NEW YORK – July 1, 2008 — Hunton & Williams LLP today announced that eight lawyers will be joining its national labor and employment practice in California and Texas, and that the firm will open a San Francisco office. The group includes well-known partners Laura M. Franze, Fraser McAlpine, Brett Burns and Roland M. Juarez; as well as four associates. Ms. Franze will serve as co-head of Hunton & Williams' national labor and employment practice. All eight attorneys come from the labor and employment practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
"Our national litigation practice has an excellent anchor already in California, and these new labor and employment class action litigators will further strengthen that practice and grow our client base there," said Wally Martinez, managing partner of Hunton & Williams. "We have made several other key hires in Los Angeles in the past two months and opening a new San Francisco office further demonstrates our commitment to California and the Pacific Rim."
"These top-tier lawyers will add to our reputation as a go-to firm for high stakes class action defense needs of the nation’s largest companies," said Gregory B. Robertson, co-head of the firm's labor and employment practice.
"We chose Hunton & Williams because of its strong national labor and litigation practices, and its long-standing focus on client service," said Laura M. Franze. "Each of us was also attracted to the firm's culture that emphasizes teamwork and collegiality."
In Los Angeles office:
Laura M. Franze is a partner who will co-chair Hunton's national labor and employment practice, and will be based in Los Angeles and Dallas. She was also co-chair of Akin Gump's national labor and employment practice and a member of the management committee. Her practice focuses on the representation of management in complex federal and state litigation, including employment and civil rights litigation, and contract negotiation, administration, and strategic counseling for employers in the entertainment, hospitality, retail, service and high technology industries. Ms. Franze's 25 years of trial experience includes a complex and class action docket encompassing employment, consumer, and deceptive trade practices claims. She has been named to numerous national and state best lawyer lists, including The Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Thiel College and her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law.
Roland M. Juarez is a partner whose practice focuses on complex employment litigation and on trade secret and employee mobility issues. He litigates cases in the areas of employment discrimination and harassment, wage and hour class and collective actions, noncompetition and trade secret cases, accessibility litigation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower issues. His recent cases have included multiple class and collective actions in state and federal court, multiple noncompetition cases in California and Texas, and numerous single plaintiff harassment and discrimination cases. He represents clients in the retail, restaurant, grocery, entertainment, oil and gas, manufacturing, technology and investment industries. He received his B.A. with distinction from the University of New Mexico and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
In San Francisco office:
Fraser A. McAlpine is a partner who will be based in San Francisco and will also maintain an office in Houston. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has represented clients in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A significant portion of Mr. McAlpine's practice involves collective action wage and hour claims, class action employment discrimination lawsuits, and unfair business practice litigation under California law. He has recently represented management in several nationwide wage and hour collective actions, and represented management in litigation brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also represents and counsels management in connection with disputes concerning ERISA, executive compensation, employee raiding, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Mr. McAlpine has been named as a leading labor and employment lawyer in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and in a survey of his peers as both a Texas and Northern California "Super Lawyer." He has also been listed for more than 10 years in The Best Lawyers in America.
M. Brett Burns is a partner whose practice focuses on labor and employment, with an emphasis on complex litigation, including wage and hour, public accessibility, and employment discrimination class actions. He has represented clients in numerous class action cases in federal and state courts across the nation, including federal and state agency litigation. Notable recent cases include Rotunno, et al. v. Brinker Restaurant Corp., (CA) (class wage and hour), Matoff, et al. v. Brinker Restaurant Corp. (C.D. CA) (class wage and hour and off-the-clock), Wittie, et al. v. Cinemark USA, Inc. (TX) (class public accessibility and DTPA), Todd, et al. v. AMC Entertainment, et al. (TX) (class ADA Title III), and Cornilles, et al. v. Regal Cinemas, et al. (U.S.D.C. OR) (class ADA Title III). He received his B.S. from Texas A&M University and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Additionally, associate Anna Suh will join the San Francisco office, and associates Justin Smith, Richard Cortez Jr., and Jennifer A. Reith will join the Dallas office.