Haynes and Boone Bolsters Labor and Employment Practice, Well Positioned Under New Administration

(LAWFUEL) – Over the past 24 months, Haynes and Boone, LLP has increased headcount and strategically aligned attorney resources in its Labor and Employment Practice Group that will position the firm to handle the significant shifts in labor and employment law already making headlines under the new presidential administration.

“The Obama administration’s recent and anticipated changes will significantly impact how employers operate,” said Arthur Carter, a partner in Haynes and Boone’s labor and employment group. “Our case load continues to increase, so it was imperative we have the right mix of lawyers necessary to guide clients through impending labor challenges.

“We took a steady approach to our growth so that we would be well positioned to serve clients right out of the gate under any administration,” Carter said.

The labor and employment group bolstered capabilities through a key lateral hire for the Dallas office. Aaron Epstein, a former field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, has critical experience with traditional labor law, including union organization campaigns, unit determinations and unfair labor practice proceedings.

Also as part of a larger, ongoing strategic growth initiative that began two years ago to build up Haynes and Boone’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, the firm has added associates across all offices including Chris Barnes and Paige Woodard in Houston; Lawrence Morales and Brenna Nava in San Antonio; and, Barbara-Ellen Gaffney, John Farrell, Janet Ayyad and Haley DeVault in Dallas. The firm plans to add two more associates in Houston and one more in Dallas this year.

“We must try to anticipate our clients’ needs before they hit critical mass,” said Melissa Goodman, chair of the firm’s labor and employment practice. “By being forward-looking, we were able to grow the practice group in a very thoughtful and strategic way. We’re confident our clients will reap the benefits of our combined experience.”

Just weeks into his first 100 days in office, President Obama is proving loyal to his campaign promise signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and reviewing several other legislative changes related to unions, discrimination, benefits, immigration and health care.

“The labor and employment landscape has changed significantly in the past three months,” said Houston partner Dean Schaner. “We’ve seen four executive orders by President Obama addressing labor requirements that government contractors must comply with, provisions in the Stimulus Bill providing increased funding for enforcement of labor and employment laws, and new provisions on whistleblower protections for employees of companies receiving government funds. And, of course, the Employee Free Choice Act will likely pass in some form within the next few months, further impacting employers and requiring advice and counsel from knowledgeable labor and employment attorneys.”

With 25 full-time lawyers, many who are Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been recognized by the Texas Law Journal and Chambers USA, Haynes and Boone’s Labor and Employment Practice Group is well equipped to offer multi-disciplinary services to its clients. The attorneys, spread across 10 of the firm’s 12 offices, are fielding calls from a wide array of clients affected by the recent and potential changes in legislation.

“In more than 30 years practicing labor and employment law, I have rarely seen such swift and comprehensive changes,” said Carter. “Employers are going to face some serious challenges, but they are not unmanageable. We are well positioned to serve our clients.”

Haynes and Boone’s Labor and Employment Practice Group handles all aspects of labor and employment matters that face domestic and international businesses, including counseling management on workplace and employment matters, developing strategies regarding business reorganizations and reductions in workforce, addressing labor union issues, and handling employment litigation.

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