For more than a century, Ulmer & Berne LLP has provided valued, pragmatic counsel of the highest quality to employers dealing with complex employment and labor matters. The firm takes pride in understanding its clients’ businesses from the ground up, and neatly tailoring effective legal solutions to the challenging requirements of sophisticated employers. Ulmer provides cutting-edge legal services to employers in a wide variety of industries from its locations in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Columbus, New York, Washington D.C., and Boca Raton. Ulmer combines its vast understanding of employers’ everyday realities and needs with one of the most comprehensive employment and labor practices available to provide the finest legal services to its clients.
Employment & Labor Overview:
Ulmer recognizes that human capital is one of the most valuable resources and biggest expenses for businesses and organizations. With more than 20 attorneys representing public and private employers across the United States, Ulmer provides clients with the full spectrum of employment and labor representation, ranging from strategic counseling to the defense of complex litigation matters. While Ulmer attorneys know a proactive approach to prevent disputes is best, Ulmer is prepared to try and defend employment and labor claims at all administrative and judicial levels.
Ulmer’s attorneys have substantial experience providing guidance in and solutions to such matters as: employee discipline and termination; unlawful discrimination; unfair labor practice allegations; extensive internal investigations; affirmative action plan development and implementation; wage and hour issues; non-competes, non-disclosures, and trade secret matters; employment contracts; FLSA, OSHA, and ERISA compliance and defense; collective bargaining negotiations; immigration challenges; and workers’ compensation claims.
Ulmer has been a beacon to employers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic by offering timely guidance and clear explanation of complex current events as they develop. This includes helping employers navigate the ever-changing laws and federal, state, and local orders related to COVID-19, such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the federal unemployment compensation program providing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and helping them adapt to and overcome the challenges COVID-19 presents to their businesses.
Employers that are unaware of or unfamiliar with emerging employment and labor requirements need up-to-date knowledge and the skills Ulmer attorneys can provide. Ulmer is proud to have the following partners named as Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment “Stars”:
William D. Edwards: Bill serves as Chair of Ulmer’s Employment & Labor Practice Group, and represents employers in all aspects of the employment relationship. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Bill has broad experience representing employers in matters ranging from EEOC collective action litigation to single-plaintiff wrongful termination claims. He also assists employers in taking proactive steps to stay out of the courtroom through, among other efforts, advice and training on employee-disciplinary issues.
Jeffrey S. Dunlap: Jeff serves as Vice Chair of Ulmer’s Litigation Department and uses his more than 30 years of legal experience representing businesses in a wide range of commercial and employment disputes, including employment discrimination and unfair competition matters. While he has tried many cases before juries, judges, and arbitrators, he also helps clients avoid litigation, counseling them on designing and implementing sound employment policies and procedures.
Stephanie E. Harley: Stephanie’s areas of expertise include the full gamut of employment counseling, conflict resolution, and litigation. Stephanie provides counsel regarding litigation avoidance and guides clients on ways to improve workplace culture and implement diversity and inclusiveness initiatives. She provides critical day-to-day advice and counseling to employers and human resources professionals, and has experience addressing allegations of all types of discrimination and harassment, retaliation, and violations of virtually every employment law and statute.
Kip Schwartz: Kip has almost four decades of first-chair trial experience serving as lead counsel in state and federal courts throughout the United States. His litigation and trial experience includes complex civil litigation matters involving employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. As a AAA-trained mediator specializing in employment law and commercial disputes, Kip’s conflict resolution skills have been on display in numerous mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
In just over four years, Wilkinson Stekloff has established itself as the leading trial litigation boutique in the country. The firm has a national presence, a deep and growing bench of first- and second-chair trial lawyers, and an astounding record of high-profile victories.
Based on its success in just its first year of existence, Benchmark Litigation named Wilkinson Stekloff the “Boutique Firm of the Year,” calling the firm a “litigator’s dream shop.” Benchmark selected Wilkinson Stekloff for that honor again last year. We have also received countless other accolades, including being selected as the National Law Journal’s Products Liability Group of the Year in 2020, receiving two separate Law360 Trials MVP awards, and obtaining top rankings year after year by Vault.
What’s unique about our approach?
First, we don’t litigate cases piecemeal or think only about the tasks immediately in front of us. Instead, as soon as we are retained—and regardless the phase of the case—we work with our clients to develop the compelling affirmative narrative that we know we will need to win over the judge and, if necessary, the jury. Throughout every day of the litigation—in every deposition, every brief, and every argument—we maintain a laser focus on advancing that narrative to persuade our audience, both factually and legally.
Second, we bring to each matter an extraordinary team of attorneys who reflect the diversity of today’s bench and jury pools. Collectively, our partners have tried over 120 cases to verdict. With approximately 40 attorneys firmwide, we are proud to count six former Supreme Court clerks, 29 attorneys who have also clerked for federal judges, five former federal prosecutors, and one former federal public defender.
Third, we fight with overwhelming force. Our innovative fee agreements allow us to marshal all the necessary resources at any particular stage of a litigation, at no additional cost to our clients. This approach also helps to ensure that all members of the team know—and are ready to execute on—our overall strategy.
Our approach to litigation has produced unprecedented success. Industry observers have suggested that the jury trial is a dying art, but we have already tried 15 cases to verdict while also winning favorable results for clients at various other stages of litigation.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is a law firm created by the 2018 merger of two preeminent firms— Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon—each more than a century old. With nearly 1,000 lawyers in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the firm serves clients across a broad range of complex transactional, litigation and regulatory matters.
Hunton Andrews Kurth boasts two internationally renowned energy practices—a tier one oil and gas practice, and a tier one power practice. In addition to its deep and diversified corporate and finance practices with robust capabilities in capital markets, private equity and structured finance, the firm has one of the largest full-service litigation practices in the country, with particular depth in the key litigation markets of Texas, California, Florida and the Mid-Atlantic.
