Gehrke joined Reed Smith’s San Francisco office on Monday along with Anne Cherry Barnett, who have practiced together since Gehrke joined Polsinelli in 2015.
Before her move to Polsinelli, Gehrke was a counsel at Seyfarth Shaw. In addition to advising management on labor disputes and regulations, she defends against wage-and-hour class actions and other employment claims, such as wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
Barnett joined Kansas City, Missouri-based Polsinelli in 2014 from McKenna Long & Aldridge. She handles a range of employment matters with an emphasis on California state and federal employment laws and regulations.
“We really liked Reed Smith’s national platform, and their really strong reputation for sophisticated legal work and exceptional client service,” said Gehrke of their reasons for joining the Pittsburgh-founded global firm.
The two were also “intrigued by the firm’s strong presence in San Francisco,” Barnett said.
Reed Smith’s San Francisco office, which grew out of the Am Law 100 firm’s merger with California’s Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May in October 2002, now has close to 100 lawyers. The firm, which saw its gross revenue and partner profits rise in 2017, boasts four offices and about 200 lawyers in California altogether.
“Michele and Anne bring us an outstanding record of success representing clients in U.S. and California labor and employment law matters,” Mark Temple, global leader of Reed Smith’s labor and employment practice, said in a statement. “Working with clients of all sizes across a range of sectors, they have proven track records in high-value litigation, and providing advice and counsel that helps clients stay abreast of constantly changing labor and employment laws to avoid costly disputes.”
Reed Smith also recently added former Faegre Baker Daniels partner Thomas “Tom” Posey in mid-October to build out its Chicago labor and employment practice. Earlier in the year, the Chicago office brought on former Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton employment attorney Jill Vorobiev as a partner, along with Courtney Ofosou as a senior associate.