

Thomas Barnard resides in the Cleveland office and is considered “one of the elite” while Daniel Turner in Atlanta is a “top-tier” litigator.

Baker & McKenzie fields a team of 10 lawyers to this edition from nine of its offices across Europe, Asia and the USA. The London office has two representatives, Christine O’Brien and John Evason. O’Brien heads the employment group in London and practices both contentious and non-contentious employment law. She is praised for her “first-rate” counsel to clients in relation to the enforcement of covenants and garden leave clauses. Evason receives “international acclaim” for his work in respect of senior executive dismissals and large scale collective redundancies.

In Chicago, Robert Mignin represents clients in both single plaintiff and class action cases and clients regard him as “very reliable”. In Frankfurt, Günther Heckelmann specialises in complex global reorganisations and is “vastly experienced” in counselling clients on issues arising from multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions.

In Hong Kong, Jennifer Van Dale is head of the practice and has “substantial” expertise in compensation and benefits, discrimination and data privacy law. Carlos Dodds is based in the firm’s Buenos Aires office and is “exceptionally sharp”.

Canadian employment and labour specialist Heenan Blaikie LLP has a total of 10 lawyers selected for inclusion. In Montreal, founding partner Roy Heenan OC emerges as “one of the leading lights” in the field and receives praise from peers around the globe. Danny Kaufer is also “greatly revered” for his expertise in litigation and arbitration. Robert Bonhomme is co-managing partner and “well known” for his expertise in compensation and benefits matters.

In Toronto, Brian Burkett is focused solely on labour relations and handles collective bargaining matters, labour board proceedings and complaints on behalf of employers. Jeffrey Goodman has a “incredibly active” litigation practice and represents clients in a wide range of employment and labour related matters.

In Vancouver, Andrea Zwack is a “go-to” lawyer for a wide range of matters including collective agreements, privacy, harassment and human rights issues.

Further recognition goes to the following individuals who stood out in our research for their outstanding capabilities. At CMS Hasche Sigle, Gerlind Wisskirchen enjoys a “high-profile” for her work in the field and is “simply superb” according to clients. In Copenhagen, Mariann Norrbom of Norrbom Vinding is described as a “great strategist” and her practice pays particular attention to aiding financial institutions with the sector specific regulation which applies to their employees.

In Brussels, Chris Engels of Claeys & Engels is a dismissal law “expert” and his considerable skill and know-how are in “high demand”. London-based Claire Murray is the founder of CM Murray and she advises multinational companies in relation to their employment matters. In addition Murray advises on partnership law for US and UK law firms and is a “very good operator”. Iñigo Sagardoy of Sagardoy Abogados in Madrid is recognised internationally for his “depth of knowledge” in the field.

In San Francisco, Gary Siniscalco at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is a “standout” practitioner with a “strong reputation” for his litigious work.

Ignacio Funes de Rioja at Funes de Rioja & Asociados in Buenos Aires is “highly nominated” throughout our research and is a “leading talent” in the employment and labour sector.

Back to top

Follow us on LinkedIn

News & Features

Community News



Pro Bono

Corporate Counsel

Women in Law

Future Leaders

Research Reports

Practice Areas


The Who's Who Legal 100


Special Reports



About Us

Research Schedule

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

Copyright © 2018 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. |

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910 |

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK