Traditional Labor Relations

The attorneys in Ogletree Deakins’ Traditional Labor Practice Group have vast experience in complex and sophisticated traditional labor law matters. This includes experience advising and representing employers of all sizes and across virtually all industries in connection with union representation campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, strike preparations, labor arbitrations, and National Labor Relations Board proceedings.


Ogletree Deakins has extensive experience representing management in union representation campaigns. Since its inception in 1977, the firm has represented clients confronted with every form of union organizing activity. From union card signing activity and traditional union campaigns involving NLRB elections, to campaigns involving various levels of neutrality, to multi-site and even global attacks, to corporate campaigns, our attorneys have represented clients effectively, efficiently and successfully.


Ogletree Deakins has been a pioneer in developing strategies and practices that create positive employee relations. Through these legal, thoughtful approaches, enlightened employers work to develop a trust relationship with employees that minimize the risk of unionization. From vulnerability assessments, to issue identification and resolution systems, to program development and related management training, Ogletree Deakins lawyers work closely with clients to achieve positive employee relations.


Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys have also represented clients with bargaining units of all sizes, and with all major unions, in countless collective bargaining negotiations. Our attorneys are very experienced in handling the numerous matters that comprise collective bargaining, including wage rates and structures; health insurance, retirement plans and other benefits issues; productivity, performance, attendance, discipline, and other accountability measures; transfer of work, facility closure, subcontracting, and other management rights; and promotion, transfer, and layoff and recall rights, including ensuring management authority to fill positions based on skills and qualifications.


Preparing for a strike or work stoppage is a task no company looks forward to undertaking, but is essential as part of the bargaining process and to ensure that (in the worst case) the company is protected. Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys routinely work closely with our clients in making detailed preparations that are necessary in advance of a strike, and help them execute this strategy as needs require.


Ogletree Deakins attorneys routinely handle labor arbitrations for our clients with unionized workforces. Our lawyers have represented clients in labor arbitrations in virtually all industries and with all major unions. This experience includes discipline and discharge matters; management rights disputes, including work relocations, subcontracting, layoffs, and work jurisdiction matters; benefits disputes, including health and retirement benefit disputes; and interest arbitration.


When traditional labor disputes end up before the National Labor Relations Board, our attorneys also have a wealth of experience before the NLRB and the Courts of Appeal. This includes the defense of unfair labor practice charges against employers, including those alleging unlawful terminations, failure to bargain in good faith, and conduct allegedly interfering with employee rights; the prosecution of union unfair labor practice charges for unlawful picketing and boycott activities, failure to bargain in good faith, and other violations of the National Labor Relations Act; and in representation proceedings, including unit determination and election proceedings, objections hearings, decertifications, and other unit and representation disputes.

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Ogletree Deakins has a long tradition of premier client service. It was founded on principles that remain core values of the firm today: premier client service; teamwork and collaboration; treating each other with respect; hard work; and open governance. As Kim Ebert, Ogletree Deakins' Managing Shareholder, recently said: “These core values permeate the firm’s culture and are the bedrock upon which we build our diversity and inclusion initiatives.”

Ogletree Deakins solicits, values, and incorporates myriad viewpoints as part of its philosophy and practice of inclusion.  This ensures ongoing creativity, innovation and efficiency in responding to changing global needs.

Ogletree Deakins is proud to be a member of the following nationally recognized organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.

FAN, the Law Firm Affiliate Network of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). To be a FAN member, MCCA requires an express commitment to 10 Basic Principles, which MCCA research has determined to be hallmarks to advancing diversity.

The Center for Legal Inclusiveness is dedicated to advancing diversity in the legal profession by actively educating and supporting private and public sector legal organizations in their own individual campaigns to create cultures of inclusion. Its focused work in Colorado is on-going and forms the basis for all of its innovative programs and initiatives, many of which have become national models.

Ogletree Deakins is also a member of VAULT, whose stated mission is to “be the indispensable provider of information and solutions for professionals and students who are pursuing and managing high-potential careers.”

Membership in the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR), now Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (DFA), demonstrates Ogletree Deakins’ support for retaining and advancing women in law and for work/life balance for all attorneys, which is key to retaining top talent. 

Ogletree Deakins also encourages and supports membership and participation in local, state, national, and international professional associations. In the United States and Europe, our lawyers are active in organizations such as the following:

• National Bar Association (NBA)   
• National Asian-Pacific Bar Association (NASABA) 
• European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) 
• International Bar Association (IBA)  
• The Law Society of England and Wales  
• The City of London Law Society   
• The American Bar Association  
• The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association
• The Cuban American Bar Association
• Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA)
• Lambda Legal
• The National LGBT  Bar Association
• The Hispanic Bar Association

Furthermore, Ogletree Deakins lawyers have held the following positions among others:

 • The former Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the NBA
 • The former Chair of the Black Solicitors Network
 • Member of the Management Board of The Law Society
 • An Officer and Board member of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California

Ogletree Deakins’ lawyers regularly participate in firm-sponsored conferences and seminars hosted by the National Employment Law Council (NELC), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP), and Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC).

An Ogletree Deakins lawyer also serves as the editor of the Diversity Table, an award-winning survey analyzing the demographics of top firms in the United Kingdom.

In addition, Ogletree Deakins partners with its clients in the area of diversity and inclusion by inviting clients to attend events hosted by many of the above mentioned organizations. The firm also provides counseling and offers on-site and remote training to create and support in-house diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Throughout the firm, lawyers of diverse backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, race, and physical ability have positions of responsibility.  This includes lawyers who hold positions as Managing Shareholders in our offices and 20% of our Board of Directors are diverse.

Ogletree Deakins’ commitment to diversity and inclusion has won broad recognition. In 2012 MultiCultural Law Magazine ranked Ogletree Deakins as follows:

 • #53 in the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity and Inclusion
 • #39 in the Top 50 Law Firms for Partners
 • #4 in the Top 100 Law Firms for Women
 • #2 in the Top 25 Law Firms for African-Americans

The firm also has a five-member dedicated Professional Development and Inclusion Department (PD&I), whose primary focus is to establish and monitor programming and initiatives that will sustain productive and all-inclusive work-environment in every office location. This team is led by the by a Director of Professional Development and Inclusion, who is part of the senior management team and reports directly to the Managing Shareholder and the Board of Directors.

There is also a twelve-member Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee that guides the firm in creating programming and initiatives to recruit, hire, retain, promote and advance lawyers within the firm.

To conclude, Ogletree Deakins believes that diversity and inclusion are integral to the firm’s outstanding performance and premier client service. The firm’s top-talented, vibrant workforce reflects the growing diversity of our communities and clients and contributes unique perspectives and creative approaches. This, in turn, generates the highest quality of service, propels outstanding business results, and serves the needs of our clients and the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Statistics

Minority Males
Minority Females
(4 of 13)
(11 of 67)
(1 of 4)
(0 of 0)
(16 of 80)
(29 of 121)
Marketing Professionals
(3 of 9)
(2 of 11)
Of Counsel
(7 of 41)
(11 of 49)
Technology Professionals
(6 of 28)
(2 of 11)
(19 of 229)
(9 of 77)
Administrative Professionals
(10 of 21)
(74 of 303)
Finance Professionals
(0 of 0)
(1 of 17)
Human Resources Professionals
(0 of 0)
(0 of 0)