Hunton Andrews Kurth brings together multiple widely recognized industry-leading practices, including privacy and cybersecurity, labor and employment, intellectual property, environmental and P3, public finance and infrastructure. Both legacy firms have received recognition and accolades in the league tables and rankings outlets for their work in these, and other, practice areas.
With over 350 attorneys, Hunton Andrews Kurth has one of the top litigation teams in the country, having litigated and/or arbitrated in each of the 50 states and in many foreign countries. Our diverse team has the collective knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to help businesses identify and manage potential risks, respond to existing or threatened litigation, and pursue resolution in any venue. Clients have distinguished us for having the “manpower and experienced attorneys who can handle the most sophisticated and high-end litigation” (Chambers USA, 2018).
Our lawyers regularly handle litigation matters in the energy, financial services, healthcare, construction, aviation, consumer products and retail industries. We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor our strategy to the needs of the client’s specific situation. Our commercial litigation docket regularly includes class action defense, commercial contract disputes, white collar defense matters, administrative matters and investigations, and appeals in state and federal courts.
Our team of litigators draw upon decades of experience to handle all aspects of disputes with the goal of achieving successful results whether in the boardroom or a courtroom. We collaborate with clients to develop strategies that are comprehensive in scope and aligned with their needs. The firm’s representation does not exist in a vacuum, and we approach each matter within the larger context of client businesses.
We serve as national or worldwide coordinating counsel for many of our clients. We are engaged by corporations and other large entities across a broad range of matters – from providing advice and counsel about business disputes and torts to civil litigation, trial and appeal, when necessary. We are often engaged in “bet-the-company” cases, complex commercial disputes, multidistrict litigation and coordinated state law proceedings, as well as class actions. Our lawyers have the experience to handle cases that involve multiple adversaries in federal and state courts across the nation and abroad.
Ifrah Law’s practice is focused on government investigations, complex litigation, white collar defense, and representation of internet related businesses including companies and individuals in digital media, online entertainment, interactive sports, and gaming. Ifrah professionals also provide representation to clients engaged financial services, payment processing, telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, government contracting, and many other fields. The firm litigates criminal and civil matters throughout the United States, in addition to serving as a trusted business advisor.
Online Gaming & Sports Betting Ifrah Law has represented Online Gaming clients since the inception of the industry, and has been at the center of most of the important prosecutions and lawsuits in the Online Gaming industry; it has been instrumental in the creation of the legislative and regulatory frameworks in many states which currently permit or are considering legalizing online gaming and sports betting. The firm now represents many of the largest iGaming companies and industry associations around the world including online casino operators, sports betting operators, poker and fantasy sports sites, and payment processors on class action lawsuits, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, vendor and supplier issues, government investigations, and criminal matters.
White Collar Defense Clients turn to Ifrah Law because of the attorneys’ ability to successfully manage, navigate, and negotiate high profile federal investigations. The firm’s White Collar Defense team includes a former Chief of the Organized Crime Section at the Department of Justice and a former assistant U.S. Attorney, and a former special assistant U.S. Attorney; their collective experience includes the litigation and resolution of disputes across a broad array of industries on issues ranging from cybersecurity and computer fraud to money laundering and asset forfeiture.
Business Litigation Ifrah Law has successfully represented clients in commercial litigation matters on issues ranging from breach of contract, copyright and trademark, data security and cybersecurity, employment law and licensing, corporate governance disputes, commercial fraud and alter ego. The firm has tried federal cases across key federal agencies as well as numerous U.S. Attorney’s Offices, District Attorney’s Offices, and state regulatory agencies throughout the country.
Federal Agency Litigation Ifrah Law represents clients on cutting edge issues at the intersection of internet business, finance, and technology, defending against claims by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Class Action Defense Ifrah Law defends clients in industries like gaming, payment processing, financial services, and mobile telecommunications when a class of shareholders or consumers alleges that it has been defrauded through regulatory or statutory noncompliance. In the securities area, we represent directors, officers, and corporations in class actions challenging corporate actions based on federal and state law, including claims arising from criminal investigations, regulatory investigations, and corporate transactions. We have also represented domestic and international companies facing claims under The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in addition to tax, privacy, and employment statutes.
Data Privacy & Cyber Security Ifrah Law creates effective and compliant privacy policies, as well as litigates privacy matters dealing with issues of data and information; the firm represents businesses and individuals on information storage and rights of retrieval, including criminal background websites and children’s privacy protections online through Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Payment Processing & Finance Ifrah Law represents businesses and individuals in payment processing relationships, including merchants in disputes with payment processors, ISOs and acquiring banks, and payment processing agreements. The firm has gained a strong track record for trying and winning cases across venues and for successfully concluding matters with private litigants, the Department of Justice, the CFPB, the FTC, the SEC, and the CFTC.
Internet Advertising & Marketing Ifrah Law represents online advertisers, affiliate networks, publishers, advertising agencies, payment processors, and other marketing solution providers in state and federal investigations, enforcement actions, private litigation instituted by self-regulatory agencies, consumer class actions, contract negotiations, and compliance matters regarding all legal facets of internet and mobile marketing, eCommerce, telemarketing, electronic payment processing, and interactive gaming.
Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Ever since the debut of Bitcoin, Ifrah Law has been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency movement, counseling companies on the best ways to utilize the digital revolution of blockchain in their own business models. Representing pioneers in the interactive entertainment and financial services industries, the firm has deep experience shaping programs for companies to enhance their products and their bottom line while staying within the bounds of the still-evolving regulatory landscape.