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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Photo: Ryland West/ALM

What are some of the department’s most satisfying successes of the past year and why? Throughout 2019, our labor and employment team guided clients through important problems and issues that had broad-reaching implications beyond just the single matter or issue in front of them. We helped companies secure important victories in multiple Circuit Courts of Appeal across the country that allowed them to proceed with business strategies that improved the way they operate. Arbitration seemed to be at the forefront of the many challenges our clients faced in 2019. We prevailed in novel arbitration issues in both the courts and in arbitral forums, and had many precedent-setting victories that alter the industry. For example, in Latif v. Morgan Stanley, we successfully convinced the court to enforce the company’s arbitration policy in the face of a New York statute that purported to prohibit arbitration of discrimination and harassment claims. Likewise, in Rivenbark v. JPMorgan, the Fifth Circuit issued a precedent-setting decision, holding that district courts may not send notice of an FLSA collective action to, or require the production of contact information for, employees who signed valid arbitration agreements. And we repeatedly went on to win the cases on the merits once they were brought to hearing. As but two examples of many, we won important victories with far-reaching implications for Fidelity and CBRE at FINRA and the AAA, respectively.

A prospective client in crisis calls and asks why your team should be retained. What is your answer? A crisis often involves more than one practice area. It might start, for example, when a whistleblower alleges wrongdoing, but that is often the tip of the iceberg. At Morgan Lewis, we have the wrap-around legal capabilities to address a crisis in all of its facets. Our 35-lawyer New York labor and employment (L&E) team is integrated into a global L&E team of more than 300 lawyers who are integrated into a global law firm with difference-making expertise and experience in multiple practice areas, industries, and jurisdictions. Recognizing that clients face formidable challenges in sudden or emerging crises triggered by catastrophic events such as the coronavirus pandemic, significant government investigations, alleged compliance or governance failures, or the #MeToo movement, we nimbly and strategically deploy all necessary resources to emergencies. From the first critical hours and days of a crisis through the long-term mitigation of legal, business, governmental, regulatory, and public relations impacts, we are able to bring all the needed resources and disciplines to bear to steer clients through any crisis.

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