May 31, 2022Published Article

Michael Best Boosts Labor And Employment Team In NC

Law360 Pulse

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP has brought aboard a labor and employment attorney as senior counsel in its Charlotte, North Carolina, office.

Gwendolyn W. Lewis joins Michael Best from litigation boutique Lincoln Derr PLLC, with the firm touting her addition as a boost to its capabilities in Charlotte in an announcement Thursday. The Charlotte office has four attorneys, including Lewis.

"We are thrilled to welcome and work alongside Gwen," Andy Jones, North Carolina managing partner, said in a statement. "Her strong track record of success will help us to better serve our clients across North Carolina, as the momentum we are experiencing in Charlotte continues to pick up."

Brian Paul, chair of the labor and employment relations practice group, said in the same statement, "Gwen's experience as an employment litigator, which she uses to provide employers with pragmatic counseling on employment-related challenges, makes her … an incredible asset to the firm. … Gwen's extensive experience representing clients in employment matters will be hugely beneficial to our client base and will help expand our substantial national footprint in the L&E space."

Lewis' practice focuses on representing companies, health care professionals and educational institutions in labor and employment-related litigation at the trial level. She has also handled cases for clients before state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the firm.

She is also a board member of the nonprofit Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.

She told Law360 Pulse that she was excited to move to Michael Best as a way to diversify her practice and to be able to refer her clients to other attorneys in the firm for their nonlitigation needs. She also appreciated the various levels of expertise on the team and the enthusiasm that attorneys at the firm seemed to have for their work.

"The people really sold this place for me," she said. "Everyone was tremendous. … [There were] tenures that really speak for themselves in terms of satisfaction."

She added that she also was pleased by the firm's apparent commitment to diversity, as evidenced by women and people of color in leadership positions, including serving on the management committee.

Lewis is making the move at a time when many of her clients, she said, are contending with what the rise of remote working means for their organizations, which she said she expects will be a long-term, ongoing project.

Lewis' first official day with the firm was May 25. She is a graduate of Elon University School of Law.

Michael Best is a Wisconsin-based firm that has 19 offices in six states and Washington, D.C., including eight offices in North Carolina. The firm has about 270 attorneys, according to the most recent Law360 400.

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